My enthusiasm for promoting and writing about Thai film took big dive today with the release of Fan Chan (My Girl) on DVD. One of the best films of 2003 and one that's sure to be a hit with audiences at film festivals, was released on DVD today with much fanfare and elaborate packaging but without English subtitles.
At a price of more than twice what other Thai films cost, the DVD includes special "making of" features, plus it comes in a handy little carrying case - a small replica of the patent-leather book bag that all Thai students carry.
But no English subtitles. Why? The filmmakers went to the expense of having the subtitles made for the theatrical release. Why not include them on this expensive DVD? This just plain sucks. I was looking forward to having the film in my home and sharing it with friends, and praising it on this blog. But no. Now I will trash it and forget about.
It's a really sweet movie about growing up in a small town 1980s Thailand, featuring a boy who is best friends with a girl. But the boy wants to ride his bike across the street and play with the other boys. It has humor and a story that have universal appeal. Unfortunately, unless you speak fluent Thai, you won't be able to understand the dialogue.
I'm really pissed off right now at the cheap, short-sighted bastards at the film company who think they can save money by not including the subtitles on the DVD.