Everyone it appears knows there’s a follow up to 1999’s East is East out except the regular cinema goer, me.
The first film falls into the 50/50 category; the first half is great, the second half is too sad to see again, similar to that Aussie Abba-fest, Muriel’s Wedding.
East is East has me falling and laughing until it gets more serious in the second half. The story then is of a Pakistani immigrant, fish & chip shop owner George Khan married to an English wife in north west England. This being the early 1970s, Mr Khan is keen to see his children married to suitable partners and a lot of the film is taken up with his antics on finding them wives. Mrs Khan, a chain smoking, northerner does her best to put up with her husband’s traditional ways and competes head on with him in the who-can-put-more-swear-words-into-each-sentence contest.
West is West sees the family five years later when Mr Khan takes his youngest son back home to Pakistan as he fears he is more English than his Pakistani roots. Now Khan junior is competing in the swearing contest. The film is not as funny but still entertaining as we discover how Khan handles seeing his first wife and daughters who he abandoned thirty years ago and the only communication has been his cheques. His older son who embraced his heritage is already here looking for a wife for himself and Khan’s first goal is to assist him.
All of his goals give him hurdles to overcome and more and more he feels guilty about the family he left behind. It’s when he commissions a new house to be built for them to ease his conscious that he really extends his trip which prompts Mrs Khan 2 to get on a plane with her best friend (who’s minding the shop?) to find out what’s going on.
It’s the relentless swearing and general lack of respect from his youngest that I find hardest to swallow. It’s funny for the first hour for the first film, not so much now which is a shame as it spoils an otherwise superb continuing story. I’m pretty sure I’m alone in this as the cinema was quite full for a half term release and everyone was laughing at the parts I just found quite sad.
So do go and see it yourself.
7½/10 Smile factor 6/10