Monday, January 26, 2004

Review: Fake

  • Directed by Thanakorn Pongsuwan
  • Starring Leo Putt, Ray MacDonald, Tah Barby and Patcharapa Chaichua
  • Released in Thailand cinemas in 2003; reviewed at the 2004 Bangkok International Film Festival

Okay, I'm confused. Fake is an okay Thai film. It was out in 2003, but I missed it. Finally, I caught it this morning at the Bangkok Int'l Film Festival.

On the surface, it's about three guys who - unbeknownst to each other - are chasing after the same girl.

What's puzzling is that the three guys all act the same, while the girl acts quite a bit different depending on whatever guy she's interacting with. The differences are so subtle, it's hard to explain.

The guys are all scruffy, skinny 20something, slacker dudes with jeans that ride down on their hips, exposing the waistbands of their boxer shorts.

One, Bao (Tah Barby), is so tortured by the breakup with the chick that he's delusional, mentally beating himself up. Another, Po (Leo Putt), takes pictures all the time. Women come easy for him, but his heart is not in it. The third, Soong (Ray MacDonald), keeps busy by working odd jobs like taxi driver, finder of missing persons and debt collector.

But are the three guys really the same person? And is the one girl three different people? Then there's a weird twist right at the end.

The movie is real. It took two hours of my time. Yet it seems unreal. The whole situation never existed. It's no coincidence that Wong Kar Wai's enigmatic Chungking Express is referenced in this movie by way of a poster on the wall of Po's darkroom.

Aside from all that moody weird stuff, there's some really cool scenes from around Bangkok - sticking pretty close to the skytrain and nightclubs, like the short-lived and now defunct Ministry of Sound, Bed Supperclub, About Cafe and Khao San Road.

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