My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)
Director: Stephen Frears
Writers: Hanif Kureishi
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Duration: 1h 37 min
Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Richard Graham, Winston Graham, Dudley Thomas
Stephen Frears was at the forefront of the British cinematic revival of the mid-1980s, and the delightfully transgressive My Beautiful Laundrette is his greatest triumph of the period.
Working from a richly layered script by Hanif Kureishi, who was soon to be an internationally renowned writer, Frears tells an uncommon love story that takes place between a young South London Pakistani man (Gordon Warnecke), who decides to open an upscale laundromat to make his family proud, and his childhood friend, a skinhead (Daniel Day-Lewis, in a breakthrough role) who volunteers to help make his dream a reality. This culture-clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism that dares to address racism, homophobia, and sociopolitical marginalization in Margaret Thatcher’s England.