Dir. Andy DeEmmony. UK. 2010.

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Screenwriter/Playwright Ayub Khan Din’s second chapter of his popular creation ‘East is East’ has the Anglo-Pakistani  Chip shop owning Khan family of Salford, England move to a remote village in Pakistan in search of culture clash drama. But the resultant doesn’t have the freshness or the bite required to keep the audience continuously engaged through it’s  unwieldy runtime. 11 years too late, this sequel, set  5 years after the epoch making prequel which charted lead character George’s failed attempts to impose Pakistani traditions on his seven British children, the sequel which appears to have toned down George’s habitual viciousness, appears jaded and out-of-tune with present day anglo-asian existential conflicts.

It’s 1976,  the story progresses way beyond the falling apart of George’s sons arranged marriages  and  their shamefully western behaviours.  Sajid(Aqib Khan), the youngest of George/Jahangir (Om Puri) and Ella’s (Linda Basset) progeny finds himself bullied at school and gets caught shoplifting. The brash and abusive George is quick to pack their bags and take his son to native Pakistan for a rehabilitative dose of culture curry. George’s 30 years too late visit to his hometown enables his own coming-of-age story alongside that of his son’s.  Sajid at first is defiant but his friendship with Pir baba (an off-putting Brit sounding hopelessly miscast, Nadim Sawalha) transforms the young rebel. When a miffed Ella comes down for a visit with her friend Annie (Leslee Nicol), she has to not only come to terms with George’s first wife’s (Ila Arun) claim but also find a way back into a vacillating  George’s heart.  Helmer DeEmmony manages to lend brief episodes of vigor and vitality to an oft-repeated story line but it’s not always enough. The conflicts between father and son and husband and wives begin to wear thin and except for an elevating moment of confrontation between George’s first and second wife, there’s little newness in the entire endeavour. 

Rating:   *  *  

Johnson Thomas

Also see Jamie Garwood's review of West is West

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