An ambitious Pakistani Briton and his white boyfriend
strive for success when they open a glamorous laundromat.
My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
Directed by Stephen Frears
Written by Hanif Kureishi
Starring Gordon Warnecke, Daniel Day-Lewis, Saeed Jaffrey, Roshan Seth, Shirley Anne Field
Oscar Nominations - Best Original Screenplay
I wrote a review for The Grifters a couple months ago and Connor wrote a review for The Queen not too long ago, which were both directed by Stephen Frears. It’s funny how we have directors represented in various ways without planning it. Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette was recognized at numerous award ceremonies and has gained a serious cult following in England. I stumbled upon it because I’ve been watching a lot of LGBTQ films lately and this one has some serious significance in some communities.
Omar is a Pakistani Briton living in South London with his alcoholic father. His uncle Nasser gives him work washing cars and eventually gives him the opportunity of running a launderette. When Omar runs into an old friend named Johnny, things get interesting because Johnny is a punk like white dude and the Pakistani community that Omar is a part of doesn’t normally get along with the white folks of London. Omar doesn’t give a shit because his feelings for Johnny run deep so he gives him a job as his right hand man at the launderette. This causes Omar and Johnny’s relationship to be tested for what it truly is.
Gordon Warnecke does a damn good job of playing Omar who simply has too much on his plate at times without being allowed to live his truth in front of his family. Daniel Day-Lewis has plenty of incredible performances, but his work as Johnny is really something special. He has the ability to actually keep you interested in every single step he takes and my goodness he dissolves into Johnny’s antics. He truly is one of the greatest to ever grace the big screen. I am going to keep my eye out for films written by Hanif Kureishi because his writing style in My Beautiful Laundrette is quick, smart, and devastating at times. Stephen Frears just keeps winning points as a director with the lads here at Filmgazm.