The story of a Bangladeshi woman in London (Brick Lane reviewed)


Brick Lane (UK/India, 2007)

Seen: Friday, 10th July 2009 (cinema, Lato Filmów festival)
Runtime: 102′
Director: Sarah Gavron
Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson
Production House: Film4, Ingenious Film Partners, Ruby Films, Seven Seas Productions, UK Film Council
Plot: The story of a Bangladeshi woman, married to a Bangladeshi man in London and how she gradually starts taking control over her life.


Impressions In Short
A very female-centric film - I’ve grown to appreciate these kinds of films a lot, they’re not that common.
I also loved how perceptive the film is. There’s an amazing amount of detail in the portrayal of people. I totally get why it got so many raves abroad.

More About the Film
It’s another of those relatively rare films where the story is told solely by women - the director, novel author, scriptwriter and editor are all female. And it really shows. Not just because of the subject matter (this film deals very much with the world of women), but IMO women see the world differently and this is one of those films where that’s very obvious.
It’s a very perceptive film. The characters and their feelings are portrayed with a huge amount of detail. The camera follows them very closely, a huge amount of the action happens in close-up. The performances of the entire cast are excellent.
I particularly loved Satish Kaushik, who played the husband. It was a very tough role. The character is not exactly an abusive husband, but he’s totally blind to the needs of his wife and daughters and has quite a chauvinist nature. It would be very easy to vilify him, but I ended up having a lot of sympathy for him by the end of the film. The film never judges any of the characters and that’s one of its biggest strengths I think.
It’s generally a very interesting portrayal of the Bangladeshi community in London - Bangladeshis that have assimilated well and Bangladeshis that haven’t, the young and the old, emancipated women and those bound by tradition, the racial hate that many South Asians have to face from white Londoners and there’s even a hint of Muslim extremism portrayed.

Yes I think. Though you should take into account that’s it’s the slow, “lets concentrate on the details of life” sort of film - not everyone’s cup of tea that.

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