June 20, 2008

Brick Lane- Review

Brick Lane tells the story of the awakening of Nazneen, (Tannishtha Chatterjee) a woman who was shipped off at the age seventeen in an arranged marriage to an older man she never met in London. Nazneen's story is in many ways a universal story about the restrictions placed on women in different cultures. For many years she lived in silence and misery taking care of the home, her husband and her children in the immigrant neighborhood of Brick Lane in London.

Brick Lane is a very British film. Think Mike Leigh. It's quiet, nothing blows up and tells a story of a woman whose life is quite unremarkable. Nazneen is stuck, she believes that life is about endurance, but when she meets Karim (Christopher Simpson) a young activist who gives her sewing work, she comes alive. Karim gives her the gift of passion, and while after all these years she has grown to love her bumbling, unsuccessful husband Chanu (Satish Kaushik), more importantly through Karim she has grown to love and trust herself.

Women are everywhere in the creative company of Brick Lane. The film is based on the award winning novel by Monica Ali, was written by Abi Morgan and Laura Jones was produced by Alison Owens along with Christopher Collins, and it was directed by Sarah Gavron.

This is the kind of movie where you have to pay attention. It's not light and fluffy. If you are looking for a different, interesting story about a woman whose voice and story is usually not heard or seen, check out this film. The film opens in NY and LA today and will roll out across the country over the next few weeks.