Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Panna Rittikrai choreographs the action in The Outrage

There are plenty of reasons to be anticipating the upcoming Thai version of RashomonU Mong Pa Meung (อุโมงค์ผาเมือง) – by director ML Bhandevanop “Mom Noi” Devakula. The international English title is The Outrage, which is the same as the 1964 Paul Newman western that was a remake of Rashomon.

Artsy types will be attracted by the literary and theatrical leanings of Mom Noi's script. They'll also adore the lush setting of the mountains of Chiang Mai and the sumptuous period costuming, same as Mom Noi's award-winning romantic epic last year, Eternity (Chua Fah Din Salai).

Movie buffs will be impressed by the sheer star power of a cast that includes Ananda Everingham, Love of Siam's Mario Maurer, "Ploy" Chermarn Boonyasak, Dom Hetrakul, Pongpat Wachirabunjong, Teerapong Leowrakwong and even comedian Petthai "Mum Jok Mok" Wongkamlao.

And action fans will likely take note because the fight scenes are choreographed by none other than Ong-Bak stunt maestro Panna Rittikrai.

Mom Noi explains in today's Soopsip column in The Nation, "What gets a Movie moving?" (Page 1B, print edition):

“I have no expertise in action scenes, but this film needed a good battle in the forest between Ananda Everingham and Dom Hetrakul.”

Panna went to work and Mom Noi ended up calling him a genius. “He not only makes the fight look real, but his action design is very artistic!”

You can catch a glimpse of the action in the (English-subtitled) trailer (embedded below).

Like all of Mom Noi's movies – his film career stretches back to the 1980s – U Mong Pa Meung has its roots in literature and/or the stage. Rashomon, best known as the classic 1950 movie by Akira Kurosawa, was originally adapted from two short stories by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon and In a Grove.

In turn, Mom Noi's movie is based on a Thai adaptation of the story by MR Kukrit Pramoj, which was inspired by a 1959 Broadway version that Kukrit saw. Mom Noi himself directed a Thai stage version of the story in the 1990s.

The movie comes out as Thailand is observing the 100th birth anniversary of Kukrit, a multi-hyphenate statesman, scholar, artist, dancer and writer. The movie also celebrates the 40th anniversary of the studio, Sahamongkolfilm International.

U Mong Pa Meung (The Outrage) opens in Thai cinemas on September 8.

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