Dirty Pretty Things

Dirty Pretty Things Information

Dirty Pretty Things is a 2002 British thriller film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steven Knight, a drama about two illegal immigrants in London. It was produced by BBC Films and Celador Films.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and won a British Independent Film Award for "Best Independent British Film" in 2003. For his performance as Okwe, Chiwetel Ejiofor won the 2003 British Independent Film Award for best actor.


Okwe, an illegal immigrant to the United Kingdom, is a African man who drives a cab in London during the day and works at the front desk of a hotel at night "? chewing khat (a stimulant) to keep awake. Okwe was formerly a doctor in his home country. In London, he is pressed into giving medical treatment to other poor immigrants "? including fellow cab drivers with venereal diseases. Okwe's friend Guo Yi, an employee at a hospital mortuary, provides him with antibiotics under the table.

A prostitute known as Juliette, who acts like an unofficial member of the staff, tells Okwe to check a room in which she was staying and he finds the toilet overflowing. He fishes out the blockage -- a human heart. The manager of the hotel, Juan, runs an illegal operation at the hotel wherein immigrants swap kidneys for forged passports. After learning of Okwe's past as a doctor, Juan pressures him to join his operation as a surgeon, but Okwe refuses.

Okwe secretly boards at an apartment rented by Senay Gelik, a Turkish woman who works as a maid in the same hotel. The two immigrants form a friendship, but their situation becomes complicated when immigration police begin to hound her, suspecting that she is employed and/or accepting rent from a boarder, each of which is disallowed under the terms of her ELR status. Okwe moves out of Senay's flat and Guo Yi illicitly lets Okwe have some space in the hospital mortuary for accommodation. Senay quits her job at the hotel and takes a job in a clothing sweatshop. However, after two days at her new job she has to hide from immigration police, who visit the sweatshop. Using this as blackmail, the sweatshop owner solicits sexual favours from her. In the second or third instance however, she bites his penis while being forced into administering oral sex, and flees. She leaves her apartment and runs to Okwe, who hides her in the mortuary.

In desperation, Senay then turns to Juan and agrees to exchange a kidney for a passport. As a "deal maker", Juan takes her virginity as well, and later Juliette provides her with the morning-after pill. After learning of Senay's plan, Okwe tells Juan that he will perform the operation to ensure her safety, but only if Juan provides them both with passports under different names. However, after Juan delivers the passports, Okwe and Senay drug him instead, surgically remove his kidney and sell it to Juan's contact.

The film ends with Senay and Okwe at Stansted Airport, where Okwe must use his new identity to return to his young daughter, Valerie, in Nigeria (which he had fled after being wrongly accused of his wife's murder) while Senay uses hers to follow her dream to start a new life in New York City. Before they part, however, she gives him her cousin's address in New York. In the closing scene, they mouth "I love you" to each other. Senay boards the plane to New York to begin life anew and Okwe calls Valerie to tell her that he is finally coming home.


  • Audrey Tautou as Senay Gelik
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Okwe
  • Sergi López as Sneaky (Juan)
  • Sophie Okonedo as Juliette
  • Benedict Wong as Guo Yi
  • Damon Younger as Punter
  • Paul Bhattacharjee as Mohammed
  • Darrell D'Silva as Immigration officer
  • Sotigui Kouyaté as Shinti
  • Abi Gouhad as Shinti's son
  • Zlatko Buric as Ivan


Dirty Pretty Things received generally positive reviews, currently holding a 78/100 rating on Metacritic. It holds a 94% "Certified Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 138 reviews. The critical consensus states that it is "An illuminating and nuanced film about the exploitation of illegal immigrants."

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dirty_Pretty_Things_%28film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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