As blogged about earlier, Nak Prok (นาคปรก), the long-shelved monks-with-guns crime drama, is finally getting released in Thailand, and is now set for cinemas on March 18. It's the story of thieves who bury their loot on the grounds of a Buddhist monastery, and when they come back later to dig it up, they find a temple has been built on the spot. So they ordain as monks while they figure out how to get their treasure.
With the international title Shadow of the Naga, it premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival, but its strong depictions of the thieves robed as Buddhist monks have kept it out of Thai theaters.
As mentioned in the 2010 Thai film preview, it was used as a test case in talks about Thailand's new film law and ratings system. Word is that it will be given the most restrictive 20+ rating and will carry warning messages throughout, reminding viewers to not try any of that stuff out at home or in their local temples.
Now there's a trailer out (embedded below), and everyone can see what all the fuss was about. There's a monk, pointing a gun. Also, a gun being pointed at a senior monk, and it appears he's being forced at gunpoint to shave a robber's head and eyebrows and ordain him. While robed, the felonious monks exhibit decidedly unserene behavior, raising their voices and their fists. And there's a rape scene.
But surely, through all that, there will be redemption, or a spiritual awakening, whether the characters want it or not. I got a little misty-eyed watching the trailer. I expect the whole film is going to leave me an emotional wreck.
Ray MacDonald, Somchai Kemklad and Pitisak Yaowanon star, along with Inthira Charoenpura. It's directed by Pawat Panangkasiri.