Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blue Sky of Love so bad it's 'almost a crime'

I've not seen the comedy-romance Blue Sky of Love (Fah Sai Huajai Chuenbaab). The trailer gave me a bad enough headache, that I don't think I have the stamina to sit through the entire film. And though I've learned that Thai films cannot necessarily be judged on the strength or weakness of their trailers, I fear that going to watch Blue Sky of Love would make my head implode. And I just don't need that kind of pain right now.

The movie takes place after the deadly October 6, 1976 crackdown on demonstrations led by democracy activists at Thammasat University, and follows a group of students into the forest, where they join up with a comical band of communist rebels.

Fortunately for the rest of us, Kong Rithdee has actually gone to see this movie, and he had a review in Friday's Bangkok Post. Here's a bit (cache):

The incident of Oct 6 remains a wound that is felt even by those who weren't there at the time; it is especially felt in the current climate when the country is divided by hatred and imagined differences, like it was 33 years ago. To have a movie like this is like a mockery of tragic history. It could even be interpreted as an insult.

I had a bad feeling when I saw the film's poster, but I decided to see it to give it a fair chance. And I decided to write about it on this page to officially register the existence of its foolishness.

It says a lot about our film industry that a film like Blue Sky of Love has been granted a wide release when many other projects -- actually, most student films are more worthwhile than this -- struggle to get made or to get into the cinema. Most of all, the existence of this film says a lot about our flawed education on the subject of history. When the dust has never been cleared (so, how many deaths really occurred on that day?), when the truth remains obscure, the young generation will never understand the real burden of history, and we can hardly obtain a moral reason from it. Blue Sky of Love is a product of ignorance. In a time like this, it is almost a crime.

Read the whole thing.

A sensitive, strong and dramatic film that depicts that turbulent period in Thailand's history would probably be a worthy endeavor. And something with even a bit of comedy and satire -- if tastefully and smartly done -- would be welcome. But Blue Sky of Love ain't it by a long shot.

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