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Professor Lorsch My Beautiful Laundrette Wednesday May 07 2014 11 08 PM Critique of Margaret Thatcher s government on the dole on welfare like the rest of Britain Critiques of England jingoism capitalism Characters Saleem Friend of Nasser Brutalizes wife and kids Deals coke Drugs in the vhs tape Omar s father Hussein Worries about son s future and Johnny s future Wishes to return to a Pakistan that no longer exists Omar Sexual self definition challenges financial success Pakistanis Khareeshi director writer of film Grew up in suburb of London with parents Experienced racism Role of Women in film Gender power nexus in British society Women are most admirable active non participants in system Choices for men to be victor or victim Choices for women Khareeshi attacks patriarchal ideals of gender Uses conventional signs of femininity Participants in or victims of system Men accept these roles Johnny changes from evictee to evictor Nasser There is no question of race in the new enterprise culture Choices Those who escape with cheap vodka or celebrate with champagne Success is defined as going from evictee evictor Women bourgeois patriarchal values Omar buys into ideas of success as monetary Cherry Saleem s wife Gives advice she won t take herself to Omar Sick of hearing about these in betweens In between Pakistani and British Chooses to be abused by Saleem and buy into his world Romance between Omar and his Laundrette Romance between Omar and money financial success Sexual references in car wash innuendo Squeeze the tits of the system Aspiring capitalist success is cast in sexual terms Heterosexual domination Milking abusing violent negative connotation Unscrew job that Johnny does squeeze Sexuality associated with impotence and submission of Pakistan Sodomized by religion Sexual bullying of British financial success OR sexual submission of Pakistan Only women choose to get out of these binary systems Saleem s wife believes that she can have it all Cherry pretends she s Pakistani but buys into England Cherry is pregnant indication of future prosperity Continues to flourish Based on corrupt English society Better to take a powder than to sell a powder May be easier for women to opt out because they re already outsiders Daughters massaging Nasser Nasser s wife Bilquis Lurker Rachel Nasser s mistress who can really have no place in his life Tania knows she ll never have the chance to be an insider Even when she challenges the insider definition of success Nasser looking for a male to take over business Flashing Scene Omar is unformed and maleable enough to refuse the patriarchy Omar is both impressed and embarassed by Tania Degree of discomfort she forces on the weak Omar and audience Audacity that is unavailable to Omar Omar is reduced to a child by Tania s sexual and also maternal act Mocks male society and voyeurism Scopophilia in film sexual pleasure based on looking voyeurism Male as spectator woman as object Tanis looks at audience directly challenges voyeur Dar Williams song When a man is a sex object woman is set as bearer of the gaze C E Humanities Page 1 When a man is a sex object woman is set as bearer of the gaze Omar is passive marry any day now while Tania is direct Opening of Laundrette Johnny accepts flowers from Tania To Rachel I don t like women who live off men disgusting parasitical Nasser marry her already Who do you live off Everything is waiting for you The only thing that s waiting for me is your father Tania attempts to escape but only can with money borrowed from men Has to ask Omar to help her run away Tania opts out entirely of patriarchal competitive world By running away It appears like she killed herself why Boarding a train that supposedly passes everyone by Hussein wants Omar to go to college so that he won t make his fortune as an underpants cleaner Asks Johnny to help him get Omar in college and to go to college also Understands that Nasser is a crooke We must all have knowledge if we are to see what has been done and to whom in this country Knowledge without action is nothing Hussein is an alcoholic scholar that does nothing Bilquis makes a working potion using traditional feminine skills Even in modern European male world female magic potion works Bilquis intends to return to Pakistan after she hospitalizes Rachel Rachel Admirable woman despite position as Nasser s mistress Strength to remove herself from it Opts out of dependency on Nasser Omar s mother Train runs past seedy flat with Hussein Reminds of mother To escape she throws herself under a train Active action of power not passive Thatcher s capitalism aimed to keep the trains running if on time Omar s mother stopped the trains Omar s father has no such courage to kill himself Women in film have much in common Rachel affluent from Nasser possibly middle class Knows Johnny s mother lower class Women in film are linked Questions to think about 1 One of the skinheads of the film says everyone has to belong does the director mean that 2 Omar washes clothes by hand in the beginning of the film and at the end of the film Omar and Johnny end up washing clothes by hand in the first of a potential string of high tech laundrettes is this progress success C E Humanities Page 2

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HOFSTRA HUHC 014 - Critique of Margaret Thatcher's government

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