Published on December 27, 2013
MY BEAUTIFUL LAUNDRETTE Director: Stephen Frears Writer:Hanif Kureishi 1985
First scene • Imminently we are introduced to a hard working class conditions as Johnny is squatting from house to house and Omar who lives directly next to a train station indicates themes of Thatcherism. Before we are introduced to Omar’s dad we see a shot of him poring vodka into a glass and then drinking it straight from the bottle. • Walking into a shot of his mother with a hoover this shows how he has taken on the role of her in what she would be doing, domestic housework such as cooking and cleaning which we then see in later shots, he is alienated by caring for his alcoholic father who does nothing. This motherly feel also can suggest his sexuality and how he’s not got a “working dick” in which is father keeps referencing.
Opening of laundrette • When the launderette is being opened Omar feels a sense of belonging as well as Johnny who is now doing something good with his life. Also key in them both accepting a mutual felting towards each other. • This also symbolises how they have both come out with something remarkable and they can call successful from starting out with no job and building a whole new chain of laundrettes as we see a line of people waiting for the grand opening. • The group of punks outside the laundrette show they do not approve of Johnny's • choice and style as they get into a fight and even tell him “You don’t belong with him” despite this claim because he is gay as well as coloured Johnny ignores his friends warnings which are then later exposed to him getting beaten up by them as a sense of betrayal.
Grand opening • This scene has a lot of symmetry in it as it’s the grand opening of the laundrette and we have Johnny and Omar in the backroom while we have Nasser and Chery his lover in the front room, the music syncs this whole scene as we have two couples dancing, expressing their love at the same time. • While Johnny and Omar get more intimate, we can see through the window which they are behind, Nasser dancing clearly. It is ironic as well as funny as they are hiding their sexuality behind a wall where as Nasser can dance in the front room open and free. Various shots are used to show them matched as the tension builds and we are anxious to see if they are going to get caught. • With the music drawing to a close this all then cuts and they are once again safe.
Ending scene • We see the group of punks destroying Salim’s car, the one punk on the roof symbolises how he believes that he is higher in status than the Pakistani’s which shows they belong underneath them. Presenting a fragmented community within London and racial inequality. • Nasser way of thinking is more involved in the British society because all he thinks about is making money and wealth. As he is greed overpowered family over community and culture. He got so carried away with this leading him to have a white mistress and neglecting his wife and children. • The scene where Tania is at the train station can be interpreted as her getting a better life, either committing suicide or escaping her Asian heritage.