In London, a Nigerian cab driver, Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor), shares a flat with a Turkish hotel maid, Senay (Audrey Tautou). Both are illegal immigrants and their situation becomes further complicated when they find themselves caught up in the illicit trade of human organs.
To survive in London, you have to find work, but if you're an illegal immigrant, your options are truly limited. The people we meet in Dirty Pretty Things are the unknowns. They toil in sweat-shops, drive cabs, clean – do anything they can to survive.
Chiewetal Ejifor plays Okwe, a young Nigerian Doctor, hiding from his past and the immigration authorities. He works two jobs, as a taxi driver by day and night reception at a seedy hotel, managed by a predatory Sergei Lopez from Harry Is Here to Help fame. A friendship builds between Okwe and Senay, a cleaner at the hotel, played by Audrey Tatou, in a very different role from her mischievous character in Amelie. When Okwe finds a human heart blocking the toilet of one of the hotel rooms, they become drawn into a shadowy, disturbing corner of urban London. He discovers that some people are prepared to go to great extremes in their pursuit for a better life and there will always be people ready to exploit them.
This is the latest effort from the director of High Fidelity, Stephen Frears and while Dirty Pretty Things wraps up a little too conveniently for my liking, there is whole lot of warmth and humour in this film, even though it is such a sordid tale. Dirty Pretty Things is a small insight into what conditions might be like for those people forced to work under the radar.