West is West
A decade on since the BAFTA award winning East is East, the affectionate story of a traditionalist Pakistani father, his English wife and their seven unruly children in 1970s England, original screenwriter Ayub Khan-Din brings us the follow-up West is West.
This time Khan-Din flips the script, taking this boisterous family from bleak Salford back to the hot dust of rural Pakistan.
Manchester,1975. The now much diminished, but still claustrophobic and dysfunctional, Khan family continues to struggle for survival.
Sajid, the youngest Khan, is the resident teenager in trouble. He’s playing truant to avoid the bullies picking on him at school, and aggravating his father with his Anglicised ways.
George decides that a trip to Pakistan will sort Sajid out, and in no time at all, father and son are en route back to the first Mrs Khan and the family and farm George left behind thirty years earlier.
Unsurprisingly, the reception is a little frosty, neither George nor Sajid acclimatise particularly well and it’s not long before Ella (Mrs Khan No2) with a small entourage from Salford, swiftly follows to sort out the mess.
Though broadly played for laughs, the film, like its prequel, strikes some serious notes, and the relationship between the two wives is tinged with poignancy. Director Andy De Emmony captures the verve of young and old and the convergence of east and west in this uplifting film about a fascinating family in transitional times.