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Sammy and Rosie Get Laid (1987)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Rafi Rahman, once an anti-colonial freedom fighter, returns to England after a long absence to escape his political enemies in India. His son Sammy, living in an open marriage with his social worker, feminist wife Rosie, stays in bed with his current mistress, American photographer Anna, rather than meet his father at the airport. He still hasn't forgiven Rafi for divorcing his mother and leaving him many years ago.

Rafi arrives in the aftermath of a police killing of a middle-aged black woman, who was trying to shield her son; the neighbourhood reacts by skirmishing with the police, burning property and overturning cars, including Sammy's. Horrified by his son's surroundings, Rafi offers to help him and Rosie buy a house in a better neighbourhood.

That night, haunted by fears for his life and guilt over his political past, Rafi leaves the apartment, followed by his worried son. The next day, Rafi goes to visit Alice, whom he loved thirty years ago but has not contacted since, and is rescued from angry crowds on the way by Danny, an impish black itinerant whose friends call him "Victoria". Rafi brings Danny home, and he and Rosie begin a passionate affair; this distresses Sammy who, in between his own affairs, taking drugs and hanging out, wants some kind of physical relationship with Rosie, which she disdains.

Rosie later confronts Rafi with atrocity stories she has learned about his past, but she and Sammy later organise a party for him. Rosie makes off with Danny; Rafi stays the night with Alice; and Sammy makes love to Anna. Alice finally rejects Rafi when she realises that he cannot reciprocate her feelings for him; he leaves for the waste site where Danny lives with other vagrants (who have now been moved on by the police and property developers). He sees blood on his hands and is haunted by the one-eyed, turbanned Asian who has followed him in many guises since he arrived in London.

He returns to Sammy and Rosie's place, where a women's meeting is being held, retreats to the bedroom and hangs himself. Sammy and Rosie console each other, and finally make physical contact.

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