Monday, December 29, 2003

Review: One Night Husband

  • Directed by Pimpaka Towira
  • Starring Nicole Theriault, Siriyakorn Pukkavesh
  • Released in Thailand in 2003; reviewed on rented DVD
  • Rating: 3/5

Nicole Theriault and Siriyakorn Pukkavesh from Monrak Transistor give great performances in this drama by Thai indie director Pimpaka Towira. It's the story of a high-society newlywed (Nicole) whose husband goes missing after their first night together. She calls the guy's asshole brother for help and meets his abused, lower-class wife (Siriyakorn). The two then develop a friendship. The film has a great look, with sharp, crisp photography and a subdued mood that is enhanced by the presence of Bangkok's rainy season. It's all for nothing, though, as the result is confusing and implausible.

Review: OK Baytong

  • Written and directed by Nonzee Nimibutr
  • Starring Phoovarit Phumpuang and Jeeranan Manojam
  • Released in Thailand cinemas on December 26, 2003
  • Rating: 4/5

In turning to contemporary times, Nonzee gives his most thought-provoking film yet in the story about a monk who leaves the temple where he has lived since he was a child and moves to Muslim-dominated South Thailand to care for the daughter of his sister, who was killed in a terrorist attack on a train.

Despite the heavy handed subject about the growing spectre of Muslim extremism (one of his nightmare visions is of a trainload of bearded Kalishnikov-toting terrorists), the film is pretty light-hearted. He must first adjust to wearing something other than monk's robes and must take extra care with that zipper. He takes over his dead sister's business - a hair salon catering to a bevy of beautiful women who work in a karaoke parlor. He experiences his first hard-on while riding on the back of a motor scooter driving by his attractive new neighbor Lynn. He must learn to ride a bike and deal with his feelings - or are they really his feelings?