Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe To Empire!
Save up to 69%
Empire
Film Studies 101
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Tannishtha Chatterjee
Satish Kaushik
Christopher Simpson
Naeema Begum
Lana Rahman.
Directors
Sarah Gavron.
Screenwriters
Laura Jones
Abi Morgan.
Running Time
102 minutes

LATEST FILM REVIEWS
Futuro Beach
4 Star Empire Rating
Honeytrap
2 Star Empire Rating
Phoenix
4 Star Empire Rating
We Are Many
4 Star Empire Rating
A Fuller Life
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Still Alice
5 Star Empire Rating
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Duke Of Burgundy, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Whiplash
5 Star Empire Rating
Long Good Friday, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Brick Lane
East is East without the big laughs


submit to reddit


Plot
At 17, Nazneen (Chatterjee) enters an arranged marriage with Chanu (Kaushik). Years later, living in Brick Lane with her family, she meets young man Karim (Simpson).


Review
Brick Lane

While films such as East Is East and Mischief Night tackled the immigrant experience with a wry, comic touch, Brick Lane takes a more sober approach. Based on the novel by Monica Ali, it focuses on the claustrophobic life of Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee), a wife and mother whose grey, routine East End existence is in sharp contrast to her colourful, free childhood in Bangladesh.

After years of being stuck indoors while her husband Chanu (Kaushik) is at work and her teenage daughters at school, Nazneen nervously accepts an offer of work, sewing clothes at home. While the job itself is a catalyst for increased independence, it comes with an added bonus: handsome young Karim (Simpson), who brings and collects the goods. Karim is sensitive to Nazneen’s culture: he politely asks if her husband is home when he first calls round and is wary of intruding. But he’s the type of Westernised Muslim Chanu regards with suspicion, and his flirtatious manner spells danger: is he a serial womaniser? Karim’s ambiguities help steer Brick Lane away from predictable romantic territory, without denying the audience the vicarious pleasure of forbidden love.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks send the drama into more political territory. As Muslims are targeted by vengeful locals, Karim becomes politicised, Chanu alienated, and Nazneen caught in the middle. Still, there’s enjoyable humour at the expense of rotund Chanu, who’s constantly trying to convince his family - and himself – that he’s a successful businessman in the face of frequent, sometimes comical failures.

Crucially, Chanu and Nazneen’s routine relationship is very well depicted. The film never demonises Chanu, ultimately treating him with sympathy and affection. Such well-drawn characters help make this an involving portrait of a community whose patriarchal traditions are under threat.


Verdict
The daily grind of a Brick Lane Bangladeshi is credibly brought to life in this sensitive and intelligent adaptation of Monica Ali’s novel.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Brick Lane
Empire Star Rating

i saw this film without reading the book, and some of what's in the review i don't remember being in the film at all (e.g. i didn't get that the love interest was potentially a womaniser?) Maybe you'll get more from it if you know the book, but to me it all seemed very muddled, unclear and in the end, really really dull. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by hazyjane at 13:14, 22 November 2007 | Report This Post


Brick Lane

Having been born and bought up in the East End of London, and being of Bangladeshi descent myself AND living near Brick Lane - i would like to see how this film comes across. Of course films normally potraying a particular cultures sometimes arent a true depiction of the culture, but Brick Lane seems good, so i'll post my full review after watching it..adios I'm posting i rating only cos i have to ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mabs at 14:31, 02 November 2007 | Report This Post



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
General Election 2015 Photoshop Special: Empire's Movie Cabinet
Vote for Smaug!

Chris Rock: Role By Role
The comedian talks us through his hits and misses

Film Studies 101: Being A Location Manager
Avengers: Age Of Ultron's Jamie Lengyel shares the tricks of the trade

10 Avengers: Age Of Ultron Secrets
Exclusive: Joss Whedon spills the beans on Empire's spoiler podcast

Updated! Stan Lee’s Marvel-lous Cameos – Now With Even More Cameos
From Daredevil to... Daredevil?

11 Of The Silliest Sesame Street Film Parodies
From Aveggies: Age Of Ultron to Big Birdman (and back again)

Richard Armitage Bids Farewell To The Hobbit
On goat-riding, keepsakes and saying goodbye to Thorin

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Subscribe now and save up to 70%

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire Digital Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Subscribe now and save up to 69%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)