West Is West (15)

Starring: Aqib Khan, Om Puri, Linda Bassett
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The Independent Culture

The belated sequel to East Is East addresses the same issues of integration and heritage among the working-class Khan family in 1970s Salford.

Pint-size Sajid (Aqib Khan) is now a 13-year-old schoolboy whose shoplifting and mouthiness compel his father George (Om Puri) to take him off to Pakistan, the motherland, for a few lessons in tradition. The sitcom standard of the jokes (all Northern swearing is funny?) and the dawdling pace are bad enough, but there's also the problem of sympathy: George, a wife-beater in the first film, is revealed to be a bigamist and deserter of his Pakistani family 30 years before. The film's plea for tolerance and understanding is blameless, but its instinct for the funny bone is clueless.