Friday, September 4, 2009

Review: My Ex (Fan Kao)

  • Directed by Piyapan Choopetch
  • Starring Shahkrit Yannarm, Wanida Termthanaporn, Navadee Mokkhavesa, Attama Chiwanitchapan
  • Released in Thai cinemas on August 27, 2009, rated 15+
  • Wise Kwai's rating: 3/5

Empty-headed philandering guys out there: Let My Ex (Fan Kao, แฟนเก่า) serve as a cautionary tale. If you've bedded your conquest, there's no need to tell her "you are the last and only woman for me". If anything, that seems like a bit of a turn off -- morbid even. And if one morning she says, "sweetheart, I'm pregnant", don't go "What? Are you kidding?"

Ken, an infamously womanizing actor, knows all the wrong moves when it comes to being a mac daddy. But then maybe he just can't help it. Perhaps Ken, as portrayed by Shahkrit Yamnarm, is simply addicted to love, or what he thinks his love. He flits from woman to woman, trying to recapture that fuzzy-wuzzy, gauze-filtered feeling that he had with her the first time.

Unfortunately, that feeling is apparently fleeting, and he's flitted from one woman to the next too many, specifically one named Meen ("Aom" Navadee Mokkhavesa). She's the one who says she's pregnant, so it's hard to blame her for appearing to be a bit clingy. Having the guy who's knocked her up, just when he's about to dump her, ask her if she's sure it's his baby, well no wonder she seems to be a bit of dingbat. Poor girl is in shock.

Ken has already moved on. At least twice. His latest conquest is an actress, a co-star named Ploy ("Gybzy" Wanida Termthanaporn). She should know better than to get involved with the notorious Ken -- especially when she sees what's been done to his car -- somebody's painted "bastard" all over it in blood-red paint. A paparazzi named King (Boriwat Yuto) captures the scene, which earns him a punch in the jaw from the angry Ken.

Ken's a charmer with the ladies. But he can't seem to find the words to tell them he's breaking up with them. So when a heartbroken Bow ("Bowie" Attama Chiwanitchapan ) -- wearing the infamous tight white blouse and short black skirt uniform of a college girl -- calls him while he's in his sportscar, he won't answer the phone. And it's not because he's obeying the law about talking on a cellphone while driving -- it's because Ploy is sitting right there in the passenger seat.

Bow tries a payphone in hopes Ken will pick up a strange number, but that doesn't work either. Bow then has the phone hung up for her permanently when a truck slams into the phone booth.

From then on, a ghostly figure -- presumably Bow -- is always lurking. Bath time with Ploy at Ken's posh condo becomes bloody, but then Ken wakes up in the morning as if nothing happened. An apparition flits around the corner, and Ken follows it into the elevator, because it wouldn't be a horror movie without a scary elevator scene.

Ken heads to his beach house to get away from it all. Ploy brings her bikini and joins him for a romp in the surf. The experience leaves Ken unsettled -- he keeps seeing something or someone. And then a tree branch smacks him in his face -- watch where you're going Ken.

People all around Ken are dying, where ever there happens to be magnolia blossoms strewn around. His manager (Badin Duke) -- who tried to tell Ken what a crazy woman at Meen was -- has a spectacular death scene that is about as scary and gory as Fan Kao gets. And the paparazzi gets his, though there's nothing to that except a pool of blood under the bathroom door.

It's hard to be sympathetic for any of these people, especially not the romance-addicted self-indulgent misogynistic Ken or the women who've fallen for him.

The shell game of who or what is behind the terror continues like clockwork. Adirek "Uncle" Wattaleela co-scripted and co-produced this picture, and he brings what I think to be a simple economy to the proceedings to keep things moving. And just when you think the movie is over, there is a coda that adds a splattery twist.

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