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Dirty Pretty Things

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sergi Lopez and Sophie Okonedo
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Steve Knight
Rated: R

 

 

No, Dirty Pretty Things is not a documentary about adorable Audrey Tautou's sexy laundry. It's about a doctor trying to save his honor in the face of evil.

Story goes…Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is an illegal immigrant with a suspicious past just trying to disappear, start fresh, in London. He works all the time as both a London cabbie and a night clerk at a seedy London hotel. When answering a late night ring at his hotel job he discovers a plump recently removed human heart clogging up the toilet.

What to do?

When he brings the macabre guest refuge to his bumptious boss Juan (Sergi Lopez) the reaction is not what he expected. "Sneaky" Juan is corporately matter-of-factly about the privacy of the hotel guests and pooh-poohs the idea of involving the police. Ah ha.

Obviously you don't need to be an Oxford scholar to immediately conclude dear Juan is up to a bit of naughty-oy-don't-look-there, and Okwe wants nothing to do with it.

However, creepoozing Juan is now curious as to what this quiet honest clerk is made of. He runs an underworld check and discovers Okwe is a fugitive and a once respected doctor from Nigeria…the wicked web is being woven. He blackmails Okwe into some late night medical shenanigans those of the "Hippocratic Oath" institution fear to fathom…

Okwe is rooming with his fellow immigrant and conservative Muslim coworker, Senay (Audrey Tautou). The smit bug is firmly present between the two even if their cultures clash and it's a wrong 'em boyo for the two to cohabitate they are attracted.

Okwe watches as Senay's life situation of poor immigrant struggle and borderline survival in the big city goes into a hideous tailspin of worst-case scenarios. He decides to save himself and the lovely Senay he will have to make strong and soul altering decisions that could affect them both for the rest of their lives, which if he's wrong, may not be so long anyway.

Wow. Chiwetel Ejiofor commands the screen. You are right there with him, feeling, deciding, and fearing. This is one talented actor folks.

Audrey Tautou, who usually brings us along for the ride, was a tad too sublime in her portrayal. Though the subtly worked in many cases it also kept us just outside the heart of this character.

There are two delightful scene stealing talents glowing before you too; Sergie Lopez, who is exquisite as the instantly repulsive and sadly relatable smarm-master Juan. Just a guy making a living…off the living and Sophie Okonedo, who plays the forthright hotel prostitute.

The story loses it's impact when you start to dissect the happenings, so don't. Just enjoy the bits - the many bits- that do work and indulge in Stephen Frears latest offering of the not so high-tea time streets of Londontown.

Snack Recommendation: Kidney pie and chips….

 

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