Dirty Pretty Things


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Dirty Pretty Things
The Masked Reviewer

Director Stephen Frears directed Dirty Pretty Things -- just in case you thought he was the key grip.  Frears'ss's previous work includes Dangerous Liasons (1988), The Grifters (1990), and High Fidelity (2000).  So, he must have some idea of what he's doing.

The Masked Reviewer, as you may know, has a policy of not spoiling any of the plot elements of a movie.  This is particularly tricky in the case of Dirty Pretty Things because it's a movie that would be a dish best served cold.  The less you know about it, the better.  Not that it's a big secret movie, like The Sixth Sense (it's really a man!  Oh wait, wrong movie...) but the less you know about it the better.


Here we are.  The problem is, the Masked Reviewer has already told you what else the director, director Stephen Frears, has directed.  The cast, while all excellent, are all relatively unknown, unless you're up on your foreign films.  And who has time for those? 

The acting is superb, across the board.  Really top notch.  Excellent.  Oscar(tm)-caliber performances from Chiwetel Ejiofor, Audrey Tautou, and Sergi López.  Have you heard of any of them?  Hopefully you will.  Benedict Wong was also excellent.  You've probably never heard of him before either, but his name seems more familiar.  Didn't he play Face in "The A-Team"?  Maybe not.

The film was made with the involvement of the BBC, and that should tell you something.  It has a very British feel about it, which is a good thing.  Do you like the "Prime Suspect" shows from the BBC?  This is nothing like that, really, although it has a somewhat similar look and pacing. 

There are some things that happen in the film that will offend and disturb the more delicate viewers.  It's difficult to describe them without potentially spoiling some of what happens in the film, so what follows is a list of things that may disturb individuals but not all of them are necessarily in Dirty Pretty Things.  Maybe none of them are.  Maybe similar things are.  You won't know unless you see it.  If you don't want to take the chance of ruining something for yourself, just skip the rest of this paragraph.  But if you're one of those people who squirms and covers their eyes and gasps  and cries 'oh no!" when you see graphic imagery, you might want to be aware that there is a bit of that.  The movie isn't terribly graphic, but the more delicate viewers will want to be aware.  So here's the list: graphic depiction of sexual assault, graphic depiction of surgery, graphic depiction of musical flatulence.  You won't know which of those is in the film unless you see it.

Anyway, the film is very compelling throughout.  The characters are all well-formed and well-written.  The pacing is good, the plot is clear, and the acting is some of the best you'll see this year.  Sure, there are a couple of minor plot problems they didn't address...for example, when a certain person has a certain thing done to that person at the end of the film, certain things should have been checked that weren't checked, and they should've been, especially if the other certain person who was doing the certain thing to the first certain person had the background and experience that the certain person was supposed to have.  Enough said.

It's a drama.  It's quite good, and it gives an honest and informative perspective about a group of people you may not know too much about.  A very good film, as very good films go.

Don't be confused...though the Masked Reviewer often leans towards the "fun movie" as opposed to the "serious film", this is a "serious film".  But it's a good one. 


Expectation from the Title: A look inside Martha Stewart's prized dildo collection.  Eew.  Or is that Pretty Dirty Things?

Mother's Rule (Always Say Something Good About Everything):  Who knew unknown people could act so well?

The Pros: Top acting all around, good story, good direction, good pacing...oh heck, it's good.

The Cons: Some people won't like the graphic moments, but they should toughen up.  It's a small movie, no guns, no big fight scenes, no gratuitous nudity. 


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