Film Review – East is East

Om Puri (George Khan), who plays the father, shows the perfect example of a parent who wishes to enforce tradition on his children. This traditionalism is forced by him trying to get his sons married, through arranging marriages with other parents. He performs another great film, continuing the series of good films he has been part of in Bollywood. We would expect no less of such a renowned Asian actor. Linda Basset, the mother, plays the part of a caring and protective mother, and yet also a loving and obedient wife. This is pulled off perfectly through her acting.

She stands by her husband and mostly goes alongside his decisions, whilst also trying to get the best for her children, and give them what they want. Nazir is the eldest son, who at the beginning chooses not to go through with the arranged marriage his father has set up, instead he runs off leaving his father “disgraced” in the eyes of his friends. He is then disowned as his father removes his photo from the wall of their home. Tariq, Jimi Mistry, who is the next eldest son, periodically sneaks out of the house at night to go to night clubs, get drunk and flirt with women.

During the course of the film we learn that the father is making an attempt to arrange another marriage for Tariq and his brother Abdul, Tariq is quick to defy his father. Abdul, Raji James, is the good son who wants his father to be happy but also wants to do what he wants with his life. He is not exactly happy about the arranged marriage, but is willing to if it stops his father’s ire. Saleem, Chris Bisson, who has also stared in Coronation Street, plays another of Om’s sons he isn’t interested in what his father wants and will do what he thinks is fun, such as his piece of “art. ” Mennah, Archie

Panjabi, is Om’s only daughter, yet when her father’s back is turned she acts like a lad playing football with the other lads on her street. She is another defiant child and doesn’t want what her father wants for her. Maneer, also dubbed as Ghandi by his siblings, is the religious devout and the only one who would completely willingly follow his father. not much is actually seen of his character. Finally the youngest member of the family, Sajid played by Jordan Routledge, he doesn’t like his father dictatorship of his life and doesn’t seem to want to accept he, only being young, has no real power to resist his father’s rule.

Events throughout the film is Om, the father, trying to arrange marriages for his sons, each time his children resist his efforts. They constantly make this effort in the attempt that he would eventually listen and come round to their way of thinking, and lifestyle they want. The main theme throughout this film is that of traditionalism and how parents make the attempt to live their lives through their children, parallel to this theme is how children do not wish to live their life like their parents and end up being the very thing that they depise.