Brick Lane

Rated 3.0

A young woman (Tannishtha Chatterjee), forced from her Bangladeshi village into an arranged marriage in London’s East End, starts an affair with a fellow immigrant (Christopher Simpson), but loses him to the radicalizing force of the post-9/11 anti-Muslim backlash. Meanwhile, her husband (Satish Kaushik) steals the show—an ostensibly conventional feminist domestic drama in which displacement begets self-discovery—when his own fears of inadequacy bubble to the surface. Writers Laura Jones and Abi Morgan adapt Monica Ali’s novel with due sensitivity (and necessary selectivity), and Sarah Gavron’s occasionally mannered direction is at its best when allowing the fine and well-cast actors to do the heavy lifting. The story has many themes to contend with and sometimes accordingly becomes unfocused, but when fully controlled it’s also quite moving and surprising.