Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ready for young gangsters in Antapal

A flash mob promotes Antapal at Bangkok's Victory Monument BTS station. Photo by Wise Kwai.

Kongkiat Khomsiri, director of such acclaimed, retro-infused crime dramas as Muay Thai Chaiya and Slice, offers a fantastic-looking, violent take on the fact-based account of young gangsters in 1950s and early '60s Thailand with Antapal (อันธพาล).

Opening today, there's already a positive buzz heating up among Thai film geeks as well as foreign genre fans.

Also making sure word of the film gets out was a flash mob of young men with slicked-back hair, sunglasses, jeans and T-shirts with rolled up sleeves taking rides on Bangkok's BTS skytrain. But I think I was probably the only one on the train who knew what they were up to.

It's much the same story that was done by director Nonzee Nimibutr and screenwriter Wisit Sasanatieng in 1997's Dang Bireley's and Young Gangsters (2499 Antapan Krong Muang), though Kongkiat takes great pains in a Nation article today to say it isn't a remake.

It's definitely an original approach, if the crab claw used as a weapon, which you can see in the English-subtitled trailer (embedded below), is any indication.

"Tao" Somchai Kemglad and Krissana "Noi" Sukosol Clapp star as a pair of young hoodlums who take on the old-time mafia to shake up the Thai underworld. But times change and the game gets rougher as they find themselves challenged by a pair of even younger hoodlums who are obsessed with the style of James Dean and being gangster kingpins themselves.

Perennial heavy Pongpat Wachirabunjong is also in the cast.

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