West is West, the sequel to award-winning East is East (1999), an emotional British comedy about a mixed race family featuring Om Puri, is receiving rave reviews in the UK. Directed by Andy DeEmmony and written by Ayub Khan-Din, the sequel tracks the homecoming of Puri to his first wife and family in Pakistan (shot in India). It will release in April in India.
Unlike the sequel, Puri feels the trilogy’s final film will not take as long to be made: “The final sequel, tentatively titled East Meets West, will be ready in the next two years.” The film will be set in the UK.
Producer Leslee Udwin reveals that this time she would like to see George (Puri) be tolerant of the differences between him and his children in the trilogy. “I’d love him to shake the hand of his eldest son Nazir’s gay boyfriend, or take in his arms the possibly illegitimate child of Meenah (George’s only daughter) – this is just my imagination for now,” says Udwin. The film, Udwin says, is on its way to recover its cost from the UK release alone and may even the surpass the financial success of East Is East.
Udwin, who also produced the 1999 film, informs that the possibility of a sequel was born way back during the making of the first film when he learnt about Khan-Din’s life and how as a young boy he was taken to Pakistan to meet his “other mummy”.
“It took me a few years to persuade Ayub to get going with a sequel. Having won many awards for East is East, it was a daunting task for him. The ten-year gap between the films also saw the writer getting more mature. After having become a father himself, Ayub was able to let go of his youthful anger against his father,” adds Udwin.
Suniel Wadhwa, 52 Week Entertainment Inc, Indian distributor of West is West, says, “We wanted to avoid clashing with the World Cup and exams. These kind of films grow with word-of-mouth publicity. Movies like Monsoon Wedding, The Namesake, The Guru, Slumdog Millionaire too released late in India and still succeeded at the box-office.”