East Is East

East Is East

****

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Culture clash? What's that? For the Khans in Salford, Lancashire, in 1971, it means, do what dad says, or else.

There are six children, five boys and a girl. Sajid (Jordan Routledge) is the youngest. He's 12. Nazir (Ian Aspinall) is the eldest. He's in his twenties. Dad is George (Om Puri), who married a local girl (Linda Bassett). They own the fish-and-chip shop in their street.

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George's command of the English language hardly stretches beyond "bloody" and "bastard". George is a strict Muslim. He believes in the ritual, especially arranged marriages. The children don't. They behave like any other family of teenagers. Badly. The trick is to stay out of dad's way and avoid having to go to the mosque.

Ayub Khan-Din has opened out his play brilliantly, recreating the feel of being half Pakistani and wholly English, living in a house without a bath or inside toilet at a time when brown faces were not so common.

The comedy is sharp, the acting excellent, the racial harmony likely to splinter as suddenly as family solidarity. Like all teenagers, the Khans have their own ideas about what to do with their Saturday nights. George has his. Never the twain shall meet.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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East Is East packshot
Culture clash in a multiracial family in Seventies Britain.
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Director: Damien O'Donnell

Writer: Ayub Khan-Din

Starring: Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Jordan Routledge, Archie Panjabi, Emil Marwa, Chris Bisson, Jimi Mistry, Raji James, Ian Aspinall, Lesley Nicol, Emma Rydal

Year: 1999

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

Festivals:

EIFF 1999

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