My Beautiful Laundrette follows the life of Omar (Gordon Warnecke), the son of a left-wing British Pakistani journalist, living in South London. His father’s disillusionment with contemporary Britain has caused him to recede into alcoholism, forcing Omar to take care of him. Omar’s successful uncle, Nasser, provides him with the opportunity to take control of a laundrette.
While getting to know other members of the Pakistani community, they’re attacked by a group of right-wing extremists, which are joined by Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis), Omar’s former lover. They re-connect, and after an offer from Omar, Johnny joins the effort to run the laundrette. The two then rekindle their romance, while navigating the difficulties of an interracial relationship, as well as the challenge of Omar’s family’s intent of marrying him to his cousin.
After an incident where Nasser tries to get revenge on the punks that had attacked him, a chain of events begins that culminates with a reprisal attack at the laundrette, resulting in a terrible assault on Johnny, only stopped by Omar’s appearance. Although emotions run high at first, this event ultimately brings them closer together than ever before, and Omar decides to forego his engagement and continue a life with Johnny.
“The movie is not concerned with plot, but with giving us a feeling for the society its characters inhabit. Modern Britain is a study in contrasts, between rich and poor, between upper and lower classes, between native British and the various immigrant groups — some of which, such as the Pakistanis, have started to prosper. To this mixture, the movie adds the conflict between straight and gay.”
Did You Know?
My Beautiful Laundrette has continued to receive nothing but raving reviews, with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The most distinctive thing to have happened related to the movie is the elevation of Daniel Day-Lewis’ career, as this film opened the same day as another starring vehicle for the actor, A Room With A View, which showcased him in a completely different type of role, impressing critics the world over. Review our Gay Themed Films here