Friday, July 22, 2011

365 Movies Day #116 "Dirty Pretty Things"

This film is a striking drama about two immigrants struggling to live in the city of London. Okwe, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor (The Operative from "Serenity")is a doctor from Africa who has given up his work as a healer to hide from a dark past. His friend, Senay is played by the incredibly talented French actress, Audrey Tautou ("Amelie" and previously mentioned "HAPPENSTANCE") is a Turkish immigrant who dreams of a magical life in the West.

What unfolds as the film progresses is a dark side of the London underworld that will test the courage and morality of one and crumble the dreams of the other. Charming villain, Sneaky, is nailed by Spanish actor Sergi López, who is almost likeable and definitely creates the sense of a bad guy who is the hero of his own story. He almost makes you believe what he is doing is right.

From director Stephen Frears ("High Fidelity", "Dangerous Liaisons", "The Grifters") it's a great tale about immigrants, the price people pay for their dreams and freedom AND the cost of doing the right thing. In closing, I'd like to mention one of the supporting actors, Benedict Wong (previously mentioned "SUNSHINE" and Ridley Scott's upcoming "Prometheus" with Guy Pearce of yesterday's flick). Wong has a wonderful supporting role as Guo Yi, Okwe's good friend who is a porter at the local morgue. Gou has some amazing quotes in the film and really grabs the scenes he's in. It's a great lesson in doing amazing work with a relatively small role and he does it without even PLAYING the role. He's incredibly subtle and it's amazing.


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