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Dirty Pretty Things [DVD] [2002]


Price: £7.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Audrey Tautou, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sophie Okonedo, Sergi López, Zlatko Buric
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, Somali
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Oct. 2003
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000AE7CD
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,777 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

After a stint in Hollywood, Stephen Frear returns to his trademark genre in this gritty thriller about the lives of immigrant workers in London. Highly educated Nigerian, Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) can only find work in London as a taxi driver or a hotel concierge and shares a room with another illegal immigrant Senay (Audrey Tatou), who works as a maid in the hotel. They both live in fear of being caught and deported and when one night, whilst working on the front desk, Okay is asked to check on a broken lavatory, he discovers a grisly secret. But when he tells his boss about what he saw, Okay is blackmailed to keep quiet and finds himself and Senay being lured into the shady underworld of illegal immigration.

From Amazon.co.uk

With Dirty Pretty Things Stephen Frears (The Grifters) gives us a dark gritty film examining London's seedier underbelly. Oscar nominated Chiwetel Ejiofor is Okwe, a Nigerian doctor who fled to Britain after the death of his family. So far he has evaded capture by the authorities and successfully held down two jobs as a taxi driver and night porter in a downmarket hotel. But all this changes when he finds a human heart blocking a toilet in one of the rooms and discovers his manager is running an organ trafficking operation offering illegal immigrants passports for organs. The plot then follows a well-trodden thriller path as Okwe wrestles with his conscience and also the growing affections of Turkish asylum seeker Senay (Audrey Tautou).

Ejiofor and Tautou give incredibly affecting performances as the disenfranchised inhabitants of the capital city and the plot is harrowing without being sensationalist. The only disappointment is the black-and-white morality that holds the film together. In a drama that sets out to challenge our perceptions and prejudices, the inappropriately Hollywood ending is a letdown that does nothing to raise this film above being a stock thriller, albeit of the more intelligent kind. --Kristen Bowditch

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "poke23" on 23 July 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In terms of culture this film shows us brits a truly different story of immigrants and multi ethnic communities, whether you agree or disagree with the country's policies on immigration, I think you will be hard pushed not to feel compassion and sympathy for these characters. Having said that I must stress this film is not about doom and gloom, it keeps a good deal of humour throughout, but it has a strong undercurrent, and a plot which I found original and not easily predicted. The acting is fantastic, the only actor I knew of before being Audrey Tautou of Amelie fame, which just shows her versatility, as this role is a far cry from the lovable french girl, she plays a Turkish refugee trying to survive in London, paying rent and food bills and not being allowed to legally work. The lead role being played by Chiwetel Ejiofor is equally convincing, his charater is lighter and more comedic which brings the whole film a watchable yet intense quality. This film has to be one of the must see films of the year, do yourself a favour, drop the holywood blockbusters for this week, you won't be sorry.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By PeeBee TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Sept. 2003
Format: DVD
Dirty Pretty Things will never be mainstream and will never be viewed by the masses. This is a real shame because the majority of the blockbusters we get to see have nothing to offer other than perhaps 90 minutes of special effects. Dirty Pretty Things will stay with you for a very long time after the final scene plays.
The film refuses to be heavy handed about the issues which most will focus on -- illegal immigrants. Neither does the film lose itself in characterisation at the expense of story -- there is a good plot which really gets you gripped as you wonder how things will turn out.
I cannot recommend this film highly enough. I hope that the British film industry continues to make films like this and resist the urge to only make "Hugh Grant vehicles". DPT reminds us how powerful cinema can be, without needing huge explosions to impress you. I urge you to watch this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 May 2013
Format: Blu-ray
Dirty Pretty Things was at once a pleasant surprise and a slight disappointment. It stands head and shoulders above the wreckage of many Britflicks of its day, but it still never quite reaches the heights. Part of the problem is that the background is the story, leaving us with an at times slight narrative and a very predictable final twist that seems very much like one of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Very Much as We Expected (the moment Chiwetel Ejiofor stops Sergi Lopez's hands from shaking you know exactly what's coming).

That said, it's still a worthwhile trip. Unlike most British films, and London ones in particular, it actually uses the city as a character - in this case the hidden city. We see virtually no ordinary British citizens. Instead the film is inhabited by the illegal immigrants who do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, the lead character a Nigerian doctor who works double-shifts as taxi driver and hotel porter and rents a couch in Turkish maid Audrey Tatou's couch on a timeshare basis. This milieu is superbly captured, and you get a sense of a world not so much hidden as ignored. Frears direction too is back to the power and drive of his early work after his recent flabby American entries, although he still can't resist caricaturing the Immigration officials - rather than the bored, disinterested and impersonal reality he's opted for cheap comic book villains that diminishes every scene they appear in. Similarly, he doesn't always keep a tight enough rein on some of the supporting performances, Sophie Okenedo in particular: she can be a much better actress, but here she's allowed to veer too much to stereotype and has a couple of awkward moments.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter R VINE VOICE on 9 April 2010
Format: DVD
It was only because of a mild fascination for Audrey Tautou that I stumbled across this film. Very glad that I did.

Both my wife and I thinks this is one of the best films we have seen in a long time.

The film moves at a very steady pace (that's NOT a synonym for slow and boring) , with the story drawing you into the characters and vice versa. The acting is absolute top-notch and the characters very believable. There are no cheesy stereotypes or clichés that distract from the story.

Here is a story set in London that really uncovers the not-so-pleasant underbelly of the London illegal immigrant scene and the struggles that they go through in order to try and live undetected here in the UK.

If you are looking for an interesting film, with an arresting story, and engaging characters, then this will in no way disappoint. This is easily in my top 10 films, and possibly even in my top 5. Well worth the watch.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 Nov. 2005
Format: DVD
Dirty Pretty Things was at once a pleasant surprise and a slight disappointment. It stands head and shoulders above the wreckage of most recent Britflicks, but it still never quite reaches the heights. Part of the problem is that the background is the story, leaving us with an at times slight narrative and a very predictable final twist that seems very much like one of Roald Dahl's Tales of the Very Much as We Expected (the moment Chiwetel Ejiofor stops Sergi Lopez's hands from shaking you know exactly what's coming).

That said, it's still a worthwhile trip. Unlike most British films, and London ones in particular, it actually uses the city as a character - in this case the hidden city. We see virtually no ordinary British citizens. Instead the film is inhabited by the illegal immigrants who do the dirty jobs that no-one else wants, the lead character a Nigerian doctor who works double-shifts as taxi driver and hotel porter and rents a couch in Turkish maid Audrey Tatou's couch on a timeshare basis. This milieu is superbly captured, and you get a sense of a world not so much hidden as ignored. Frears direction too is back to the power and drive of his early work after his recent flabby American entries, although he still can't resist caricaturing the Immigration officials - rather than the bored, disinterested and impersonal reality he's opted for cheap comic book villains that diminishes every scene they appear in. Similarly, he doesn't always keep a tight enough rein on some of the supporting performances, Sophie Okenedo in particular: she can be a much better actress, but here she's allowed to veer too much to stereotype and has a couple of awkward moments.
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