Saturday, August 25, 2018

Dirty Pretty Things

Movie Name: Dirty Pretty Things
Year of Release: 2003
Director: Stephen Frears
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sergi Lopez, Sophie Okonedo, Benedict Wong, Zlatko Buric
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Following the well received “High Fidelity”, director Stephen Frears quickly changed gears again, this time around partnering with writer/director Steven Knight, for what turned out one of the greatly reviewed films of the year, “Dirty Pretty Things”. The film follows the story of Okwe, a Nigerian physician, currently working multiple jobs in London, since he is an illegal immigrant. Okwe works as a hotel receptionist, and also practices some medicine, in order to make ends meet. The hotel where he works is a center for all sorts of under the radar activities, most of them under the tutelage of Okwe’s manager, Juan. On a particular occasion Okwe discovers a human heart blocking a toilet in a recently vacated room, and he slowly uncovers a sinister trafficking behind the fa├žade of the peaceful hotel. Stephen Frears is a reference name in the British film industry since he shot to prominence in the 80s with the celebrated “My Beautiful Laundrette” and “Prick Up Your Ears”, which he quickly followed with the acclaimed “Dangerous Liaisons”. Since then he has had his fair share of successes and misfires, “The Queen” and “Mary Reilly” respectively, but “Dirty Pretty Things” ranks as one of his best reviewed films. The film recaptures the grittiness of his earlier work, showcasing the not so pleasant reality that lies behind the glitz and glamour of London life. The trails and tribulations of migrant workers, and the criminal underworld, are represented without glamour, instead opting for somewhat direct approach to the proceedings. The film also benefits from a phenomenal cast, from the always great Chiwetel Ejiofor, to the underrated Audrey Tautou, the menacing (and credible) Sergi Lopez and the always reliable and talented Sophie Okonedo. It’s a film anchored in the traditional British realism approach, featuring the always beautiful cinematography from Chris Menges, and the score from Nathan Larson. A very good film worth watching.