For a film released in 1985, the message is quite progressive even in the modern world. Gordon Warnecke (Venus, A Fatal Inversion, Boon) turns the main character from an innocent Pakistani young man into a hard-working money-oriented individual. The character's identity is always shadowed by other characters, as Omar reaches out to his family and his white co-worker/boyfriend for advice along his journey. Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood, The Last of the Mohicans, Lincoln, Gangs of New York) plays the white boyfriend that causes a lot of the conflict surrounding Omar's life. Day-Lewis hardly needs to talk in order to grab the audience's attention towards his character. Johnny is a tough but also charming white Briton, raised around a rough group of friends.
Through clear direction, Stephen Frears's (Philomena, The Queen) early film portrays many powerful messages. Hanif Kureishi's (Venus, My Son the Fanatic, Le Week-End) screenplay is simple, but includes many different aspects. As a Pakistani in Britain, Omar is seen as a threat to Johnny's white friends. The world is currently struggling with immigration policies, and this film displays some of the reasons why immigration is such a heated topic. Furthermore, Omar and Johnny's relationship is a conflict for both of their friends/families. The more the viewer looks into this film, the more conflicts arise throughout the short runtime. While the score for this film is not the most powerful, it is interesting to note that Hans Zimmer (Gladiator, Inception, Dunkirk, Interstellar) composed the music. The music fits into the film well, but I never would have guessed that Hans Zimmer created this subtle soundtrack.
The Bottom Line: While My Beautiful Laundrette dates back to 1985, the topics discussed are still relevant to modern society's political struggles.
By Nrbelex - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8954299
By Towpilot - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1289613