Today is International Migrants Day and in honour of this I watched the film Dirty Pretty Things. This is not a film I had heard of outside of the Into Film wallchart but with its short length (just shy of 100 minutes) I thought it would be an okay watch for an evening after work. Audrey Tautou’s name in the opening credits also piqued my interest and her portrayal of Turkish Senay did not disappoint.
The cast was the thing that really kept me watching. From leading man Chiwetel Ejiofor, who I recognised from not only 12 Years A Slave (see my last Into Film post) but also Love Actually, to helping hand Sophie Okonedo, the cast is vastly varied and immensely talented. Even in a film less than two hours long there was great character development too.
The plot is full of twists and turns and you can get emotionally attached to the characters quite easily. I don’t want to say much more about it, but this is certainly a film with a moral centre. There are multiple moral dilemmas for the illegal immigrants who just want to survive in the UK and escape the horrors of wherever they are from, not least the fact that everything must be done without alerting anyone in authority. The bleak future that they often see is summarised by the words of Ejiofor’s character: “For you and I there is only survival”
Full of storylines I didn’t see coming, Dirty Pretty Things is not afraid to showcase the lengths people will go to gain a better life for themselves, portrayed by a wonderful cast. Three stars, only due to the deep and uncomfortable subject matter.