Review of a Production of East Is East Essay

Review of a Production of East Is East Essay

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Review of a Production of East Is East

It must be strange being an immigrant, uprooting to another country in
the sure knowledge that you'll never fit in like a native-born
citizen. Having thrown yourself into this voyage, inexorably as a
continent you gradually drift away from your birthplace. In essence
your destiny is to become stateless, no matter how dutifully one
assimilates within the novel culture. Infants luckily appear more
resilient to these changes, absorbing them, while the adults around
them encounter internal barriers, as if their die is cast. Small
wonder that first-generation settlers often cling to childhood
teachings, solidity in a world of uncertainty.

East Is East presents Om Puri as a conservative Muslim immigrant
father in England. In this masterly portrayal, he is in constant
conflict with his mixed-race children, seven of them, born to his
liberal English wife, admirably played by Linda Bassett. The intense
family-drama is rendered as a thoroughly entertaining and farcical
comedy. Adapted from an autobiographical stage-play by Ayub Khan-Din.

It is the early 1970's, George Khan (Om Puri)is a man who is proud of
his Pakistani heritage. He moved to Salford near Manchester where he
married a local woman, Ella (Linda Bassett), had seven children and
opened a chip shop. George demands to be seen as the head of the
family and rules them with a rod of iron, as he wants them to be as
respectable and as proud of their race as he is. There is one flaw in
his master plan.... he is a hypocritical bully, and his children are
rebelling against his regime one by one. They are sick of being
cramped in their small ter...

... middle of paper ...

...sual stage-to-film pitfalls to turn
his play into a terrific movie packed with vivid, memorable characters
and situations. And a truly Important Life Lesson too.

Fundamentally East Is East is a film about tolerance for views that
rub against your own. It shows how George, unable to channel
frustration constructively, boils over into violence; a reaction
against his nature but realistic in context. It also shows how Ella is
torn between her love for George and her desire to protect and
encourage their children, another difficult position. The charm of
East Is East is its sympathy to the characters and their divisions, to
the reality that great emotional resolutions do not in practice occur.
Superb ensemble acting by the small-name cast ensures that you're
gripped from beginning to end by their full, warm performances.

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