Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, Sergi Lopez
and Sophie Okonedo
Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Steve Knight
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
web is being woven. He blackmails Okwe into some late night medical
shenanigans those of the "Hippocratic Oath" institution
fear to fathom
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.
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.
Chiwetel Ejiofor commands the screen. You are right there with
him, feeling, deciding, and fearing. This is one talented actor
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.
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
the living and Sophie Okonedo, who plays the forthright hotel
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.
Recommendation: Kidney pie and chips