Sunday, July 18, 2004

Review: The Commitment (Arthan Kaebon Phee)

  • Directed by Montree Khong-im
  • Starring Prangthong Changtham, Virithipa Pakdeeprasong, Pinsuda Tanpairoh
  • Wide release in Thai cinemas in July 2004.
As an alternative to checking out I, Robot, which I planned to see with another friend, my girlfriend suggested this.

Now, I don't like scary movies that much, so I was reluctant. The movie poster features a picture of a girl slicing her wrist with a butcher knife. That gave me chills to look at. But in the interests of checking out a Thai film, I gave this one a chance.

The beginning was promising, with some young guys dying in a car wreck after trying to gang rape a girl.

Then it cuts to "present day Bangkok". Eight young pretties are in an abandoned house. They get scared and run away. They go to another place. What the heck are they doing? Well, it turns out they are looking for an auspicious place to offer some prayers and ask for their wishes to be granted. The place they choose is an alter set up outside a creepy old wooden house. Turns out it was not such good place to offer a blessing.

It takes awhile -- too long -- to get around to explaining why.

The girls are led by a couple of sexy naughty bitchy types named Pim and Moss. Both are upper-class girls. They constantly snipe at each other but are really good friends. They are also friends with a girl named Muay, who is lower class, but smart.

They offer their prayers -- their commitments. One offers to shave her head if she finds her wallet. Another offers to bless Moss's feet if Muay passes her university exams. I forget the others.

The movie promptly shifts into dull, soap opera mode, focusing on the girl's family lives.

I kept wanting to walk out, but my girlfriend kept me there. Each time I wanted to get up and walk out, something decent would happen -- a little bit of gore or a mild scare.

One good scene was when a group of traditional Thai dancers performed. There was some nice slo-mo, stylised photographry going on then.

Other than that, this played like a crappy TV movie. Why it needed to be shown in the theaters is beyond me. It must be because of all the young pretty stars. But even my Thai girlfriend didn't like this movie when it was all said and done. Too dull. Bad acting. Bad special effects. Not enough gore. Not scary enough.

"This is a bad movie, but many people will go and see it. I think that isn't right," my girlfriend said. "I will tell all my friends not to see this."

As will I.

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