Brick Lane

16th November 2007 at 00:00
Of course, if they wanted to make a film about the REAL Brick Lane, it would tell the story of Sebastian, a waif-like art student with an asymmetric crop, forced into a life of penury and slave labour behind the bar of one of the East End's gruesomely fashionable nightclubs.

But no. The makers of Brick Lane have opted for a superficial tale of cultural conflict, arranged marriage and frustrated passion played out against the backdrop of 911. Well, what do you expect from a bunch of flaky media types?

Monica Ali's melancholy tale of an 18-year-old woman brought to England to marry a man she has never met has attracted a limited amount of well-publicised criticism for its portrayal of London's Bangladeshi community, but the film has achieved generally good reviews.

The heroine Nazneen's claustrophobic life of shopping, child-rearing and corn-clipping (something her husband Chanu regards as a wifely duty) is sympathetically portrayed, as well as her affair with the dynamic politically-active Karim. The film hits UK cinemas this week.

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