Brick Lane: Open Thread

I watched Brick Lane last night. Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book. I wanted to, I swear. Just never got around to it.

Image via Sony Classics.
Image via Sony Classics.

So I can’t offer book-versus-movie criticism, which doesn’t seem like such a big deal considering that everyone always says that “the book is better,” anyway. But I really enjoyed the movie.

This was the first film I’ve seen in awhile where the movie was solely about one woman, told solely from her viewpoint, and focused solely on her life. She told us about her childhood, we saw her neighborhood from her eyes. No one else told us her story: we knew what she knew, we saw what she saw. So often, women’s stories are told as adjacent to men’s, or by men, or by other women. But in this movie, we found out about Nazneen’s sister’s life when she did. We found out about her husband’s career and financial decisions when she did.

Because the story was focused on her, the viewer was able to see a fully-formed character. We saw her prayers, we saw her affair, we saw her trips to the market, we saw her run after her daughter: she wasn’t just a Muslim or just a Bangladeshi or just a housewife. Representations of Muslim women are often so flat that in movies, they only get to be one of these things. But Nazneen’s character was real, like women are: we saw her thought processes, her mistakes, her feelings, and her interactions.

Here’s the trailer:

So, readers, what did you think? This is an open thread for your thoughts on the book, the movie, or both.

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