Wednesday, 23 August 2017

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985)



It’s hard to put into words the surprise I first felt when, watching this in the ’80s as a family video rental, my child eyes took in arguably the first ever same-sex kiss I ever witnessed, but the muscle memory is still there and even now I can feel something of its shockwave with each rewatch as Johnny and Omar reveal to the audience their true feelings for one another. This was the 1980s remember, when depictions of homosexuality were still, in the main, of the Mr Humphreys, Larry Grayson and Kenneth Williams variety. It is most emphatically here that My Beautiful Laundrette is at its most real: addressing something previously unspoken in society whilst simultaneously challenging cliche and stereotype in one fell swoop. Here, homosexuals aren’t camp comic relief or sad men in rainmacs doomed to a life alone, they can by the unprepared sight of  Daniel Day-Lewis’ donkey jacket clad streetwise tough too – someone who just so happens to like men. And what’s more, his like is for an Asian man in particular,  something which adds a whole new dimension to the character’s shameful past allegiance with the National Front and his ongoing friendship with the ragtag gang of bovver boys he continues to hang around with. 

Read my full review at The Geek Show

2 comments:

  1. I was blown away by Daniel's performance in this and like you say, the muscle memory is still there. Bizarrely I had been to see A Room With A View that same year and it didn't even click that it was the same actor playing one of the key roles - No, Mr Day-Lewis was never going to be type-cast.

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    1. Indeed! How good was he back then? I love A Room With A View

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