Foreign Body (1986)

Foreign Body (1986)

Chronicles of the adventures of Ram Das in England. Ram Das moved to England after losing his job in India. He winds up pretending to be a doctor after he sees a pretty girl on the street who has been hurt. Then he takes the charade even further when he rents an office and treats many other patients including the Prime Minister. Will he win the girl and does she ever find out his secret?

Foreign Body is a 1986 British romantic comedy film directed by Ronald Neame and adapted from the 1975 Roderick Mann novel of the same name. The film stars Victor Banerjee, Warren Mitchell, Denis Quilley, Amanda Donohoe, Eve Ferret, Anna Massey, Stratford Johns and Jane Laurie. It was Neame’s final film.

Review for Foreign Body

The”Foreign Body” of the British movie that opens today at the U. A. Gemini and other theaters is Ram Das, a young Indian with an eye or two for the girls, who bribes his way from Calcutta to London. As played by Victor Banerjee (who gave vivid life to Dr. Aziz in ”A Passage to India”), Ram is full of beans, ready for anything and everything. With the help of lucky accidents, a remarkable vibrating couch and a worldly wise Indian named I. Q. who works as an attendant in a men’s toilet (a bravura performance by Warren Mitchell), the young fellow shortly becomes a much sought after Harley Street practitioner.

Foreign Body (1986)

Things start off in jolly enough fashion, to Ken Howard’s amusing score, as I. Q. explains to his newly arrived protege how the British system was made to be bilked by smart Indians. Then, about 20 minutes in, comes a scene in which Ram has dinner with a buxom young woman and her dumb mum and dumber dad that is so so overdone with racial slurs and bedroom shenanigans that it arouses forebodings.

They are, alas, realized. Like a stand-up comedian who tries to compensate for the weakness of his material with funny faces, lewd gestures and a loud voice, the director Ronald Neame lets out all the stops. Mr. Banerjee, in particular, seems to have been commanded to get his eyes popping and his eyebrows waggling to register delighted astonishment at the women who keep attempting to seduce him.

Trevor Howard is wasted as the disheveled Dr. Stirrup, provider of the miraculous couch, which turns out to be randy Ram’s main impediment to success at sex. Nevertheless, his couchside manner brings him the patronage of an aristocrat (Geraldine McEwan, making the most of a vaguely conceived character) and the British Prime Minister (Denis Quilley), as well as the love of a beautiful woman. ”I want you to go straight to bed,” Dr. Das instructs her at their first meeting, ”and then I’ll have a look at you.”

The occasional sharp line in Celine La Freniere’s screenplay points up the general dullness of the plot, which originated in a novel by Roderick Mann. It is a collection of passingly amusing incidents without a strong connecting line or a consistent tone. Little happens to keep us wondering what will happen next. The burden falls on Mr. Banerjee, and it proves too much even for so engaging an actor.

Foreign Body Movie Poster (1986)

Foreign Body (1986)

Directed by: Ronald Neame
Starring: Victor Banerjee, Warren Mitchell, Denis Quilley, Amanda Donohoe, Eve Ferret, Anna Massey, Stratford Johns, Jane Laurie
Screenplay by: Céline La Frenière
Production Design by: Roy Stannard
Cinematography by: Ronnie Taylor
Film Editing by: Andrew Nelson
Set Decoration by: Simon Wakefield
Music by: Ken Howard
Distributed by: Orion Pictures
Release Date: September 26, 1986