Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hot fuzz in Bangkok: She's not a policewoman, she's a police officer

The videogame adaptation, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, is still filming in Bangkok and the production's blog has put up its third post, introducing a new character:

For this week’s exclusive first-look, feast your eyes on the beautiful Moon Bloodgood as Det. Maya Sunee. The character probably won’t sound familiar to you die-hard SF fans out there. And it shouldn’t. Maya’s new to the Street Fighter universe. She’s Bangkok Gangland Homicide. A no-nonsense, fast-talking, half-Thai cop who rocks a Ducati and a set of gold cuffs.

This character got me to wondering if the Royal Thai Police have a "Bangkok Gangland Homicide" unit? Do they have female plainclothes officers working in the field? I don't have any experience with the Thai police, thankfully. Mostly, I just see the traffic police, and they are always men.

Female officers seem to mostly be confined to desk duty.

But at least a couple of Thai films I can think of elevate the policewomen to the line of duty -- The Tiger Blade being one, and then I have to reach all the way back to the 1980s, and MC Chatrichalerm Yukol's Gunman. In the former film, a female officer from the weapons lab is made the gun-toting partner of the protagonist. In the latter, a female officer has a major role on a special branch unit headed by the Black Hand (Ron Rittichai). She goes undercover, and proves to be a crack shot with her service revolver. Of course, because the unit is under the command of the glory-seeking Black Hand, all confirmed kills are credited to him. In another scene, the woman is pounding away on a typewriter and is being ordered around like a low-level secretary.

So here's to the Hollywood production, for raising the profile of a Thai female police officer, even she isn't being portrayed by a Thai -- Bloodgood being of Dutch-Irish and Korean parentage. But her heavily armed "boys", well they appear to be Thai.

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