Toeing the line between lyrical and hackneyed, Brick Lane is the story of a Bangladeshi woman living in London's East End. Sixteen years into her prearranged marriage, Nazneen (Tannishtha Chatterjee) is a quiet, martyr-like wife and mother living far away from her beloved sister and home. With very little to occupy her time, she takes up sewing at home for extra income—and her life gets way more exciting when the delivery guy happens to be a strapping twentysomething hottie.
If you're starting to wonder if there's any "self-discovery" in Brick Lane, you'd be dead right: Nazneen's "journey" in which she "finds herself" (and gets to finally have some decent sex) is standard indie film fodder, but Brick Lane's cast does amazing stuff with what they're given. Nazneen and her husband's relationship is complex and riveting, repulsive yet endearing.
But ultimately, Brick Lane feels a bit flat: Nazneen is too saintly (umm, except for that adultery thing) to sympathize with, and her husband too doltish to feel bad for. Maybe I'm too emotionally juvenile to understand the tough "adult" decisions in Brick Lane, but to me it's a no-brainer between trimming the corns on your corpulent husband's feet or some hot afternoon delight with a young buck.