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Brick Lane

30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A young Bangladeshi woman, Nazneen, arrives in 1980s London, leaving behind her beloved sister and home for an arranged marriage and a new life. Trapped within the four walls of her flat in East London, and in a loveless marriage with the middle-aged Chanu, she fears her soul is quietly dying. Her sister Hasina, meanwhile, continues to live a carefree life back in Bangladesh, stumbling from one adventure to the next. Nazneen struggles to accept her new lifestyle, and keeps her head down in spite of her predicament, but she's soon forced to confront her dreams when the hotheaded young Karim comes knocking at her door.

The dazzling Bollywood superstar Tannishtha Chatterjee shines in the British film Brick Lane, based on the best-selling novel by Monica Ali. The film is true to the delicately nuanced novel, which tells the story of a young Bangladeshi girl's being married off to a young man living in England--sight unseen. The heroine, Nazneen, as played by Chatterjee, is humble and obedient, and if mildly unhappy in her new life, she's loath to be vocal about it. In a voiceover, Nazneen, recalling her mother's death, says, "I remembered her saying, 'If Allah wanted us to ask questions, he would have made us men.'" And yet: Nazneen finds that the free-thinking society surrounding her penetrates the traditions she holds dear, and slowly realizes she's awakening to her own ideas, her own choices, her own sensuality, long tamped down by her loveless marriage. Chatterjee is utterly believable as Nazneen, a young lady of deep moral conviction who nevertheless is slowly, surely shaped by the forces in society. The film echoes strains from other recent, delicate British immigrant tales, most notably "Bhaji on the Beach" and "Bend It Like Beckham," with a stellar central character who dares to allow herself to open her soul, just a bit. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Ebow Graham, Khalid Miah, Andrew Godini Reid, Jean Carnell, Debjani Deb
  • Directors: Sarah Gavron
  • Producers: Chris Collins, Alison Owen, Christopher Collins
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 13, 2009
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001JIL93O
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,394 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Brick Lane" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on January 22, 2009
Format: DVD
"Brick Lane" is based on Monica Ali's controversial novel of the same title, and tells the story of a Bangladeshi Muslim woman, Nazneen [Tannishta Chatterjee] who was married off at 17 by her father to a much older man living in London. Nazneen leaves behind her beloved sister, and there is also the haunting specter of her mother's suicide when she was a young girl. Nazneen's sister keeps up an active correspondence with her, indicating a life of adventure and excitement, in stark contrast to Nazneen's own repressed life - one of monotony and drudgery, of a loveless union with a self-absorbed man, and of caring for her two daughters. Nazneen's way of coping with her humdrum life is to quote her deceased mother: "Life is to be endured."

Things change when a new neighbor moves in next door - an independent Bangladeshi woman who takes in sewing to make ends meet and Nazneen soon finds herself doing the same [her loser of a husband quits his job and takes his time finding another one, deeming most jobs as beneath him]. It is this new-found 'independence' that puts Nazneen in the path of Karim [Christopher Simpson] a fiery-tempered, handsome young man who brings to life feelings Nazneen has long suppressed. The pair are mutually attracted and soon find themselves meeting in secret, stealing kisses, and finally indulging in an affair. But Karim doesn't merely spark lust in Nazneen, he is also the catalyst that arouses her awareness of racial and religious identity and when 9/11 occurs, Nazneen finds herself being swept up in a series of events that challenge her traditional beliefs and give her the strength to make the right choices - for herself and her children.

The lead actress did an amazing job as the lonely and unfulfilled Nazneen.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Stephanie De Pue VINE VOICE on October 15, 2008
"Brick Lane," an English film released in 2007, is based on the popular, award-winning novel of the same name by Monica Ali, Brick Lane: A Novel. It deals with the lives of Bangladeshis in modern-day London's gritty East End: and was filmed in Shoreditch, London. It was directed by Sarah Gavron, and stars some very good, presumably Indian actors, with whom, I expect, most of us are not familiar.

We meet Nazneem as a child, in her beautiful Bangladeshi homeland: an arranged marriage forces her to leave home, and her beloved sister, and sends her to 1980's London. Tanishtha Chatterjee does very strong work as Nazneem Ahmed, married to Chanu Ahmed, played by Satish Kaushik: he too does very strong work. We initially assume Chanu is a chubby fool. He's inordinately proud of his education, when he doesn't seem to have much, and is a minor tyrant around the home. To which poor homesick, lonely Nazneem, in constant correspondence with her sister, is largely confined, caring for her husband and two daughters. But after 15-some odd years of this, more money is needed to finance a trip home: Nazneem gets an old sewing machine to do piecework. Karim, (Christopher Simpson), the handsome, sexy young man who brings the work to her, eventually gets her out into the world. And we do get an eyeful of Shoreditch, a colorful, crowded, hard-edged neighborhood that has served for centuries as home to the poor, and/or recent immigrants. Then along comes our 9/11, to arouse anti-Moslem feelings in England, as in the States, and the world changes around them. Most of us will find we are forced to amend our opinions of Chanu by this changed world.

Photography, both in the U.K.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diana Faillace Von Behren TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2009
Format: DVD
As far as heroines go, Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee) of the 2008 film adaptation of Monica Ali's "Brick Lane" epitomizes an unfulfilled life of self-imposed servitude facilitated through a sense of duty ingrained in her through a dour mixture of her Bangladesh culture and her family's expectations. Like Emma Bovary, Nazneen lives vicariously through the written page, in this case, letters from her beautiful sister, Hasina, that recount a fascinating life of romance and adventure far removed from the drudgery of Brick Lane in the east of London.

Touted repeatedly as "a girl from the village" with a country girl's modesty and ethical sensibilities deeply rooted in Islam, Nazneen shows signs of life only through the flickering of her huge velvety eyes. The rest of her being--both physical and mental--is swathed in gauzy saris that fold over her diminutive frame like camouflage allowing her to float along the London streets without being seen. Indeed, even at home, Nazneen meshes into the background, a dutiful unchallenging wife and cautious mother. Even her grief for the loss of her firstborn child is muted with a resigned acceptance that the audience instinctively knows will become part of her cathartic undoing.

For Nazneen, life cannot be more depressing. Chanu (Satish Kaushik), her husband through a marriage arranged through her father, continually deludes himself with regard to his potential for the success historically earned by other generations of immigrants once employing residence on Brick Lane as a springboard towards assimilation.
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