Friday, May 22, 2009

Cannes '09: More reviews for Nymph

As the Cannes Film Festival winds down, there are a few more reviews for Pen-ek Ratanaruang's thriller Nymph (Nang Mai).

Variety's Leslie Felperin gives an even-handed assessment of the film's commercial prospects:

"Challengingly slow-paced, much like the helmer's last two pics (Ploy, Invisible Waves) this one starts to cast a bewitching spell by its final reels, although for some the effect will be more like that of a sleeping potion. Further fest play is sure to follow, but Nymph will frolic in only a very limited way on the specialty circuit thereafter."

Thor Bee pointed to a review by Matt Bochenski at Little White Lies, who is less diplomatic, calling Nymph "the first real dud I've seen at the festival". He has nice things to say about actress "Gybzy" Wanida Termthanaporn (a pop singer making her film debut), saying she's "one of the most beautiful actresses I've ever seen". But as to the film:

"It’s fabulously shot [beginning] with an impossibly intricate 10-minute or so tracking shot through the jungle that swirls and swoops and zooms as though the camera was lighter than air ... but it’s a cold, unemotional and unengaging experience for the most part."

The Bangkok Post's Kong Rithdee blogs that Nymph "will be a difficult sale in Thailand, given the film’s slow pacing, but the movie works as a quiet mystery and a tale of guilt and failed marriage." He also praises Gybzy's "surprisingly natural" performance. He'll have more to say as Nymph nears its July 2nd release in Thailand.

A day 8 roundup at Ion Cinema doesn't offer a review, but does have a tantalizing look at the elusive poster art.

Those reviews are in addition to the earlier roundup that included the review by Todd Brown of Twitch.

Update: I've embedded a video interview with the cast and crew of Nymph by (via Bangkok1080). Pen-ek, drolly hilarious as usual, describes his movie as “a love story between a man, a woman and a tree." Gybzy and Nopachai Jayanama answer in Thai, and I think I recognize the voice of the translator, but can't be sure. Pen-ek and director of photography Charnkit Chamnivikaipong are then interviewed and they converse in English.

Update 2: The Nang Mai movie website is fully live, with desktop wallpapers, ambient jungle noises and other cool stuff.

Update 3: Lee Marshall's review for Screen Daily is rather down on Nymph.

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