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Brick Lane

Brick Lane

Director:Sarah Gavron
Cast:Tannishtha Chatterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson
Release Date:2008

By Jason Ferguson | Posted 9/17/2008

Novelist Monica Ali's 2003 debut Brick Lane tells the story of a young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen, who, after an arranged marriage, moves into the predominantly Bangladeshi "Brick Lane" neighborhood in London, tentatively acclimates herself to her new environs and gains new perspective on both her past and current lives. Director Sarah Gavron's feature-film debut Brick Lane, is a movie about a young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee), who gets up the nerve to fool around on her gullible husband. Yet Gavron's gutting of Ali's richly textured and precisely populated world, along with some considerable temporal shifts (events are reordered, compressed, or reconfigured with great gusto) results in a work that elicits an entirely different emotional response than its predecessor. Not worse--just different. Chatterjee is blessed with a perfectly expressive visage and does a great job of outwardly presenting the timid stoicism of someone who is socially and emotionally isolated from the world around her. Eventually, Nazneen's nostalgia is replaced with a newfound independence. Though Gavron gets there in an entirely different--and decidedly less substantial--way than Ali, you're still confronted with a main character who has undertaken an epic journey in a very confined space.

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