I live for robots and wizards, but a steady diet of those things tends to leave gears stuck between your teeth. And even the pointiest hats can't dig those out.
You have to consume widely. Just like when anyone makes the mistake of asking you to dinner. Otherwise, you'll miss out on unfamiliar treats like 1999's East Is East
Soon upon moving to England, Pakistani immigrant Om Puri marries a local woman and starts a large family. But as his children grow up, they struggle to fit in between Puri's traditional beliefs and the Western culture they've been raised in.
A thrill a minute, in other words. Don't watch East Is East if you've got a heart condition! If you're going to risk it anyway, it's probably best to have the first six digits of your doctor's number punched into your phone. Of course, if you're that big a daredevil, you don't have a phone, because phones are for people who can't ride motorcycles mid-stroke.
You know what, I'm not sure if one single truck explodes in this movie. If the flipped SUV count stands at zero, you'd better have some great characters to make up for it. That is, of course, where East Is East shines.
It starts with Puri. He's a man of contradictions, happily married to a very strong and very English woman (Linda Bassett) while simultaneously arranging marriages for his unwilling sons and generally acting as though 1970s England is such a magical land of opportunity that it is also 1930s Pakistan. Eventually, Puri is pushed to the breaking point, but even then the movie treats him with sympathy for his struggle to exist between two worlds.
Most impressive of all is you eventually get a feel for each one of the couple's six sons and one daughter. Plenty of movies can't make one character come to life. "Has a gun and makes fun of people he just shot" is not a personality. East Is East sacrifices plot for all this character, making it episodic and meandering in places. But when you feel like you know the people on the screen, sometimes it's nice to just sort of walk around.
While East Is East was derived from a play, Damien O'Donnell's direction doesn't make that too obvious. In fact, between his framing and the story, this movie sometimes has the feel of The Royal Tenenbaums. Except, you know, about working-class immigrant families in Britain instead of a wealthy American clan. It's not as slick, but it's just as affecting.