Dirty Pretty Things

Rental and DVD, cert 15

Blue Velvet had a severed ear, but this London thriller begins with a human heart, found by Nigerian receptionist Okwe blocking the toilet of a London hotel.

This film lifts the lid on the capital's community of illegal immigrants, and the workplaces they're found in - hotels, hospitals, sweatshops, minicab firms.

Earnest insomniac Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor), who used to be a doctor, is soon unravelling an organ-donor racket with the help of his Turkish colleague Senay (Audrey Tautou), and being illegal residents, they have a credible reason for not calling the police.

It's an original story, smoothly assembled, but the strands of social exposé and romantic thriller don't always complement each other. Ejiofor stands out, though, in a role that's almost too sympathetic.


Steve Rose

The GuardianTramp

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