review for East Is East on AllMovie

East Is East (1998)
by Jason Clark review

A perceptive, sometimes broad examination of the family structure and its unsteady nature, East is East succeeds in its truthful, occasionally piercing dissection of its themes and in its refusal to take the easy route in presenting some difficult situations. Om Puri is one of Britain's most underappreciated talents, and here gives a robust, finely etched portrayal of a most hypocritical and sometimes brittle man without succumbing to stereotype or the grotesque. Well-adapted by Ayub Khan-Din from his hit play, the movie makes some pungent points about cross-culturalism in families, as well as the tottery London of the 1970s, and the healthy desire for change (though the film is sometimes steered into archetypal territory). The film was a winner of Best British Film in its native country's BAFTA Awards, not to mention the most successful self-funded British film at the time of its release.