Thursday, February 14, 2008

Chocolate on Valentine's Day

What could be more perfect than watching Chocolate on Valentine's Day? Right now, I can't think of a better way to celebrate the day, and judging from the nearly full cinema for the mid-day screening at Central Bangna, other couples had the same sentiments. I predict that Chocolate will remain the No. 1 film in Thailand for a second week.

Today was my second viewing, and it was a time to just sit back and enjoy the martial arts force of nature that is Jeeja.

Still, it takes awhile to get into the action. Leading up to that, I came up with at least a couple of questions:
  • Why does Number 8 shoot himself in the foot?
  • Where are those little glass balls coming from?
  • What is the purpose of having transgenders act as Number 8's crew of henchpersons? Other than comedy relief, I can't see a reason.
And a few random observations:
  • An animated dream sequence bridges the character-development portion of the film to the action-driven second two-thirds of the film. It shows that Zen is inspired by the dream to wake up and proceed to kick some butt in order to collect her mom's money.
  • Number 8 will not die. Even after he's been shot and stabbed repeatedly, he still has enough energy to jump off a building to the Skytrain tracks, and hang off the elevated railway, and then jump back on to the building, swinging on signs and ledges.
  • Aside from Number 8, the toughest opponent Zen faces is another apparently developmentally disabled kid. This skinny, mumbling tracksuit-clad kid, named Timmy or Kenny or somesuch, has a martial arts style that incorporates his involuntary tics with breakdancing and possibly capoeira. Zen finally defeats him by mimicking his twitchy movements. It's a fun scene that will be worth a couple of rewinds.
Meanwhile, one more review has surfaced, this one from Greg Jorgenson at the showtime-listings website MovieSeer. Jorgenson writes:

Chocolate is definitely a serviceable martial arts movie, and certainly shows that Thai fight talent is some of the best in the world, but I really can’t wait until someone comes along with a dense, epic script that really show the world what Thailand can do. In the meantime, this will do just fine.

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