Monday, February 18, 2008

Ready to embrace Handle Me With Care

Kongdej Jaturanrasamee's romantic comedy, Handle Me With Care (Kod, or, literally, Hug) will be the sole Thai release this Thursday in Thailand cinemas.

The story is about a guy named Kwan, who has two left arms. His mother was the only one who thought the third arm was a gift - I mean, I think there are plenty of instances when a third arm has been wished for. But Kwan views the extra appendage as an encumbrance, so after his mother's death, he decides to hit the road from his hometown of Lampang to Bangkok, where he'll have an operation to remove it.

Kwan is played Kiatkamol Latha, or Tui AF3, from Academy Fantasia 3, Thailand's answer to American Idol. It is his first major film role.

Along the way, Kwan meets Na , a woman who attracts a lot of unwanted attention because of her large breasts, and Kwan saves her from being raped. She is played by Supaksorn "Kratae" Chaimongkol. This could be a break-out dramatic role for the actress, who has been in many films, like Dangerous Flowers and Andaman Girl, that made her bikini-clad curves a focal point. She had a meaty starring role in the first Art of the Devil, and also stretched her drama chops in last year's stuntfest, Brave.

Judging from the expanded trailer, I think the film has some things to say about body image, which means there is something more going on with Handle Me With Care than most Thai romantic comedies, which are mainly about romance and comedy, nothing more. I'll be interested to see if some type of message actually comes through, which would be unusual for a film from GTH, which is the most formula-driven of the big Thai production companies. Will they make Kongdej fit the GTH feel good mold?

Anyway, the concept of the third arm looks to be imaginatively and humorously handled. It gives the film a quality not unlike Michel Gondry or Spike Jonez film.

The actor and actress had some things to say about the upcoming film in an interview in last week's BK magazine. BK asked them: What is the message Kod is trying to convey? Tui says:

Don’t be negative while you are in trouble. Don’t make a decision alone when, in fact, there is someone who wants to help you.

Kratae says:

Don’t take your life too seriously. Though you are in a difficult situation, there are always solutions. Take it easy and don’t be afraid to talk or consult with other people.

Handle Me With Care opens in Thailand cinemas on Thursday, February 21.

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