Brick Lane

Posted by Abbie on February 6, 2008 under Achive

The childhood memories of Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee), a Bangladeshi woman living in London, haunt her as she goes through day to day life with her husband and two growing daughters. Her life is a classic/stereotypical story of a girl getting shipped off at the tender age of 17 in order to marry a man she has never met. Letters from her sister in Bangladesh and an insinuated case of chronic depression lead Nazneen through a myriad of emotions and different attempts to validate her existence. In the first 20 minutes of the film the audience is introduced to the strong bond between Nazneen and her younger sister and their mother’s severe depression that leads to her suicide.

While it’s not action-packed, Brick Lane manages to convey intense emotion and insight into womanhood, female sexuality, the Muslim community, and being a mother to children vastly different from oneself. Possibly the single most articulate scene in the film shows Nazneen coming home to a flat in an enormous run-down tower block; conveying both the typical living situation of Muslims in London, and that Nazneen is simply one of thousands in respect to her feelings of isolation and melancholy.

The film ends with Nazneen realising certain truths about her sister, love, and herself when she finally learns not only to ask for what she wants, but what exactly that is. Though it is a tad slow, I would certainly recommend this film to anyone up for an interesting story and maybe a good cry.

Rating: 7 hand-sewn saris out of 10


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