Cinema: Good-Hearted, Wrongheaded

Actor Om Puri shines in the Miramax comedy-drama East Is East

Sometimes he's choleric. Sometimes he's obsequious. Always he's a man lost and trying desperately to find his way through a strange country in which the natives can barely see him through their veils of contempt.

He's a wonderful actor named Om Puri--a pockmarked, middle-age Pakistani. A year ago, in My Son, the Fanatic, he was a taxi driver in a grim industrial town in the north of England. Now he's back in a similar hardscrabble environment, this time as George, the proprietor of a fish-and-chips shop in a working-class London suburb in the '70s. He long ago married an Englishwoman (Linda...

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