Bad Boys for Life
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A Pakistani family living in London struggle to combat the social struggle of integration. Battling against sexuality and identity, the protagonists path follows a trail of uncertainty as events unfold through the confrontation of hardship.
A nuanced critique of Thatcherism through the household disorders of a Pakistani family living in 1980's London with the titular establishment used as a metaphor for pacifism of the eastern and western communities.
Good independent movie of the time with a pretty decent cast. The dialogue writing was left wanting but the script was powerful and socially pertinent. Well thought out story.
This has a reputation as being an important film and I'm sure it was a pretty revolutionary in 1985 for showing a gay interracial relationship - but it hasn't aged fantastically well. It's rather clunky and on-the-nose about the political and social points it's trying to make. The acting is not universally great although there are good performances from Roshan Seth and Saeed Jaffrey. It's notable for being Daniel Day-Lewis' first major performance and it's a decent start from him but you probably wouldn't guess he was four years away from winning an Oscar.
It has raised some issues but it was not that loud about them and it the end it ws a mildy okay movie.To be honest when I saw the reviews I thought this was going to be a fantastic film,but it never worked for me.I didn't sympathise with anyone of the characters and I didn't care for most of their struggles.Daniel Day-Lewis though,managed to raise the bar in this one."My beautiful laundrette" is overrated if you ask me.
I bet the most important thing about this film is the cultural message, but somehow it didn't deliver. Maybe it's the jumpy plot and lack of general cohesiveness. But it's still interesting.
In 1984 Frears was largely known as a part of the UK Comic Underground writing and directing with the iconic forces who go on to impact popular culture with TV shows like "The Comic Strip" "The Young Ones" "Alan Partridge" and the comic duo who would become famous as "French & Saunders" and "AbFab.
He had directed an odd movie featuring all of these players and followed that with a brilliant cult film, "The Hit." But it would take a year or two before "The Hit" found it's way outside of the UK. It was this film that made it to us first.
"My Beautiful Launderette" was a major game-changer for Frears, Day-Lewis and Independent British Film.
Set within The Pakistani "community" of South London at the height of "Thatcher's England" -- an upper-middle-class family man tries to help his struggling immigrant brother and his son. The head of the family wants to help his once successful brother, but has pretty much given up. His nephew is a different matter. Ambitious, smart and good-looking he is able to quickly earn the trust of his uncle to take over the running of one of his many businesses. A tiny launderette.
Omar played by with realistic ease by Gordon Warnecke. As this business venture requires a great deal of "elbow grease" he seeks out his old pal, Johnny. Played brilliantly by a very young Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny has been running and living with a gang of white thugs -- all of whom seem to be on the verge of becoming full blown skinheads. Desperate to find a way out of his dreary life, Johnny agrees to help his old pal out.
It doesn't take long to realize that Johnny and Omar are both victims of a corrupt England and of "ideals" that are more easily stated than achieving. Both feel and are "outsiders" looking and trying to find a way in.
Along the way they each end up fully owning their real feeling toward each other and sex. As their happiness starts to bloom, the threat of being pushed further outside of "Thatcher's England's" dream forces them to make a choice.
Stephen Frears' film remains gleefully angry, bold, gritty, explicit and funny. But no punches are spared. Sexuality, racism and an oppressive government are at the core of this story. Fears' pulls us into a cultural and societal mess that refuses to release our eyes from the screen.
The audience, like the two lead gay characters, are also forced to confront ideas around identity, faith, family, economics, love and the all-important decision to stand and fight -- or give up and conform.
"My Beautiful Launderette" is as angry as it is beautiful.
Almost immediately after this movie, Stephen Frears would go on to make two amazing and underrated films, "Prick Up Your Ears" and "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid."
Those two films and especially this one retain a level of unrestrained rebellion, energy and grit that he would never regain. It is both hard and sad to believe that this is the same director who now creates mediocre films. One of which essentially honors The Queen.
The road to success and fame can lead some right into what they used to rail against. But there will always be 4 nearly perfect movies:
"Prick Up Your Ears"
"Sammy and Rosie Get Laid"
and this one. "May Beautiful Launderette" remains his greatest cinematic achievement.
Some dodgy acting outside DDL
This is a movie that I had heard about for years, and I had some vague idea of what it was about, but I wasn't ever interested in seeing it until Daniel Day-Lewis won me over in A Room with a View. That was when I knew I had to watch it, and I'm really glad I did, because it's possibly one of the most intriguing films I've seen in ages, even if I didn't realise it the first time I watched it.
Having been made in 1985, My Beautiful Laundrette takes place in south London at the height of the Thatcher era. It tells the story of Omar, a Pakistani businessman who takes over his family's laundrette, with the help of his lover, Johnny. However, both of them are tangled up in their own problems. As the son of a first generation immigrant, Omar wants to make it in England, but his efforts are complicated by his involvement with Salim (a drug trafficker) as well as threats from a gang of racists. Johnny also has his own set of problems, since he is a former white supremacist from that gang, and he wants to use this business partnership as an opportunity to start over.
When I first saw this movie, I didn't know how to feel about it. There were definitely parts that really resonated with me, but there were other parts that felt outright bizarre. Most movies you watch and then forget about 20 minutes later, but in this case, even when I wasn't sure whether I liked it or not, I couldn't get it out of my mind. I knew I had to see it again. That was when I fully realised how great it was. First of all, what's so fascinating about Laundrette is that it was made in the 80s, but it doesn't feel dated. Instead, it feels more like a period piece that's made to capture a really specific part of British history, like Billy Elliot.
Laundrette only takes place within a small time frame, but it's enough for us to really get a sense of what life was like in this part of England, in this point in time, and how different people got through it. We see immigrants like Omar's father who hate the British government, and on the opposite end, immigrants like Omar and his uncle who want to succeed in this new country. We also have white characters who feel threatened by immigration, as well as white characters who are in the middle. Really, everyone has their own identity crisis, and their own desire to belong somewhere.
Of course, we can't talk about this movie without talking about the acting. There are some really good performances from Saeed Jaffrey and Roshan Seth, both of whom create really interesting and memorable characters, but of course, the big standout is Daniel Day-Lewis. As many people have pointed out, this film came out the exact same year as A Room with a View, where he plays a character so different that it's hard for you to believe they're the same person. People were blown away by it in the 80s, and it's still mind blowing today. He made this film before method acting became a standard part of his process, but even then, he still brings a real sense of humanity and depth to his character. We know Johnny has a rough past with fascist gangs, but we don't get the sense that he has any deep-seated hatred for immigrants. Instead, he's a troubled young person who only got involved with these people because he felt his life was going nowhere, and that group at least gave him an identity and a purpose. That's why people like this are so easy to recruit in real life.
I could go on and on about this movie, because every time I watch it, I want to know more about this world, and more about the characters. I seriously think it would make an awesome TV show, and I'd watch the hell out of it. With that said though, if I were to nitpick, there are a couple of faults here and there. Laundrette was made on a shoestring budget. It was originally going to be a TV movie, but it ended up getting a theatrical release, and ... it shows, because the production values aren't always that good. And then of course there's the music. The bubble music. When I first saw it, it really put me off, but oddly enough, if you watch it again and you know it's coming, you can kinda laugh at it, or try to ignore it. Still, if you're willing to look past it, there is a lot to like in this movie. The acting is great, the story is relatively simple, but it's still great. In terms of representation, it's awesome. I know the film as a whole might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I still can't recommend it enough.
A disastrous film with the most ridiculous story I've ever seen and it's disgusting socialist agenda is shocking. Just the title credit would be enough to revolt you. It's not funny at all, most importantly.