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Majdhar (1984)


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!

Afzal, a British-Pakistani man, is dropped home late one evening by his white mistress, Sandra. He tells his wife, Fauzia, that he was working late. Afzal visits a friend, Arun, telling him that he has decided to leave Fauzia to live with Sandra in St. Albans. Afzal also tells Arun that he is giving back Fauzia her dowry, and leaving her a few thousand pounds and a return ticket to Pakistan.

Afzal tells Fauzia about his affair and urges her to return to Pakistan. The next day, Fauzia decides to visit her uncle and cousin, Moraj, in Manchester. She gives Afzal an ultimatum: to end his relationship with Sandra or move out of the flat by the time she gets back. Early next morning, a taxi arrives to take Fauzia to the train station. In Manchester, her uncle and cousin put her on the train back to London.

Fauzia arrives home to find Afzan has moved out. Over the next few days, she is depressed and doesn't leave her flat. Arun and his best friend, Rehana drop by to check on her. Fauzia is certain that she doesn't want to go back to Pakistan, and Rehana and Arun tell her they will support her. After they leave, Fauzia composes a letter to her sister in Pakistan about her newfound freedom and independence.

The following day, Fauzia enquires about a job at a sari shop. She gives her details to the man at the counter, but after she leaves, he throws them away. Fauzia sinks into depression and languishes in her flat, looking through old photo albums.

On her way to Arun's flat for lunch, Fauzia becomes distressed when she sees two skinhead men kissing on a street corner. When she gets to Arun's flat, she says she feels sick and rushes to the bathroom. Fauzia confides in Rehana that she has been feeling sick regularly, and Rehana advises her to see a doctor and get a pregnancy test. The results come back as positive.

A few days later, Rehana calls Fauzia to tell her that she can get her a job as a play leader in a community centre for disadvantaged children. Fauzia accepts her offer and also tells her that she wants an abortion. Rehana says she knows a doctor in Brighton; Fauzia asks her to arrange it immediately. Fauzia, accompanied by Rehana, goes to Brighton and has the abortion.

At her job, Fauzia makes friend with Gulshan, another play leader. The next day, the pair shop for clothes and go to Gulshan's flat (where she lives with her mother) for lunch. Fauzia tells Gulshan about David, an English television researcher working on a film about Asian women, who she is helping with interviews and translations. Arun regrets introducing Fauzia to David. David and Fauzia start seeing each other and Fauzia takes on some work part-time at a travel agency. Over coffee, Fauzia tells Arun that she is not very happy in her new relationship, as she only sees David at the weekends. Arun tells Fauzia that he would like to see more of her.

Moraj pays Fauzia a visit and is outraged when he discovers Afzal gone and Fauzia living with a white man. After he leaves, Fauzia breaks up with David and orders him to leave the flat. Fauzia tells Rehana that Afzal and Sandra have broken up. Moraj brings his father to see Fauzia in a desperate bid to persuade her to go back to Pakistan. Her uncle threatens to seek professional advice if she refuses. The two men visit a lawyer, who explains that now that she is no longer living with Afzal (a British citizen), Fauzia can be deported. They do not see this as a viable option and decide to leave her alone.

Afzal spots Fauzia doing some window-shopping in her lunch break and approaches her, commenting on how he barely recognised her because she is so "westernised". He suggests they meet and have dinner and says he will drop by her flat. She walks away from him without saying a word.