The tone of the film is kept both gritty yet easy to watch at the same time. The film never forgets the seriousness of its subject matter yet still manages to find humour in the everyday things. Laughter is the best medicine, as they say.
If there was one thing that stood out that detracted from the experience of the film is the musical score. Although sparse and sometimes effective, it often gets in the way of some of the drama. It has a jazz-like quality to it that makes it feel almost like a noir detective film. Something a bit more emotional would have been more relevant.
Instead of exploiting the 7/7 bombings, Bouchareb uses it to explore the relationship between two extremely opposite people. Blethyn's Elisabeth sums up everything with what she says to Ousmane, “Our lives aren't so different.” She's entirely right. Despite being of different races, religions, backgrounds and nationalities, Elisabeth and Ousmane are similar in how they feel, their reactions and need for their situation to be resolved in the best way possible. The film explores these themes and more in a touching and heartfelt way without descending into needless sentimentality. It makes for compelling viewing indeed.
These include the obligatory trailer and a very informative 15 minute interview with writer/director Rachid Bouchareb and star Brenda Blethyn. It looks at the themes and issues explored in the movie while giving insight as to the inspiration behind making it. Very interesting special feature that's only lacking in the fact that the film's other main star, Sotigui Kouyaté, doesn't appear in the interview.