Tuesday, January 25, 2005

BKKIFF 2005: Hit Man File is the closing film

The action thriller Hit Man File, or Sum Mue Puen, was the closing film at the Bangkok International Film Festival.

It is directed by Sunanjit Bangsapan, who was responsible for the abysmal women's prison drama, Butterfly in Grey.

The movie depicts the life of a hit man, a former soldier, who lives on contracts to kill people. This basic plot outline mirrors Chatrichalerm Yukol's Gunman, and I have to wonder if this isn't just an out-in-out remake, dolled up with new, pretty stars.

An article in the Borneo Bulletin gives everything away. However, it points out the futility of the hitman business and says the film is trying to "demonstrate that killings are not necessary, as they will never end especially when a death is being revenged." Probably, I'll wager, this film was not necessary, either.

The Borneo Bulletin report said the stars of the film were present at the closing ceremony, and they demonstrated their ability in martial arts for the crowd.

The cast is huge and has impressive credentials.
  • Chatchai Plengpanich, a veteran actor who starred in Chatrichalerm's Song of Chao Phraya and appeared in Salween and Suriyothai.
  • Saranyoo Wongkrachang, an actress, was in the 1995 Cherd Songsri film, House of the Peacock.
  • Suntisuk Promsiri, who played the father in Jan Dara.
  • Bongkote "Tak" Kongmalai, who was in Ai Fak and is in the upcoming Tom Yum Goong.
  • Pitisak Yaowananont, who portrayed the titular character Ai Fak.
  • Nirut Sirichanya, who was in Siam Renaissance and is the father of actress model Porchita "Benz" na Songkla (Jeaw).
  • Sompop Benjatikul, from Macabre Case of Prom Pirum.
  • Thanit Jitnukul, the director of Bangrajan, makes an appearance.
Released under the Sahamongkol Film International marque, it's produced by Somsak Techaratanaprasert, written by Sananjit Bangsapan, photographed by Teerawat Rujintham, edited by Sunit Asvinikul with production design by Withaya Chaimongkol, sound by Ramintra Sound Recording Studios and score by Chatchai Pongprapaphan.

Hit Man File was put in the BKKIFF schedule to replace Tom Yum Goong, which organizers hoped would be ready in time for the festival. I noticed the schedule change when I was at Siam Theatre to see Wai Onlawon. The movie's title had been hastily pasted onto the board.

I had noted earlier that Ong-Bak star Tony Jaa had been injured in shooting and the release had been pushed back to April. I am still unaware of the extent of his injuries. But I should have also noted that Tony Jaa was present in Hong Kong recently for a tsunami relief benefit.

(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)

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