In the United States alone, there are over 11 million illegal immigrants. A majority of them, in the hopes of living a normal and somewhat successful life, work innumerable hours and numerous tedious jobs compared to the average American. Some of these illegal immigrants have to succumb to drug dealing or even prostitution as their source of income. In the film Dirty Pretty Things, the lives of immigrants living under extremely harsh conditions are exposed and depicted in a very well and convincing manner.
Desperation was a key factor, which led them to do unimaginable things in the intention of living their day-to-day lives and achieving their dreams.
The best example to begin with is Okwe, a native of Africa, as well as an illegal immigrant. He worked multiple jobs around the clock, lacking prestige and was a man who seemed as if he had not much to lose but much to gain. Okwe’s characterization was very well done. First and foremost, he chewed an herb called khat, which he was using as a stimulant to keep awake since he never slept.
He was doing great harm to his body in order to work two endless jobs. In addition to that, desperate to find a place to stay, Okwe ended up residing at his friend, Guo Yi’s hospital mortuary after fleeing immigration, a dark and eerie accommodation. These two examples demonstrated how desperate Okwe was in order to continue to work day and night and hide from immigration. His frantic acts showed the audience a side of immigrants that many are unaware about.
Equally as interesting was each character that had a very intriguing background. None of them lived normal lives, or at least what an average person would consider being normal or just. For instance, Senay, a Turkish immigrant who was under asylum and not allowed to work, fell into her employers blackmail scheme out of desperation. If she hadn’t performed sexual acts on that deranged man, he would have swiftly notified immigration, which was a risk Senay could not take. Furthermore, at the utmost of her despondency, she fell into Juan’s stratagem. In order to persue her dream to come to the United States, she was willing to sell her kidney and even losing her virginity to Senor Juan. This evidence clearly points that behind the curtains lied an extremely grotesque and unpalatable form of livelihood for illegal immigrants. In conclusion, due to her eagerness to achieve her dream to move to New York, her acts of desperation tarnished her dignity and led her to her own degradation.
A constant theme for the duration of the film was desperation and disconsolateness. Each situation that the characters were narrated in demonstrated what they were willing to do in order to overcome their dilemmas. The effectiveness of this theme was displayed throughout the movie in various mannerisms. Adding to the previous examples, each character understood the circumstances of their choices but they were willing to do anything it took to bring about their final goals. Senay lost her virginity just for the sake of being able to escape from her current miserable life. Owke performed an illegal surgery on Juan in order to give Senay and him a way to escape London. Juliette, an affiliate of Okwe, was a prostitute and obviously wasn’t too bothered by the distaste of her occupation. Last but not least, Guo Yi took a risk in order to help his friends living situation. This all adds to the conclusion, that the film did a great job in showing the audience how each character took countless measures regardless of the circumstances to get what they yearned for.
Dirty Pretty Things was not what I expected it to be. It was a very well written story about the lives of immigrants depicting the humiliation they went through and the risks they took having no other choice. I had no idea the movie would go in the direction it did after seeing the first scene. The twisted ending in the movie was great and very similar to other films I have seen. A great example is from the movie The Sixth Sense that had a major plot twist in the ending. The main character, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, was unknowingly dead, until he came to realize it in the ending of the movie after paying a visit to his widowed wife. Similarly in the sense of plot twists, Dirty Pretty Things led me to believe that Senay was going to go through with the surgery, before we knew it; Mr. Juan was drugged and put on the table to have the surgery performed on him by Okwe instead. I am a major fan of plot twists, which made me love the ending to the movie.
To conclude the previous statements, their desperate acts led them to do things they could never imagine and led them to circumstances they never
thought they would encounter. After all the sacrifices they had made and all of the unforgettable actions they took, they reached a turning point in their lives. A turning point in which they could finally say, our dreams came true. What is yet to happen in their future is up to one’s imagination. Always they must hide from who they really are and the order of events that led them to their destiny. All in all, they remain anxious yet determined to achieve their end goal of living a normal and successful life.
Cite this “Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate. (2016, Apr 26). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/dirty-pretty-things-acts-of-desperation-the-state-of-being-desperate/