Vuil Wasgoed

Bennie Fourie and Bouwer Bosch in Vuil Wasgoed. (Ster-Kinekor)
Bennie Fourie and Bouwer Bosch in Vuil Wasgoed. (Ster-Kinekor)


3/5 Stars


Wim and Kevin work at a laundromat. By day, things are boring, but when the sun sets they party in their clients' clothes.


After the success of the short film at the annual Silwerskerm Film Festival it was surely an easy decision to turn the quirky laundromat comedy into a full feature film. 

But taking something that worked on a small scale and stretching it out over 100 minutes comes with risks. Will the characters still be lovable? Would the story still be interesting? 

Luckily, for Vuil Wasgoed, it worked out just fine. The big screen version is far more polished than the original short. It’s slicker, smoother and faster. Even the cinematography is sexier with an expensive, international feel to it. 

The characters have also grown and are a lot more developed and interesting to watch. The standouts were undoubtedly Charlie Bouguenon as Joe, Tim Theron as Tom and Nico Panagio as Manny. 

The bad guys totally stole the show for me. They were also the metaphorical “cherry on the cake” during the film’s impressive climatic finale in the shipyard. This masterfully produced conclusion was undoubtedly the pièce de résistance of the whole film.  

Vuil Wasgoed really is a breath of fresh air in the local cinematic offering. It’s well-made and beautifully put together. But it also has its problems. 

Although a stellar cast, some characters really dropped the ball a few times. When a strategically placed joke falls flat it results in an uncomfortable silence from the audience. These cringeworthy moments, of which there were only a few in the film, ultimately disturbs the comedic timing, rhythm and natural flow. 

This was most evident in scenes where the comic relief was aimed at the disabled. The film has two disabled characters, a blind man and deaf woman, who were constantly ridiculed or made to look ridiculous based on their physical handicaps. The constant jabs at these characters were insensitive and completely unnecessary.

Instead of using this opportunity to include disabled characters into the narrative, they were rather used as an easy target to make fun of. This kind of ableism should never be okay and should not be encouraged in any way. The crude treatment of the disabled left a dirty stain on an otherwise pristine effort.  



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