A drama from New Zealand, Broken English highlights racial problems among
Croatian immigrants, Chinese, and Maori. It's told from the point of view of
Aleksandra Vujcic, the mature and ripe daughter of a Croatian immigrant (Rade
Serbedzija). Her overbearing father tries to control her life so she has
decided it is time to leave the nest. She works in a Chinese restaurant, and
agrees to accept money to marry the boyfriend of one of the waitresses so he
can obtain residency (her mother was born in New Zealand, so she is a
citizen). This gives her enough money to move out from her father's house, and
move in with the new Maori cook, Julian Arahanga. Once Julian finds out
exactly how bad her father is, he tries to break it off, but that is before
everyone discovers she is pregnant.
I will admit to a weakness for films with cross-cultural themes, and it was
nice to see the star-crossed lovers win one for a change, but it was the
acting that really made this film for me. Rade Serbedzija has incredible
screen presence and power, and sells every part I have ever seen him play.
Julian Arahanga was superb, and had huge chemistry with the beautiful
Aleksandra Vujcic, who also sold the role.
The one sex scene that included nudity really sizzled, and ended when the
bed collapsed. This is likely the scene that earned the film its NC-17 rating,
although I have seen similar material in-R rated films.