Teoh’s girlfriend has recently left him, taking most of her possessions, including the washing machine, leaving him unable to cope with life and the laundry. He buys a second-hand one that turns out to have more temperament than any warranty deal ever warned you about. The unit promptly breaks down, initiating a series of customer service calls that culminate in the appearance of a nameless young woman, who becomes his live-in maid. Add to this washing cycle a middle-aged widower, Mr Wong, with a manga-mask fetish, a few gangsters plus the consequences of love and abandonment in the fast-changing city of Kuala Lumpur. Pretty soon the eponymous appliance starts to seem like the most sane creature in this dark and wickedly surreal love comedy. The Beautiful Washing Machine is the first in a wave of independent Malaysian movies that has hit Western shores. Director James Lee (Ah Beng Returns, Room To Let) delivers a steady stream of hypnotic, fluorescent-lit images and intersecting storylines in sterile, cubicled offices, supermarkets and underground parking lots. The Beautiful Washing Machine gives you an insight into a society of solitude and dehumanization, where rampant consumerism sabotages any attempt to establish long lasting and authentic relationships. It‘s all brought to you with subtle humour and a bit of dry cleaning.

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