Film review: Brick Lane

Adapted from Monica Ali’s widely acclaimed 2003 novel, this is an intimate portrait of a family and a bittersweet love story.

If you don’t know London well, the title of this film probably doesn’t mean much to you. To explain: Brick Lane is a famous road in east London known for its vibrant markets and curry houses; its large Bangladeshi community provides the setting for this film.

The film tells the story of Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee), a beautiful young woman in an arranged marriage. Aged 17, she was sent to London from Bangladesh to marry and since then has lead a life of submission to what she considers her fate: a life with her tyrant of a husband.

Having never felt at ease in London, she longs to return to her childhood home. Things look bleak until a job as a seamstress introduces her to Karim (Christopher Simpson), a passionate young man who gives her the confidence to take control of her life. This is a beautifully shot film, but there’s something underwhelming about the whole thing; it has all the ingredients but lacks punch.