Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brick Lane - UK Bengali film based on book

I finally got to see this movie. When I heard about the movie back in June premiering in Atlanta, I thought I'll read the book. Unable to go to the premiere, I read the book anyways. Sadly, I was not in love with the book. I had to make myself finish it. Reminds me when I read The Namesake --- I read it because I knew there will be a movie based on it. The book was just mediocre, to me, which made me enjoy the movie more. Same incident for me with the book/movie -- Brick Lane.

Movie starts off with flashbacks. Beautiful, colorful Bangladesh (but actually filmed in India). Two sisters having fun. Later to find out that tragedy hits their family. The oldest sister Nazneen has an arranged marriage and is sent off to London marrying an older, rich Bengali man.

Nazneen, her husband Chanu, and two daughters live in Brick Lane in London. Taken from Wikipedia -
Brick Lane (Bangla: ব্রিক লেন) is a long street in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, in the East End of London. The street runs from Bethnal Green in the north, passes through Spitalfields and is linked to Whitecahpel High Street to the south by the short stretch of Osborn Street. Today, it is the heart of the city's Sylheti Bangladeshi community, and is sometimes known as Banglatown.

Nazneen struggles to find a true identity to her life. She yearns to go back home to visit her sister but is torn between what the life that she later establishes in London. Just being a good wife and mother with no voice, doesn't help her at all. Frequently, she thinks back to her childhood memories and the mistake her mother made, will she continue on that path and lead her past childhood to her two daughters?

Nazneen's family. Since she and her daughters are females, they don't have much of a voice in the family. Chanu, right or wrong, makes the decisions in the household. Often he spends his time away from home leaving Nazneen, bored at home. When Nazneen finally ends up working at home, he becomes envious yet doesn't say much. However, he quitely and deceitfully finds a way for Nazneen's earning to pay for his selfish-bad habits. The oldest daughter sees her mother's frustrations and fights with her mother on why her mother doesn't open up against her father.

Karim is the hot delivery guy. He delivers materials to Brick Lane for women who stay home and sew materials. Nazreen notices him and wonders what he does. When she finally ends up staying home and working, he delivers for her too. Both are attracted and drawn towards each other. Nazreen wants that feeling of love that is missing from her arrange marriage. Since Karim can get almost any women he wants, with Nazreen she gives him that feeling of the innocent, Bengali girl from the village.

Tannishtha Chatterjee reminds me a bit of Nandita Das with her natural beauty. She plays well in her part as the confused, torn, confused Bengali woman in London.

Karim Christopher Simpson is soooo good looking that I didn't pay attention to his acting. I couldn't help it. His accent is so sexy. Interesting, I looked him up finding out he has no desi heritage at all. Taken from IMDB - Although he often plays Anglo-Indian roles, Christopher is not Indian. His father is Irish, his mother Greek-Rwandan.

Sautish Kaushik is really good. His acting was my favorite in the film. The two daughters doesn't have much on-screen time but the oldest had a very significant role telling her mother to speak up against her father.

Overall, Brick Lane is worth a watch. I wasn't wowed by the film or anything.


ajnabi said...

Christopher Simpson is so desi-looking, it's hard to believe he's not! :-) I wonder why I've never heard of this movie? It looks good!

Nicki said...

Hey ajnabi. Yeah, Christopher Simpson sure does! He's so cute too. Me and my eye candy. Can't help it! I mainly heard about this movie cause it was playing in Atlanta, I get e-mails about Asian-American movies being played at Georgia State or at festivals.

Bollyviewer said...

I didnt realise Christopher Simpson wasnt Indian. Saw him playing a Bangladeshi character in the BBC miniseries Second Generation and thought he was of Desi origin at least, if not outright Desi!

I've been meaning to watch this one but if it isnt wow then it probably goes down a few notches on my to-watch list.

Nicki said...

bollyviewer - I know; I was very impress yet shocked that Christopher Simpson had no desi in him at all. Thanks for the info on Second Generation. I like Padmindra too and wonder if I could find the episodes online somewhere. Brick Lane is worth watching only if you're bored. It's not anything great but has its moments.

Anonymous said...

He does look South Asian, but not Bengali or other Eastern South Asian at all. While watching the movie I thought he was from the Western part of South Asia like maybe Afghan, Pakistani or North Indian. There's an Afghan guy I know who looks a lot like him. Anyway he's very handsome.