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East is East (Damien O'Donnell) 2000

Om Puri and Linda Basset turned in the year's most overlooked great performances in this hilarious, insightful comedy. A massive hit in Britain, the film was somewhat ignored by audiences when it released here in early 2000. The film is exceptionally funny, and it's great to see a comedy that actually has a good deal of emotional and political substance... they're far too rare. The subject material is fairly original, and the film is carried off much better than the similar My Son the Fanatic. I admire how the film succeeds in making its point subtly. By focusing on the specific, arbitrary rules of a Pakistani, the film showed how arbitrary most parents' ideals can be.

***1/2

September, 2001

Jeremy Heilman