BRICK LANE Add To My Top 10

A Glimpse into a Muslim Community

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: June 20, 2008

Starring: Tannishtha Catterjee, Satish Kaushik, Christopher Simpson, Naeema Begum, and Lana Rahman

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older children and adults

Rating: PG-13

Runtime: 101 minutes

Address Comments To:

Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Co-Presidents
Sony Pictures Classics (Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
Email: Sony_Classics@spe.sony.com

Content:

(PaPaPa, AP, L, SS, N, D, M) Very strong Muslim worldview with some anti-American elements; three obscenities, no profanities; no violence; depicted sex between married couple, depicted adultery; upper male nudity; no alcohol use; smoking; and, praying to false god, negative husband, racial tension.

Summary:

BRICK LANE is the story of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi teenager who is married against her will to a Bangladeshi man living in Britain and who struggles to overcome her belief in fate to take control of her own life. BRICK LANE comes from a clear Muslim worldview and needs extreme caution.

Review:

BRICK LANE is the story of Nazneen (played by Tannishtha Chatterjee) a Bangladeshi teenager who is married against her will to a Bangladeshi man, Chanu (played by Satish Kaushik), who lives in Britain. Fast forward 20 years. Now, with two daughters, Nazneen struggles with a love-less marriage, the temptation of an adulterous affair, and a yearning to escape fate, which she believes has destined her to such a disappointing life.

Living on Brick Lane, a British Muslim community in 2001, Nazneen slowly takes steps to take control of her life. She begins to take in sewing from a 20-something businessman, Karim (played by Christopher Simpson), and slowly they begin to have an adulterous affair. Then, the community begins to erupt in racial tension when the World Trade Center is bombed and the Brick Lane community feels anti-Muslim hostility from their neighboring Brits. Karim begins to become a pro-Muslim advocate while the tension between Nazneen and her husband increases.

Throughout the story, Nazneen longs to return home to visit her sister, whom she has not seen since she left Bangledesh. Fed up with the pro-Islamic advocates, Chanu finally agrees to leave the west and return home. In a twist, Nazneen decides that the UK is really her home and for once tells her husband what she wants. This solidifies her decision to try to take action on her life and not to submit to her belief in fate.

This movie has many gentle, enjoyable moments. However, it moves very slowly with long, studied shots of characters thinking and reflecting but not speaking. Viewers are left to try to follow their emotions in this very internal movie. Though anti-Muslim sentiment is a plot point, we only hear characters discuss it, but never see it first hand. This distances viewers from the story.

The worldview is decidedly Islamic as see Nazneen prays to Allah and discusses Allah’s will for her. As in many parts of the world, the Islamic faith is mixed although it does emphasize the decidedly Muslim resignation to fate (everything has been totally determined by Allah). This is the central conflict of the story as Nazneed struggles to take control of her life. Regrettably, she trades an Islamic worldview for a western humanist one, missing the truth found in the Bible and Jesus.

There is very minimal foul language and often only from anti-Muslim ruffians. Unfulfilling sexual relations with the husband are contrasted with satisfying relations with the young boyfriend, Karim. As the political aspect of the story increases, there is some minor anti-American rhetoric. Also, a mannequin that looks to be President Bush is burned in effigy.

BRICK LANE is slow moving and very internal but is an insightful look into the world of a Muslim community.

In Brief:

BRICK LANE is the story of Nazneen, a Bangladeshi teenager who is married against her will to a Bangladeshi man, Chanu, living in Britain. Fast forward 20 years. Now with two daughters, Nazneen struggles with a loveless marriage, the temptation of an adulterous affair, and a yearning to escape fate, which she believes has destined her to a disappointing life.

This movie’s worldview is decidedly Islamic. Nazneen prays to Allah and discusses Allah’s will for her. As in many parts of the world, the Islamic faith is mixed with a decidedly Hindu resignation to fate. This is the central conflict of the story as the protagonist struggles to take control of her life. Regrettably, she trades an Islamic worldview for a western humanist one, missing the truth found in the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is minimal foul language and that only from anti-Muslim ruffians. Unfulfilling sexual relations with the husband are contrasted with satisfying relations with the young boyfriend. As the political aspect of the story increases, there is some minor anti-American rhetoric. Also, a mannequin that looks to be President Bush is burned in effigy.