My Beautiful Laundrette - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Beautiful Laundrette Reviews

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January 15, 2014
...and suddenly the movie.. ends! lol except the gorgeous d.d.lewis there is no other reasin to see this movie. nonsense.
January 3, 2014
Surprisingly good - quirky but hard to forget.
December 29, 2013
It's a good movie about a love story between two men set in the working class England from the 80's. The cast is doing a great job, the scenario avoids the cliche of the genre.
November 23, 2013
its danie;l day lewis taut intelligent erotic see an emerging star here
October 22, 2013
Bloop bloop bloop blipblipbloop
October 3, 2013
I thought this was a great movie. Always keeps you thinking about what the characters are thinking and why they act they do. Omar was great; he looks like a goody two shoes but he really is quite smart and cunning. Johnny was brilliant; what a charismatic actor! There was no need for us to see their relationship develop; it just happened in the middle of the movie. It wasn't a surprise; they had chemistry the first time they met onscreen. I liked how they presented so many issues (racism, nationality, love etc) in such a believable way. Loved the two leads and the supporting characters were interesting in their own ways.
June 23, 2013
Jonny, a working class fascist who likes to bach the heads of immigrants meets Omar, a childhood Pakistani friend. The two develop a love affair and run a launderette. Argubly the best film by Stephen Frears, whose unlikely tale of romance is perfectly representational of a rebellious and charismatic style in vogue at the time in which it was released. My Beautiful Launderette brims with creativity and charisma, aided by some great performances, including a notable early Daniel Day-Lewis one as a Billy Idol like punk who is as romantic as he is rebellious - much like the film itself.
May 15, 2013
Day-Lewis is quite simply a genius. He makes this film fly!
½ April 21, 2013
I would rather watch the washing go round in the tumble dryer than watch this yawn fest again, devoid of anything remotely interesting. I have seen better acting at a Punch And Judy puppet show!
½ April 11, 2013
A first for British film company Working Title and an early work from the great Daniel Day-Lewis. This film as it is the first of many to be produced by the film company Working Title makes it important within British cinema. However this film not only is it important to british cinema but also to Britain as it faces some key elements within society such as race, sexuality, and politics.
½ March 31, 2013
"My Beautiful Laundrette" is an interesting movie, especially at its time since it depicts mutliple aspects of the UK society from the 80's. The story is around Omar, son of a Pakistani immigrant. Omar is living with his father and his father hopes his son would continue school, however Omar sees his life differently and want to be a businessman like his uncle. At the same time you have Johnny, an old friend of Omar, living as a "homeless" guy that is part of a club who hates immigrants and particularly Pakistani... Nethertheless, Johnny and Omar will have to take care of a laundrette together for Omar's uncle, which allow them to also express their love with each other.
I think the movie was smart but is rather slow and might feel very obscure. The main character Omar is particularly strange - he looks very out of the world, nearly dreamy, which doesn't go with the dark ambiance of the movie...
March 26, 2013
A low-budget marvel of UK cinema from 1985 that features a young Daniel Day-Lewis giving a fantastic performance and even put director Stephen Frears on the map on an international level. Its an involving story about two friends (one Pakistani, one English) who use stolen drug money to run and operate a run-down laundry house during a period of racial tension in Thatcher-era Britain. Its both a political and social statement against racism and discrimination that realistically captures life in London during Thatcher's era from the perspective of a Pakistani man's desire to break from family traditions and find success as well as one English street punk's struggles for identity and stability in his own future. My only real complaint is its somewhat unresolved conclusion, but all in all, through storytelling, wonderful writing, excellent acting and profound statements, its a winner.
January 4, 2013
I watched it because it had Daniel Day Lewis in it. After watching it I think that I liked it over all besides him because of the pacing and the old feeling I got from it. There were moments that were nostalgic to me. I liked the premise and I liked the way it told the story of the environment that surrounded the Omar and Johnny.
December 7, 2012
Worth finding and watching!
September 18, 2012
Made me feel like I was not the only one.
September 6, 2012
The Outcasts of Thatcher's London

It seems to me that your opinion of this film will largely be shaped by how much you already know about the social context in which it was made. I mean, it isn't just knowing that the white people in London at the time were not always known for being fond of the Pakistani immigrants. Heck, in order to figure that out, all you have to do is be aware that there are both lower-class, native-born people and immigrants in the same story. They have always been in conflict with immigrants, no matter when and where your story is set, unless somehow there are no immigrants. Then, they will probably be in conflict with people from the country. But there's more to the story than just that. There's also the fact that these were years of great conflict within the United Kingdom. Indeed, Daniel Day-Lewis would go on to make another movie set around the time this one was made about some of that other conflict. And that's only the start of things.

However, here, we are specifically looking at young Omar Ali (Gordon Warnecke). His father, Hussein (Roshan Seth), was a friend of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Now, after the death of Omar's mother, he is pretty much just a drunk. On the other hand, Hussein's brother Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey) is a seemingly successful businessman. About his only unsuccessful business is a laundrette (laundromat in the US) in a working-class neighbourhood. It is dingy and in ill repair, and thugs are always hanging around and menacing people. Nasser gives Omar the opportunity to run it, figuring that Omar can't do a worse job. Omar runs into his old friend Johnny (Day-Lewis), and he hires him at least in part just to renew the friendship. He and Johnny steal money from a cousin, Salim (Derrick Branche), who is also a drug dealer. They use the money to fix up the laundrette, kind of going along with the "broken windows" theory. Omar is expected to marry Tania (Rita Wolf), but he is in love with Johnny.

It's hard to express today just how problematic that relationship is. It isn't just that they're both men, though that was a much bigger problem in 1985. It isn't even that it was a bigger problem in their cultures than in the general population of the UK at that time. Johnny's particular subculture and Omar's both shared a fixation on masculinity that made male homosexuality a huge taboo. After all, the engagement to Tania is a major subplot, though Omar isn't particularly enthusiastic on the subject. However, what I think is even more important is that Pakistanis were the Insulted Immigrant Group of Choice in the UK in 1985. It is a curious fact of bigotry that there is one immigrant group which is more hated than any other at any given time and place. While the Mexicans are a perpetual target in the American Southwest, there have also been stretches where it was Guatemalans or Colombians. In 1985 London, it was Pakistanis.

This is a story of illicit relationships. It isn't just Omar and Johnny, though theirs is the most important to the story. Nasser also has a mistress, Rachel (Shirley Anne Field), whom he is supporting. Indeed, he is spending more money on her than he can really afford to, much to Tania's irritation. If the laundrette starts making serious money, he will be able to support both her and his family in the manner to which everyone is accustomed. He needs that in order to feel right about himself. He doesn't think there's anything wrong with having both a wife and a mistress. It's not unexpected for a man of his standing. However, he does believe that he has to be able to do right by both of them. He doesn't seem to have much in common with his wife (Souad Faress, I think) anymore, and indeed she's thinking about going back to Pakistan. However, that's not the point. The point is that she is his wife, and he is responsible for her wellbeing, even if he loves Rachel more.

I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing that this movie is as dated as it is. After all, that means that the attitudes which shaped it have by and large gone away. It's not as surprising for two men to be in love now. I don't think fascism is as serious a trend in the UK now as then; certainly Johnny doesn't much fit our image of someone who would have been into the movement in that time and place. For one thing, he has too much hair despite being called a skinhead. Honestly, his haircut is at least as dated as anything else in the picture, and a shaved head is timeless. At any rate, the mores and attitudes which made Omar and Johnny's story unsurprising have changed enough so that there was always somewhere they could have gone and been treated just like anyone else, even though they're a Pakistani and a white guy. This is, today, just another love story. I think that's a really great thing, even if it means that a groundbreaking movie is now merely pretty interesting.
August 5, 2012
Strange film, It doesn't really have a strong message despite tackling several hot topics. I thought that the acting was pretty poor but the storyline kept me interested. I'd never seen Daniel-Day Lewis in his early films before. He's come quite a long way since playing a gay cockney Vanilla Ice in love with a pakistani called "Omo".
½ July 29, 2012
A product of its era, but quite touching and effective.
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