My Beautiful Laundrette: Gay Movie that Made Daniel Day-Lewis Star

Stephen Frears’ “My Beautiful Laundrette,” a vibrant British film, was praised for its straightforward handling of a love affair between a Pakistani and a British punk (played by the young and brilliant Daniel Day Lewis).

“I wanted the story to be about Asians, not about gays, so the gay relationship had to seem perfectly natural,” said writer Hanif Kureshi.  Indeed, the novelty of “My Beautiful Laundrette” was in the casual way it depicted the gay affair, as only one of the subplots of  a maze of  tangled relationships. Occurring only in the second half of the tale, the gay affair just happened, but it was neither the characters’ whole life nor the whole movie.

Grounded in the zeitgeist that marked Thatcher’s regime, “My Beautiful Laundrette” juxtaposed capitalist versus socialist ideologies and reflecting the new demographic profile of London.

Made on a low budget of less than $1 million, the film was a commercial hit wherever it played.

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