During the day he grabs some sleep on the sofa of fellow hotel worker, Seney. They share the apartment but not a romance though their feelings for each other develop, as events sprial out of control after he finds that human heart blocking the toilet. London is a dark city here with noctural creatures on the prowl. Okwe knew about the prostitution and drugs, but now it seems there is an industry in human body parts .... the staggeringly villainous hotel manager, Sneaky, is played with oily precision by Sergi Lopez - as fascinating as he was in HARRY, HE'S HERE TO HELP (French label). It is a quite satisfying conclusion when the tables are turned on Sneaky - and how - by our trio.
Will they get away with it? Seney wants to go to New York - but surely she would be just as much an outsider there? - while Okwe wants to return to Africa to see his daughter. There is a great airport scene as they confess their feelings for each other. For a film set in London none of the main characters are English and in fact the natives are hardly seen, as we mingle with the taxi drivers and the morturary attendants Okwe had to deal with. His friend the night porter at the morgue is Chinese, and the hotel doorman is Russian. The city we see through their eyes is squalid, crowded, sleazy, perilous--not at all the gleaming promised land of immigrant fantasies.
Frears of course had more successes with THE QUEEN and, recently, PHILOMENA but this 2002 title is up there with his best, like MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE or PRICK UP YOUR EARS and again shows how marvellous he is with actors and visuals. Written by Steven Knight and shot by veteran Chris Menges. Another great 'London in the movies' movie then!