Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Review: Rak/Sam/Sao (The Last Moment)

  • Directed by Yuthlert Sippapak
  • Starring Arak Amornsuksiri, Pataraya Krueasuwansiri and Ratchawin Wongwiriya
  • Released in Thailand cinemas on June 19, 2008
  • Rating: 2/5 stars

Even when her character is drinking urine, the expression on the face of Pataraya Krueasuwansiri, portraying the cancer-suffering Fah barely registers. It's the same gape-mouthed vacant look she has through the picture.

The other two lead actors -- Arak Amornsuksiri and Ratchawin Wongwiriya -- are also impossibly pretty, so delicate, they look like their faces will break if they show any real emotion.

Painful as it as to watch, Yuthlert Sippapak's love-triangle melodrama Rak/Sam/Sao (The Last Moment), has its moments, mainly in the beginning, in the getting-to-know-you stages of character development. Early on, it's light-hearted and fun.

The characters are graduating from university, and one ends up in jail for some unseen offence the night before. The girls and their wacky friends go to bail the guy out, and they have to deal with the two cops who have turned up in just about all of Yuthlert's films in Buppha Rahtree -- Adirek "Uncle" Wataleela and Boonthin Thuaykaew.

But soon Fah collapses on stage during a drunken graduation-party sing-a-long, and then holes up in the toilet on a boat trip to some island, and the fun goes out of the film pretty quickly. Except for when Payu pees on Fah's jerk of an ex-boyfriend, and gets beaten up. That's pretty funny. More yellow-tinged fun comes when Payu suggests that Fah drink urine for its therapeutic value.

Payu admits he has feelings for Fah, and wants her to do more than just drink her own pee. They take wispy rides on Payu's vintage motorcycle -- all Thai romance films must have motorcycle scenes -- and have adventures with monkeys. This devastates Nam, who secretly carried a torch for Payu all through college.

They are rich and indulgently spoiled -- Fah has her own private island hospice retreat, Payu is a narcissistic guitarist in a rock band, seen here performing with his real-life band, Slur. The Last Moment follows all the conventions of the Thai television soap operas. There's just better cinematography is all. It's really difficult to invest in the characters. They are so paper thin, they dry up and blow away once the movie is over.

The only character who really has any heart is the striking short-haired Nam (Ratchawin), who is actually seen earning a living, working for a design firm. But tragedy befalls Nam as she embarks on a tentative relationship with a co-worker. Payu steps up to do what he thinks is the right thing, though it's clear he thinks he's making a sacrifice. Somehow, the friendship of the three becomes stronger through all this? But it's all so contrived. Only in the movies.

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  1. Hello! Greetings from the Philippines! I just saw your site and I love it so far!

    Anyway, I heard about this movie. It seems pretty good. But I'm rather confused. My friend says this stars Apinya Sakuljaroensuk (who I'm a big fan of). But here and on other blogs about the movie, it mentions nothing of her.

    Is she really in this movie. Can you please clarify?

    Anyway, I really enjoyed reading your posts and hope to hear more from you soon!

  2. Saipan Apinya is not in Rak/Sam/Sao. She appeared last year in a few other films, including another very tragic drama called Friendship. She was also in Boonchu 9 and had a prominent role in the Tit for Tat segment of 4Bia.

  3. Thanks, WiseKwai, for the clarification!

    Maybe he meant 4Bia, then!

    Hope to hear more from you!


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