Monday, May 17, 2004

While I'm home, I always end up renting lots of movies. Tonight's picture was Dirty Pretty Things, with Audrey Tautou as a lovely woman who escaped Turkey in search of a better life (I can certainly sympathize!). I am always leery of renting indies while staying at my grandparents' house (the great Atanarjuat scandal of 2003 will never be lived down), but even my grandmother grudgingly admitted that this one wasn't too bad.

We start out by following Okwe, a Nigerian immigrant with no papers and two jobs who never seems to sleep. A doctor reduced to driving cabs and answering phones at the desk of a hotel run by a seedy Russian, he catches a few moment's rest each day on the couch he rents from Senay (Tautou). Okwe discovers that an organ sale ring is operating out of the hotel, preying on the desperate illegal immigrants by offering passports for kidneys. We follow his agonizing decision over whether to involve himself, the increasing degradation and desperation of Senay, and finally the bittersweet spectacle of their love. I feared at first that the last act of the film would be as relentlessly downbeat as the first two, but for better or worse we are treated to the more emotionally satisfying sight of villains receiving their just deserts and Senay and Okwe's eventual escape from purgatory. It's worth a rental, I suppose.
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