Movie Review - Dirty Pretty Things

Essay by umkchell April 2005

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Grisly symbolism is one way to snatch your audience's attention.

Too many times, thrillers tend to be loud, over-the-top, and be extremely fast paced in order to prove their point. They don't take into account that sometimes being slow, methodical, and grim can lead the way to salvation.

Thankfully, "Dirty Pretty Things" is a change from the norm we've become used to, and is an absorbing and intriguing drama that captures our interest from the first image on the screen.

It is dark, quiet, and pensive.

But most of all, it is truly brilliant.

Directed by Stephen Frears ("High Fidelity"), he embarks on a quest to expose the shady goings of the London underground, set within the world of an upscale London hotel.

Also, he continually serves to keep the audience involved, allowing us to either play the role of a super sleuth, or be enthralled by the odious nature we see on the screen.

Okwe is an illegal Nigerian immigrant, working as a cabbie by day, and the graveyard reception shift at a hotel by night, thanks to the help of a coca leaf to stay awake.

Enter Senay. She is a maid at the hotel, and also is a good friend to Okwe by allowing him to stay on her couch.

However, she too is troubled by demons as she is an Turkish immigrant, and is hounded by gruff, Turkish immigration officials at virtually every step she takes.

Although Okwe, too, has his immigration problems, his larger dilemma consists of Juan, his sleazy boss at the hotel.

After Okwe disturbingly stumbles upon a human heart in a toilet, he reports the grim findings to his boss, and realizes Juan is involved in a deeper scheme which plays on illegal immigrants and wants Okwe to help him...