Mei li de xi yi ji (The Beautiful Washing Machine) (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Mei li de xi yi ji (The Beautiful Washing Machine) (2004)

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Experimental filmmaker James Lee of Malaysia wrote and directed The Beautiful Washing Machine. Teoh's (Loh Bok Lai) girlfriend has just left him, and as the film opens; he is buying a used washing machine to replace the one she must have taken with her. At his dull desk job, Teoh's boss complains that his sullen mood is hurting morale. The used washing machine turns out to be very temperamental, turning itself on and off seemingly at will. He calls the store, but the warranty has expired. He calls the manufacturer, but the model has been discontinued. When a repairman comes to fix it, the machine works fine. Teoh ends up scrubbing his clothes clean by hand. One night, Teoh hears a noise and finds a strange young woman (Amy Len) sitting by the washing machine eating a bowl of soup. He has her do all of his cooking and cleaning while he critiques her work and photographs her. Eventually, he takes her out in the street and tries to sell her sexual services to other men. This gets him into trouble, but the woman escapes and is taken in by Mr. Wong (Patrick Teoh), an elderly widower who happens to be the father of Yuen (Chin Lee Ling), the longtime girlfriend of Teoh's co-worker, Yap (Yap Kok Chong). Wong also owns a broken washing machine, which his son, Ah Dee (Berg Lee), was supposed to fix. The arrival of the strange woman causes upheaval in Wong's home as Yuen resents her presence, Ah Dee tries to seduce her, and Yap forces himself on her. Wong refuses to explain her presence, and the woman herself doesn't say a word. The Beautiful Washing Machine, shot by Teoh Gay Hian, was shown at the 2004 New York Asian American International Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, Rovi

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