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Foreign Body

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PG-13
1986

Foreign Body is a drama film from 1986. Directed by Ronald Neame and based on a novel by Robin Cook, the film deals with the complex themes of cultural identity, class struggle, and medical ethics. Set in London, the movie tells the story of Dr. Rober Fielding, a brilliant and ambitious surgeon who's just returned from India, where he worked as a volunteer in a rural hospital. As he begins his new job at a prestigious private clinic in Belgravia, he discovers that his past experiences and unorthodox methods clash with the harsh reality of the British healthcare system.

The film opens with a dramatic sequence in an Indian hospital, where Dr. Fielding (played by Victor Banerjee) is performing a risky operation on a young boy. He succeeds in saving the patient's life, but the scene ends with a tragic twist that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Back in London, Dr. Fielding is introduced to his new colleagues, including the clinic's owner, Sir Harrison (Denis Quilley), a wealthy and influential man who takes a special interest in the young doctor's career.

As the story unfolds, we learn more about Dr. Fielding's background and his struggles to adapt to the British society. Born in India to a mixed-race family, he has always felt like an outsider in both countries. His father was an Anglo-Indian civil servant who was rejected by both the British rulers and the native population, and his mother was a local woman who died when he was young. Dr. Fielding's own identity crisis is compounded by his romantic attachment to a British nurse, Clare (Amanda Donohoe), who's engaged to a rich and arrogant surgeon, Dr. Philip Morgan (Michael Cule).

The plot thickens when Dr. Fielding discovers a medical conspiracy that puts his career and his patients' lives in danger. He becomes convinced that a new drug, developed by a powerful pharmaceutical company, is causing deadly side effects that are being covered up by the medical establishment. When he tries to blow the whistle, he's met with hostility and disbelief from his bosses, who accuse him of being a troublemaker and a foreigner who doesn't understand the British way of doing things.

The climax of the film involves a tense confrontation between Dr. Fielding and Sir Harrison, who reveals his true motives and his connection to the drug company. Without giving away the ending, it's fair to say that the film doesn't offer easy answers or a neat resolution to its complex themes. Instead, it challenges the audience to think about the ethical dilemmas of modern medicine, the cultural clashes of a globalized world, and the human cost of pursuing success at any cost.

Foreign Body benefited from a talented cast, led by Victor Banerjee, who gave a nuanced and emotional performance as the conflicted protagonist. He convincingly portrayed the character's intelligence, compassion, and idealism, as well as his flaws and shortcomings. The supporting cast was also strong, with Warren Mitchell delivering a memorable turn as a sarcastic but wise janitor who befriends Dr. Fielding, and Denis Quilley adding depth and ambiguity to his role as the enigmatic Sir Harrison.

The film's production values were solid, with stylish cinematography by Tony Pierce-Roberts and a haunting score by Richard Hartley. The script, by Bryan Forbes and Ronald Neame, did justice to the source material, adapting the novel's complex plot and characters without losing its depth or relevance. Some critics felt that the film was too melodramatic or implausible in parts, but most praised its ambition and intelligence.

Foreign Body can be seen as a poignant commentary on the themes of immigration, identity, and social justice, that are still relevant today. It reminds us that the medical profession, like any other, is not immune to corruption or vested interests, and that the pursuit of scientific progress should not come at the expense of human values or ethics. The film may not have been a box office hit or a critical sensation, but it remains a thought-provoking and engaging drama, that deserves to be rediscovered by a new generation.

Foreign Body is a Comedy movie released in 1986. It has a runtime of 111 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 5.9..

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5.9/10
Director
Ronald Neame
Stars
Victor Banerjee, Trevor Howard, Warren Mitchell, Geraldine McEwan, Denis Quilley, Amanda Donohoe, Eve Ferret, Anna Massey, Stratford Johns
Genres
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