Monday, December 29, 2003

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?

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