cranky home
Reviews since 1993:   A-E     F-N      O-Z    Posters       Who We Are and Why We Do What We Do         Search the Site

Your Donations support the Site

Top Selling DVD     Books

50 Shades of Grey
Exodus Gods and Kings
Grand Budapest Hotel
Imitation Game, The
Into the Woods

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Theory of Everything
Ride Along
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Avengers
Amazing Spider-Man
Girl w/ Dragon Tattoo
Dark Knight Trilogy
World War Z
Happy Feet 2
Iton Man 3 combo
Batman Begins
Dark Knight
Fifth Element
The Hangover
Hunger Games
James Bond 11 disc coll.
Lord of the Rings trilogy
Mission Impossible GP
Sherlock Holmes AGOS
Singing in the Rain
Snow White Huntsman
Star Trek Into Darkness combo
Star Wars Saga
21 Jump Street
Ultimate Matrix coll
X-Men First Class
X-Men Trilogy
X-Men Wolverine

 BLU-Ray for Family DVDs 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
A Bug's Life
Chronicles of Narnia set
Harry Potter 1-8 collection
Iron Man 2 combo
Kung Fu Panda
Lord of the Rings Trilogy Pinocchio
Pirates of Caribbean trilogy
Pixar short films
Shrek the Whole Story
Sleeping Beauty
The Smurfs
Snow White & 7 Dwarfs
Star Trek motion pictures set
Star Trek TNG Season One
Star Wars Saga (1-6)
Toy Story combo
Toy Story 2 combo
Toy Story 3 combo
Wall-E SE


Search engine by FreeFind
Click to add search to YOUR web site!
click to search site

Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the Beast
Kung Fu Panda
The Lion King
Mary Poppins 45th LE
Princess Mononoke
Shrek the Whole Story
Simpsons Movie
Spider-Man Trilogy
Spirited Away
Star Trek movies set
Star Trek TOS (TV)
ST:TNG complete tv set
Star Wars Trilogy (1-3)
Star Wars Trilogy (4-6)
Toy Story DVD combo
Toy Story 2 DVD combo
Toy Story 3 DVD combo
Wallace and Gromit
Wall-E SE

Buy Movie collectibles
TV/Movie Collectibles

movie review query engine

NY film critics online

Privacy Policy

Click for full sized poster

East is East

Rated [R], 96 minutes
Starring Om Puri and Linda Bassett
Screenplay by Ayub Khan-Din, based on his play
Directed by Damien O'Donnell

IN SHORT: And now, an awards laden flick from across the Pond

"Tradition" may have been a rousing song from Fiddler on the Roof, but the concept of maintaining old country ways after immigrating to the New World is universal. It's also at the root of East Is East, a very funny tale of cultures clashing and a father's doomed effort to force his kidlets to adhere to the old ways. It's a bigger problem than it reads, because Papa hasn't toed the line perfectly.

As if in rigid opposition to My Son The Fanatic the last Om Puri starrer in which he played a tried and true assimilationist, in East is East, Puri's character is determined to maintain "traditional" Pakistani culture and traditions in his Manchester, England based family. But for George Khan (Puri), tradition stopped when he changed his name and abandoned his still in Pakistan wife. George marries the English native Ella (Linda Bassett) and bows to her wish to remain in her Catholic neighborhood. Twenty five years down the line, while his seven kidlets have been raised in the Muslim faith, they take delight in participating in the pageantry of Catholic holiday street parades. East is East gets off to a delightful start as the mom and kidlets, carrying a statue of the Virgin Mary in such a parade, are tipped that dad has come home early from Mosque and is spectating a couple of blocks up the road. Think Keystone Kops as they dash through back alleyways to avoid George's fearsome wrath.

And George's wrath is fearsome as is his overwhelming need for control over every aspect of his family's life. Central to the story is the Paki tradition of arranged marriages, which is where we start this flick. Eldest son Nazir (Ian Aspinall) is the first to the altar, dressed in traditional and very colorful gear. But, for reasons that will lead to a good chuckle in the third act, Nazir bolts for the door and leaves his attractive bride to be at the altar. George declares that his son is "dead" and that no one in the family will have contact with the boy. Completely ignorant to the fact that this particular tradition is abhorrently retro to the raised as English kidlets, George begins work fixing up sons 2 and 3, Tariq (Jimi Mistry) and Abdul (Raji James). Outside of dad's earshot, these boys call themselves Tony and Arthur, and are having quite a nice time entertaining the local girls and hitting the discos, once mom and dad are asleep. Abdul is a fairly observant Muslim, Tariq is the exotic boy toy beloved by the girls in the clubs. When they meet their matches, oh, the horror.

Culture clash movies, if they're well written, are usually fun to watch because you can step way back as an outside observer. While most of the situations in this film are terrifically funny, George is a brute, with all that implies. At his core is a worn down terrified man who, for all his attempts to adhere to tradition, is as hypocritical as he sees his kidlets. His balance is Ella, and the reasons she puts up with George are what you'll be discussing afterwards. Love, I guess, is a strange and wondrous thing.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to East is East, he would have paid...


Good performances by both Puri and Basset got them nominations for the Brit equivalent of Oscar and the film has taken noms as Best Picture and Best British Film. Those who frequent the arthouses will flock to this flick. Those beyond teenflicks who want something a little more substantial should head there as well.

Click to buy films by Alan Parker
Click to buy films starring Emily Watson
Click to buy films starring Robert Carlyle
Click Here!

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.