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Thursday, May 24, 2007 

"Good at chess usually means bad at life."

Until I watched it again tonight, I'd forgotten how much I like Stephen Frears' Dirty Pretty Things. Strong performances from both leads, yeah, and I'm a fan of Frears' stuff in general, but something of the idea of looking at the London that exists at a slight remove from the "real" one, the one we'd tend to think about, is tremendously appealing to me. And although Okwe, our protaganist, is maybe a bit too morally upstanding to be believable. Or not - his stiffness and inability to speak much of the time comes hand-in-hand with his seeming inability as opposed to reluctance to do the wrong thing, or compromise in any other fashion. Tautou does a good job, but it's really alllllll Ejiofor's movie, as it should be. That his friends (the hospital porter, the prostitute) are funny and casual is odd but somehow realistic.

And this is the funniest, most perversely compelling thing I've seen in weeks. Poke around it for a bit, and avoid the friggin' manticore.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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