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Saturday, June 11, 2011

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘WEST IS WEST’



Today I saw the movie ‘West Is West’ in an up market cinema hall. Will fume about the cinema hall later (in PS); let me first present the review.

The movie is a sequel to the super hit ‘East Is East’, in which Jehagir Khan aka George Khan (Om Puri) migrates from Pakistan to London in search of a better life, leaving his wife Basheera (Ila Arun) and daughters. There he marries an English lady Ella and settles down. He has seven kids from her. 

The sequel is set in the early seventies. The story basically revolves around his youngest son, Sajid, who is going through a terrible patch because of his identity crisis. He is bullied by white students and bunks school most of the time, and is on his way to become a delinquent youth. He roams around aimlessly on streets, shoplifts and gets caught once as well. His father, ashamed of his act and confused about his education and future decides to take him to their native place, Pakistan. His other son, a very mature and mild mannered Muneer (Jimmy Mistry) also joins. The trio arrives in Pakistan and is given a warm homecoming by the family. The combined family, along with uncles and cousins also includes his first wife, (played to perfection by Ila Arun) and their married daughters. Actor Vijay Raaz has portrayed the character of one of the relatives who becomes a voluntary guide for the entire trip. The rustic charm of village and natural beauty is very well captured in the movie. A simple village life, without creating any false image is shown. Bullock carts, dusty alleys, women toiling day and night, pir baba, old markets, old houses with joint brick roofs, buffaloes and the like are well portrayed.

Unlike Muneer, Sajid feels very out of place in his ancestral village which is completely alien to him in every possible way. George Khan tries his best to calm down the boy but all his counseling and even beatings make Sajid even more rebellious till he meets the local ‘Pir baba’ who interestingly converses in fluent English. He also befriends a local village lad who becomes his best buddy later.

Now starts the main story. The baba, in simple words and through tales and examples explains him the concept of individuality and adaptation. He gets him to wear local clothes and slowly and surely calms him down. Sajid transforms from a confused teen to a confident boy, aware of his identity and no longer ashamed of accepting it openly. A parallel track runs between the guilt laden George Khan and his first wife. She clearly tells him that since she somehow managed the tough task of being a single mother to perfection for last thirty years, she has become strong and independent from within and feels no need to appeal to any man’s mercy. Also, that she is not just an address for his letters and money orders but a living breathing individual. Her silent expressions speak volumes. The most beautiful scene in the entire movie is when she explains Ella, George’s second wife (who arrives later tracking George) that she neither loves nor longs for him anymore and shows her their old wedding photograph in sign language (due to different languages).

A few more events take place rapidly; story has its own little twists and turns. I would not like to disclose each and every aspect of the story here. Two notable things about this movie are the kind but firm attitude of George Khan’s first wife towards her step sons and even Ella, and that except a few Hindi/Punjabi slang, there are no saucy scenes. Hence, unlike most of the movies being released these days, it is very ‘safe’ to watch it with elders/parents.

I would give this arty movie a rating of 4 on a scale of 5.


 PS:
1) Only seven people were there for West is West. Two couples, one uncle, and us. The couples quickly occupied both ends of the last row and were giggling all the time :P

2) Another thing that I particularly dislike about such hi-fi halls is the overpricing of food items.

31 comments:

  1. Never watched the first part though I had heard it is a good one

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  2. Excellent review. Have you ever thought of becoming a professional movie critic? You can make a carrier out of this.

    I have lived in USA all my life. The only Hindi movie I have ever watched in home (without understanding the dialogue) is Barsaat Ki Raath (starring Bharath Bhushan and Madhubala). I loved the movie.

    Looks like Basheera is a strong person. I wish many more women be like her in this world and face the life boldly. I can realize that explaining in sign language her story/emotion to the “other woman” who shared her husband is heart breaking. I will certainly watch this movie for this one scene.

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  3. Nice review. Will definitely go for this one. :)

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  4. i agree sometimes agree this multiplex halls are sometimes over-priced compared to service they provide..

    i loved east is east..

    will watch it sometime later.

    good review!!!

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  5. These multiplexes are totally fleecing people..I saw the East..and now I am sure to watch this..you have made me curious for that:)

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  6. Nice review. Will watch it sometime. :)

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  7. Great review...Will perhaps watch it when it comes on TV.

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  8. Good review yaar...since u have given it 4 out of 5...i think i will watch it and as u said even i hate the high priced food in these theaters...75 rupees for popcorn...i would faint for sure.

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  9. Thanks, I just got it downloaded and will watch it rather soon.

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  10. hii Harish

    yes, both are good.. far far better than that usual bollywood crap

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  11. hii SG

    thanks a lot! hehe! thats a very big compliment indeed :)

    Basant bahar is considered a classic till date.
    yes, she has grown stronger and has managed her life well without her husband. I too wish the same.

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  12. hii Juxtaposition

    thanks a ton! yes, u'll like it :)

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  13. hii Sankoobaba

    yes, this is the common problem in all modern cinema halls. Eatables are not allowed from outside hence they price even a cup of tea absurdly.

    ys, i am sure you will like the sequel

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  14. hello Renu

    yes, i agree. thanks a lot!

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  15. hii Ajay

    thanks a lot!!

    :)

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  16. hii Alka

    thanks! yes, these days channels show latest flicks on TV :)

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  17. hii G3

    thanks a lot!

    yes, i am sure u'll like it :)

    75 Rs is the old price yaar, these days a few pops cost not less than 120 rs...absurd!

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  18. hii Rachit

    ya, u'll like it :)

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  19. to SG

    I wrote 'basant bahar' by mistake.. actually its 'barsaat ki raat' only

    sorry!

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  20. I liked the review, and I will surely see it.
    How are you, it has been a very long time.
    Have a good week.
    Rama.

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  21. hii Rama

    thanks! ya, m sure you will like it too.

    ya, m fyn, u say how are you?

    :)

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  22. Really looking forward to watch this one .Actors like Naseer ,Om puri ,Irfan khan are my favorite.Have not seen a good movie since Ishquia.Thanks for the wonderful review .Have a nice day AS.

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  23. hii Kavita

    ya, i am sure you will like this flick, it is a bit art - movies sort of.

    yes, they all are awesome performers, even their silent expressions speak volumes.

    thanks! have a nice day too

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  24. Nice review. :)
    The pencil sketch of Princess Diana is too good.
    The Afghan girl was drawn beautifully especially her eyes. I saw her story on TV.
    The predictions for Sagitarrius are so too true. :) You need a hair cut is very true.

    I like your blog. :)
    Thanks for commenting on my blog. :)

    Keep visiting. :)

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  25. hii Chandrika

    thanks a lot for! m happy u liked the sketches :)

    keep coming!


    :)

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  26. Nice to read the review. I haven't seen the movie yet, need to see it now.

    Om Puri is among my favourite actors, and can imagine him fitting very well with the village scene.

    I wonder if the next one to complete the trilogy will be named "West is Best" or "East is Best".

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  27. hello Anil P

    thanks a lot! yes, he is one amazing actor and he has done very well in this movie!

    nice suggestion :)

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  28. if we have to go with the first part east is east.. this is also a laugh riot

    and om puri is a class actor, here in uk some of the dialogues are used as norm now from the first movie.. will have to take time to go and see the movie.


    Bikram's

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  29. hii Bikramjit!

    yes, it was awesome !!

    m sure u'll like this too, esp the depiction of rural Punjab is superb :)

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  30. Seems to be a good movie from your ratings and description...thanks for sharing your review!! do post more such reviews of must-watch (and must-never-watch as well) movies...:)

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  31. hii mOhan

    thanks a lot!
    yes, sure :)

    ReplyDelete

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