Tale of profiteering middle-class Pakistani capitalists making a fortune out of unscrupulous wheeling and dealing in an impoverished London.
Focus is on two youths, friends from schooldays. Johnny is a working-class white whose punkish mates are members of the National Front. Omar lives with his left-leaning widower father in a rundown house by the railway line.
When the film begins, Omar is given a menial job by his wealthy uncle, Nasser. He likes young Omar and gives him a rundown laundrette which he and Johnny convert into a veritable palace of a place, complete with video screens. Meanwhile, a repressed love blossoms between Omar and Johnny, adding tension to the already volatile racial situation.
As always, director Stephen Frears does a superb job of work when given a good script, and this is a very good script. It’s peopled with interesting characters, allowing for a gallery of fine performances and situations.
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1986: Nomination: Best Original Screenplay