Much of the Pakistani Hussein family has settled in London, striving for the riches promised by Thatcherism. Nasser and his right hand man, Salim, have a number of small businesses and they do whatever they need to make money, even if the activities are illegal. As such, Nasser and his immediate family live more than a comfortable lifestyle, and he flaunts his riches whenever he can. Meanwhile, his brother, alcoholic Ali, once a famous journalist in Pakistan, lives in a seedy flat with his son, Omar. Ali's life in London is not as lucrative in part because of his left leaning politics, which does not mesh with the ideals of Thatcherism. To help his brother, Nasser gives Omar a job doing menial labor. But Omar, with bigger plans, talks Nasser into letting him manage Nasser's run down laundrette. Omar seizes what he sees as an opportunity to make the laundrette a success, and employs an old friend, Johnny - who has been most recently running around with a gang of white punks - to help ...Written by
Stephen Frears' film of Hanif Kureshi's script about the Pakistani and the NF punk who grew up as friends, and find themselves attracted to each other again. Gordon Warneke and Daniel Day-Lewis play the lovers in this intelligent movie which has a cheap British tinge but has some superb moments (Saeed Jaffrey as Warneke's uncle, a professional businessman, not a professional Pakistani') within it.
Perhaps the longest-lasting image is the two boys in the back room of the launderette, splashing each other with water, and putting aside the political differences between them. Whether it truly makes its points about race and sexuality I'm not sure.
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