DVD Review: A young Daniel Day-Lewis is one of many pleasures in My Beautiful Laundrette

Movies about London’s Pakistani community are so rare that My Beautiful Laundrette still carries the charge of something fresh and exciting, three decades after it was originally released. Written by Hanif Kureishi, who up until that point had worked primarily as a playwright, it tells the story of Omar (Gordon Warnecke), a young man whose prosperous uncle, Nasser (Saeed Jaffrey), agrees to help get him started in business by allowing him to manage a dilapidated laundromat (“laundrette,” in British English). The movie has elements of a coming-of-age saga, a gay romance, a drug-smuggling thriller, and a redemption tale, but it works first and foremost as a portrait of a milieu that had previously been all but invisible onscreen, and that remains so to this day. Kureishi would go on to write and/or direct other projects in a similar vein, including The Buddha Of Suburbia (1993) and My Son …

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