My Beautiful Laundrette 1985

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(49) IMDb 6.9/10
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Omar (Gordon Warnecke) is a young Asian man whose new responsibility is to vamp up his uncle's (Saeed Jaffrey) launderette. With the help of Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis), an old school friend and ex-National Front thug, Omar begins to succeed in his aim. He and Johnny become lovers, resulting in a riot of abuse from Johnny's ex-associates - who are perturbed by his association with 'the enemy'.

Starring:
Gordon Warnecke, Roshan Seth
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 33 minutes
Starring Gordon Warnecke, Roshan Seth, Shirley Ann Field, Saeed Jaffrey, Daniel Day-Lewis
Director Stephen Frears
Genres Drama
Studio CHANNEL 4
Rental release 17 March 2008
Main languages English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on 30 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
It was made twenty years ago and a lot has changed but it tackles issues that really are still around - racism and homophobia and sexism. In fact I can't believe it was 20 years ago this was made - it really was groundbreaking - portraying positively a deep gay relationship at a time in the UK which was generally very homophobic in nearly all spheres - even the theatre! Daniel Day-Lewis is terrific in his role and any fan of his later work should really see this. It's a challenging film - life's not a bed of roses after all - but I love it because it is a "love conquers all" film. (And it's really quite funny too!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tween on 24 May 2011
Format: DVD
although very 'current' when it was first released, this film is now as notable for it's classically 80s feel; everything from the cars, the houses, the hair-dos and the houses screams nostalgia. against a backdrop of recession and heightening racial tensions, a white man and an asian man try to start a business; and fall in love. it's clear that their families know there's 'something' between them, but either don't know or don't want to know exactly what. what I like most about this film is that while everything else in their lives is complicated by the world around them, they fall into their relationship easily; there is no angst that is so common in this genre, and the film concludes on a positive note, suggesting there is hope for their future, despite the bleak circumstances surrounding them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By schumann_bg TOP 50 REVIEWER on 28 April 2013
Format: DVD
My Beautiful Laundrette is one of the seminal films of the 80s and possibly one of the top half-dozen films ever made in Britain, I think. Anyone who was around at the time remembers it as somehow a defining moment of that decade in the way it captures the mood of the times while also having great originality. The script by Hanif Kureishi is deft in its characterisations, and avoids any sense of a soap opera (!) by tapping into a fantasy vein in some of the goings-on - a two-timed wife putting some kind of spell on the mistress which results in a rash, for instance, or, more pleasantly, a delightful sequence bang in the middle of the film. It is the grand opening of the refurbished laundrette, and with an assembled crowd waiting outside, the two men disappear into the office and have sex, practically in sight of the crowd, and then the owner and aforementioned mistress arrive and start waltzing around in front of the machines as if there is no one there. It is shot in such a way that you see one couple against the other, implying the symmetry of genuine feeling, in both cases denied by convention. But the effect is so full of fantasy and joy you imagine Saeed Jaffrey and Shirley Anne Field could be Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The most amazing thing is how the tone of the film can embrace this sequence in the midst of the sharp social commentary as well.

Some reviewers have found fault with the acting, particularly that of lead actor Gordon Warnecke, but it seems to me that his naivety and determination are very well caught. It is very much the spirit of youth, especially as it was back then. It was a less knowing era ... and the contrast with Daniel Day-Lewis's saturnine Johnny is perfect.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Taka on 7 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
It's harder to appreciate this film if you did not grow up in "Thatcher's Britain". If, you did, then this is a vintage helping of politically, racially and sexually charged drama... a classic British kitchen sink drama amidst the soap suds of a South London laundrette. Critics who call it dated are missing the point - of course it's dated! It captured the zeitgeist of the time - race, class and making money. The humour and romance are gentle and never laid on heavily enough to undermine the tension between the main characters. Saeed Jaffrey deserves special mention for his pompous archetypal rapacious '80s entrepreneur, who just occasionally shows his heart. Great.
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Format: DVD
So says Saeed Jaffrey, easily one of the most recognisable Indian actors, at the film's start and sets the tone for this early Film 4 offering from 1985 as the wheeler-dealer uncle, and who typified Thatcherism's era of entrepreneurial immigrants.

Radio Times awards a rare five stars for this provocative and ground-breaking film from the now hugely successful director, now, of Stephen Frears and of course, for Daniel Day Lewis, it might have been his last, presumably such a contentious issue inter-racial gay sex would have been seen (and still viewed as), had he not been both brave AND very good.

This was just Frear's second feature film and whilst today the production values lag, many of the scenes are (necessarily?) contrived and the acting variable, it still says a lot. Lest we forget, launderettes were actually in wide existence then, romanticised by jeans adverts and featuring regularly in TV soap Eastenders. If that last bit sounds pedantic, Eastenders itself was seen as ground-breaking and immensely popular, with ratings in the 10s of millions.

Saeed's hypocritical (he has a white mistress) Nasser only hands over the laundrette to his nephew (Omar) because he's too lazy to run it himself and it's a thorn in his side. Omar, being one of Thatcher's mass army of 3 million unemployed takes to the challenge and equally unemployed white, former National Front member Johnny (Day-Lewis), a schoolfriend of Omar's get drafted in to help refit the run-down laundrette and to turn it into a Palace full of washing machines.
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