Usually sequels are not as intriguing as the original film, more so because of the expectations associated with them but West is West', a sequel to 1999 super hit 'East is East' is as an equally engaging film that touches every part of your soul. Sadly depicting the cultural difference between the west and the east, the film has a message that is known to all but accepted by few; that no matter if we are from West or East, we are humans first.
The film has been made keeping in mind a part of the audience that has not seen the '99 film. It has a fresh start and is about a new face in George / Jehangir Khan's (Om Puri) family, his youngest son Sajid (Aqib Khan) who is facing the adversities of being a Pakistani British. George is not yet out of his thinking about the younger generation following old Pakistani customs and traditions and takes Sajid to rural Pakistan for a taste of culture. The rest of the story revolves around Sajid getting accustomed to his roots and George meeting the demons of his past. George meets his estranged first wife (Ila Arun) who he has left in Pakistan with two daughters, 20 years ago and married an English lady Ella (Linda Bassett). The encounter between the two wives's is the most stimulating moment in the film. The ladies, despite the language barrier, communicate with élan, both portraying superior acting skills.
Om Puri is fabulous as an actor and has mastered his craft well. Except for a few repetitions, the man does full justice to his character as a strict Paki-Brit split between extreme cultures. Young Aqib Khan is stupendous and portrays immense talent. Can't get your eyes off him when he charms the celluloid!! Ila Arun is at her best depicting the rural Pakistani women and you feel that no one could have done this role better than her. Linda Bassett is good too.
The highlight of the film is its music that is definitely path breaking. The background score adds to the intense drama. Though the film has quite a few clichés that are shown in many films about culture differences, it still manages to captivate. Watch it if you are in mood for some serious cinema.