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Customer Review

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars East Is East, 18 Sep 2005
This review is from: East Is East [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Set in 1971 in Salford, Manchester, East is East takes a humorous look at life for the Khan family. George Khan is the Pakistani born immigrant who came to Britain in the 30's. We learn he has left his first wife back in Pakistan and has now married an English woman in the shape of Ella. Together they run the local fish and chip shop as well as trying to bring up their large family of 6 sons and a daughter. George is desperately trying to hold on to Pakistani and Muslim traditions. We initially meet him on the wedding day of his eldest son. The poor son is petrified at the thought of the arranged marriage, and taking the first look at his bride he bolts from ceremony exclaiming that he "cannot do this". George is mortified, not caring a jot for the feelings of his son, he is only concerned of the shame that this will bring to the Khan family.
Ella, on the other hand, is struggling with trying to not to undermine her husband but at the same time trying to support her numerous off-spring, who all having been born in Britain, cannot understand why they cannot go to the local disco, study art instead of engineering or must wear a sari on Sunday.
In general the film stays light hearted and provides some incredibly funny moments ranging from slap-stick to double entendre and wit. Some of the gags could be accused of being very stereotypical; we have the Enoch Powell supporting neighbour, the lusty northern lasses who pursue the handsome Khan boys, the eldest son who runs off from his wedding turns up later managing a very camp hat shop along with partner Nigel, but there's no nastiness involved and no-one has cause to take offence.
On the other hand the film does have a darker side which is very shocking when shown alongside the humour. There's some tear-jerking poignancy and some hand to the mouth surprises which raises the film to the level above just being a laugh along comedy. The performances are solid to a man with Om Puri and Linda Bassett leading the way with some fine turns.
The one other bit of fun to have with the film is to try to name all the other series and soap opera you've now seen the various actors in on television.
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