IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
20min | Sci-Fi | 01 Jun 2018 (Malaysia) | Short
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
Director: Ce Ding Tan
Writer: Ce Ding Tan
Stars: Koe Shern, Candy Ice
IMDb summary: The Masseuse is a science fiction love story set in a futuristic Kuala Lumpur between a humanoid masseuse and her technician who has a disturbing past.
I don’t know how accurate the IMDb summaries or synopsis are and that’s a little concerning since most people start with the synopsis or summary of a film before they decide whether they’ll watch it.
If I had read the summary before seeing this film on Dust’s YouTube channel, I probably wouldn’t have considered watching it. The poster art does nothing for the film either.
First off, I wouldn’t call this a love story, not in the traditional sense. The film begins with Loong who is a computer technician hired to fix an aged masseuse droid in a seedy parlour somewhere in futuristic Kuala Lumpur.
The droid and the tech become friendly with each other, and Loong ends up visiting the droid more often. While this “friendship” develops, he confides in the droid that his father is cruel to him because of an injury that disabled him. He tells the droid that his father is trying to live his life through him.
Loong is told by his father he has to do what he said he would do and seems to be furious towards droids. And things take a grim turn from here on in. The enjoyable thing about this film is that you don’t figure out what’s going on until the very end. It’s not an obvious story, which is why I enjoyed it. In fact, the story could easily have been fleshed out a lot more than 20 minutes because 20 minutes isn’t long enough to get a sense of who the characters are.
There is a very melancholy feeling to this film that I felt early on. And it carried on right throughout the film. I don’t know if the writer/director intended this, but it was the first thing I picked up on and it works well.
To summarise, don’t read too much into the movie synopsis, don’t bother with the poster art and give this short film a go. You might be pleasantly surprised as I was.