Director Mira Nair indulges in some melodramatic explorations, however, dangerously verging on a romanticized Oriental tearjerker mood.
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The story sometimes seems hesitant to confront the most harrowing implications of the harsh realities it portrays. But it benefits greatly from Syed's close-to-the-bone performance as the boy.
The real star of this film is the crowded, neon-lit byways of the city itself.
The film is unsparingly gritty, but with a woman's tenderness it also grants the characters an occasional moment of grace.