West is West is a witty and well-thought out follow up to East to East. It journeys to 1970's, Manchester. Britain experienced the first wave of Pakistani immigrants from the fifties to the seventies. The dysfunctional Khan's family continue to experience problems. In East to East, the focus is about the family quest for survivial and acceptance within the local community against the increasing prejudice. West to West continues to builds on the theme, but it closely ties in with heritage and family roots.Much of the scenes is in the sub-continent. It is a cleverly written screenplay, supported with quality acting and directing.
It takes a deep look at the social dynamics within the family and the problems confronted by being a mixed race family. The opening sequences nicely set the tone of the film, as we are introduced to the youngest member of the family, Sajid. We start to gain a solid understanding of the character, as he is a victim of bullying at school and the father exerts so much pressure to the sons of accepting Pakistani traditions within the family unit.
George never wants to lose touch of his beloved Pakistani roots and hopes the sons appreciate his viewpoints.. Sajid truants regular from school, due to name calling and needs to be escorted by the father. He is reluctant to accept his cultural idenitity and heritage.
The proud father decides to take the troubled son on an educational journey to the family roots. It is understandably a culture shock for Sajid as he struggles to adapt to the country. The way of life is so different. Sajid gradually starts to settle in the country and develops a special friendship with a local lad. Can this journey change the attitude?
We learn a great deal about George's background and a hidden family secret. Sajid's character steals the show, but we do observe how the elder brother feels the pressure of accepting traditions and customs. The father is eager to find a wife for the son. Arranged marriage is a traditional way of binding opposites. Will this long tradition work? The film attempts to shed light on a vast range of issues, which are delicate in nature. These issues range from race relations, heritage, traditions, multi-cultural, family, religion, marriage and sense of identity.
It joins a long line of films of exploring how Eastern values conflict with Western values. It is beautifully and charmingly depicted without being overly serious. The film provides a mixture of comedy and drama. It is a formula successfully incorporated in the film.
The characters come across as strong and engaging, as Sajid and George demonstrate. Om Puri, the veteran Indian actor fits role of a traditional father magnificently. Aqip Khan looks a promising young actor, as he plays the troubled lad Sajid to perfection.
I thoroughly enjoyed the film, as it real feel good movie and shows film making of the highest quality.