Friday, February 8, 2008

Another bite of Chocolate, other Thai films at the European Film Market

Chocolate had its European premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival's European Film Market yesterday, so I expect to start seeing some more buzz generated from this latest chunk of exploitively gritty, hard-hitting Thai action.

Also screening at the European Film Market from Sahamongkol are Chukiat Sakweerakul's The Love of Siam and Thanakorn Pongsuwan's karmic action-thriller Opapatika. The lone Thai indie entry is Aditya Assarat's Wonderful Town, which recently won the VPRO Tiger Awards at the International Film Festival Rotterdam and is screening in the Berlinale's Forum section.

As for Chocolate, among the early reviews from the European Film Market comes from Blake at Cinema is Dope. He writes:

I can confirm with 100% certainty that Chocolate kicks unbelievable ass. At this point if this is the only film that comes out this year I’ll be happy. I haven’t gotten to see a movie that got me on such an euphoric wave in a good while. As far as females kicking ass movies, it’s the best one I’ve ever seen. I think my previous favorite female kicking ass movie was Yes, Madam with Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee offers his take on Chocolate, saying it is "slightly more watchable than Tom-Yum-Goong but much less blood-rushing than Ong-bak." But he poo-poos the notion that the filmmakers had any good intentions in making the film, saying:

Let's face it: the whole fisting-elbowing- drop-kicking-taekwandoing business is designed as lurid entertainment, and autism is merely an excuse for Zen's superhuman skill. This is not feminist propaganda or an homage to autistic talents - this is just an attempt to repeat the financial success of Ong-bak and Tom-Yum-Goong, especially in the international market. The action sequences in Chocolate are intense, but they lack character and panache; they're a jackhammer whereas in Ong-bak, they're ballistic ballet. What's worse is that they're executed with such nerdy realism without humour or irony.

(European Film Market news via Cinematical)

1 comment:

  1. I cannot wait to see this movie. Hopefully it'll still be playing somewhere in a couple of months.


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