“I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone”
Love Triangle from Malaysia
“I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone” (Strand Releasing) is about an erotic love triangle between a young drifter, an immigrant worker and a nurse. Having premiered at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, the film has opened to great critical acclaim. The story line tersely put is about how three people find each other on the streets of Kuala Lampur but that is a bit too simple.
Hsiao Kang, a homeless youth, is robbed, beaten and left for dead but h is found by Rawang, an immigrant worker. Rawang lives in part of a modern building that has been abandoned during construction. We do not know if Rawang has sexual feelings for his patient but Chyi, a waitress in a shabby coffee shop is anxious to have Rawang become the true object of her affection. The relationship between the three characters is pervasive throughout the film and the movie is erotic and sensual as well as quite funny.
Surprisingly the movie deals with the social exclusion of the lower class. There is only one character in the entire film that has money but she cannot rise above her class yet the focus on the classes is really not what the director, Tsai Ming-Liang wanted to do. It just happened as the movie was being made.
The movie gives us a look at Malaysia in a whole new way and presents a picture of society of which many of us were not aware.