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My Beautiful Laundrette

"This seminal 1980s movie launched a plethora of now distinguished careers, including those of director Stephen Frears and Daniel Day-Lewis." - Radio Times.

Part of our Daniel Day-Lewis Retrospective. “In My Beautiful Laundrette, the laundry in question is a storefront operation in one of the seedier areas of London, and it is losing money when a rich Pakistani decides to entrust its management to his nephew. But this is not the saga of a laundry. It is the story of two kinds of outsiders in modern London.

“Not content with setting itself in London's Asian community, this also tells a gay love story. Daniel Day Lewis gives a luminous performance as the white ex-National Front hoodlum who befriends an Asian (Warnecke) 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. Saeed Jaffrey is marvellous as the smoothest of the smooth operators, and Frears directs in his customarily unfussy style. 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

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