BFI Recommends are feature and short recommendations for young aspiring screen creatives. Delivered by Fabrica on behalf of Young Film Network South East, supported with National Lottery funding.
My Beautiful Laundrette / 1985/ 1hr&37mins / Rated 15
My Beautiful Launderette is a fascinating, eccentric, personal film, its a compelling tale of money, class, race and romance.
The film is set in London during the Thatcher years, as reflected in the complex, and often comical, relationships between members of the Pakistani and English communities. The story focuses on Omar a young Pakistani man living in London, and his reunion and eventual romance with his childhood friend Johnny, now a street punk. The two become the caretakers and business managers of a launderette originally owned by Omar's uncle Nasser.
"Daniel Day Lewis gives a luminous performance as the white ex-National Front hoodlum who befriends an Asian and helps him create his commercial dream, a laundrette which glitters like a Hollywood picture palace. The fact that Lewis finds himself demoted in the ensuing suds war is typical of Hanif Kureishi's script, which refuses to push Asians into their customary dramatic role as victims. Instead, they're seen as rapacious businessmen, pedalling furiously on their Tebbitite cycles, and therefore puzzled, as well as angered, by the vicious prejudice they suffer at the hands of the establishment... But the strength of the film is its vision - cutting, compassionate and sometimes hilarious - of what it means to be Asian, and British, in Thatcher's Britain." - Time Out