My Beautiful Launderette

My Beautiful Launderette is set in South London in the 1980s, the film tells the story of young British Indian Omar, who takes over the running of his uncle’s run-down launderette.  In his attempt to turn it into a success, he employs former childhood friend and ex-National Front member Johnny (played by a smoking hot Daniel Day-Lewis) and the two men fall in love.  But they’re soon confronted by problems caused by both Omar’s family who want him to marry an ‘Indian’ girl of a good family, Johnny’s former gang.

A close touch

A close touch

In the shade

In the shade

Poster for My Beautiful Launderette

Poster for My Beautiful Launderette

Black and White mix

Black and White mix

Daniel Day-Lewis relaxing

Daniel Day-Lewis relaxing

A helping hand

A helping hand

In its frank depiction of inter-racial gay love, there’s no question My Beautiful Launderette was way ahead of its time.  It also bravely explores racism, the second-generation immigrant experience, and the new enterprise culture of Thatcher’s Britain.  It launched the careers of Daniel Day-Lewis, director Stephen Frears and writer Hanif Kureishi.

There are of course issues with the movie, namely that it’s a story about two gay men that never use the word gay; but at the time it was an astonishing piece of cinema.  Some of the characters are stereotypes, and some of the acting is over the top; but it is a movie that any gay couple should have on their list of watched and will watch again.

 

1 reply
  1. David McFarlane
    David McFarlane says:

    Back Through the Rinse Cycle
    …If you’re a Muslim kid in Britain today, coming out as gay is still a difficult thing. We have gay marriage, but in the community I come from, it’s still really tough. People still come up to me, people from other Muslim families and say, “That film really helped me. It made me brave.” And then there are places like Afghanistan or Pakistan or Iran, where there’s very severe persecution of gay people. I hope that this movie, and the other stories I told, still have meaning for people who are living in much more difficult times and much more difficult places. Obviously I’m delighted that we have equality in London, but if you’re living in Karachi it doesn’t mean a thing. There’s still a long way to go. — As told to R. Kurt Osenlund

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