Film Review: Sarah Gavron's Brick Lane (2008) Blu-Ray DVD Release: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson

Brick Lane Bengali MovieBrick Lane is the story of a beautiful young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen (Chatterjee), who arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved sister and home, for an arranged marriage and a new life. Trapped within the four walls of her flat in East London, and in a loveless marriage with the middle aged Chanu (Kaushik), she fears her soul is quietly dying. Her sister Hasina (Zafreen), meanwhile, continues to live a carefree life back in Bangladesh, stumbling from one adventure to the next. Nazneen struggles to accept her lifestyle, and keeps her head down in spite of life's blows, but she soon discovers that life cannot be avoided - and is forced to confront it the day that the hotheaded young Karim (Simpson) comes knocking at her door.

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Brick Lane is adapted from Monica Ali's novel of the same name. You can buy the bookBrick Lane online: Brick Lane; A Novel

Watch the theatrical trailer of Brick Lane online:

The dazzling Bollywood superstar Tannishtha Chatterjee shines in the British film Brick Lane, based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali. The film is true to the delicately nuanced novel, which tells the story of a young Bangladeshi girl's being married off to a young man living in England--sight unseen. The heroine, Nazneen, as played by Chatterjee, is humble and obedient, and if mildly unhappy in her new life, she's loath to be vocal about it. In a voiceover, Nazneen, recalling her mother's death, says, "I remembered her saying, 'If Allah wanted us to ask questions, he would have made us men.'" And yet: Nazneen finds that the free-thinking society surrounding her penetrates the traditions she holds dear, and slowly realizes she's awakening to her own ideas, her own choices, her own sensuality, long tamped down by her loveless marriage. Chatterjee is utterly believable as Nazneen, a young lady of deep moral conviction who nevertheless is slowly, surely shaped by the forces in society. The film echoes strains from other recent, delicate British immigrant tales, most notably "Bhaji on the Beach" and "Bend It Like Beckham," with a stellar central character who dares to allow herself to open her soul, just a bit. --A.T. Hurley

A Sony Pictures Classics, Release: June 20, 2008. Director: Sarah Gavron. Writer: Laura Jones, Abi Morgan. Cast: Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson, Zafreen. Genre: Drama.