Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Yam Yasothon 3

  • Directed by Petchthai Wongkamlao
  • Starring Petchthai Wongkamlao, Janet Keaw, Likhit Butrprom, Paythai Wongkamlao, Chen Chernyim, Endu Wongkamlao, Piroonrat Kedkhum, Rattiyaphon Phakdilon
  • Released in Thai cinemas on August 8, 2013; rated G
  • Wise Kwai's rating: 3/5

Yam Yasothon 3 (แหยม ยโสธร 3), the third entry in Petchthai "Mum Jokmok" Wongkamlao's '70s-tinted Isaan comedy series, is like an old worn out pair of shoes. They are comfortable and easy to slip into while doing chores around the house or yard, but you wouldn't necessarily want to be seen wearing them in public.

The costuming is so colorful, it's blinding but somehow still palatable against the bright green of Isaan's rice fields. Quite simply, it's eye candy.

It's harder on the ears. The jokes are old and ribald, but somehow still funny. And the music by Rangsi Serichai, Mum and others is toe-tappingly infectious, even if the blue-streak lyrics will (hopefully) keep the songs off the radio.

A running sight gag has a group of Afro-wigged musicians playing air instruments except for one percussionist whose congas are the bald heads of a couple of funny-looking guys. An audible slap on bare skin punctuates the rhythm and the bald guys wince in pain.

Amid the cornball comedy, a pair of love stories are forming. They involve two sons of the moustachioed patriarch Yam.

The older, handsomer and smarter of the two, Katathep (Likhit Butrprom), meets his girl Rumpun  ("Fah" Piroonrat Kedkhum) on a bus ride home. As the two catch each others' glances and then turn away in embarrassment, the old lady sitting between them grows increasingly impatient. "Do you want me to move so you can sit next to one another?" she finally asks in a huff.

In the village, a new school year has started, and another of Yam's sons, the comical-looking, dimwitted Khamphan (Mum's son Paythai Wongkamlao) is in the 12th grade for the third time. The teacher and headmaster put their foot down and say Khamphan has to go, but the boy wants to hang around so he can speak sweetly to Rumpoey (Rattiyaphon Phakdilon), the brightest girl in school. And she actually thinks he's sweet, because he has a good heart, even if he is a goofball. With his bowl-shaped haircut and loud clothes, Khamphan gets the biggest laughs for his multi-colored platform-heel boots – footwear that might've been commandeered from the Commodores.

Problem for the guys is the girls are the daughters of Kamnan Ploy (Chen Chernyim), the village chief and a longtime rival of Yam's. Seems Ploy stole Yam's first love, Rumpueng (played by Mum's real-life wife Endu Wongkamlao). Ret-con flashbacks show how Ploy and Yam's formerly ugly second girlfriend and eventual wife Joei (Janet Keaw) conspired to make that happen.

So while old wounds are reopened and jealousies reignited, there's the usual hayseed hijinks of these movies, mostly involving cross-dressing characters. There are also a few callbacks to the 2005 first entry and the 2009 sequel. And there are courting scenes between the couples that look like they could have been yanked frame by frame out of any of the Thai movie musical romances of the 1970s and '80s.

It culminates at the village fair during a big musical performance that is highlighted by an extended cameo from Mum's frequent comedy cohort Pongsak Pongsuwan, performing a luk thung number dressed in a white jumpsuit as Elvis. It's got to be a reference to his role with Mum in Killer Tattoo.

To settle the feud between the families, it's proposed there will be a dance-off. And it's probably the lamest dance-off in cinema history. Endu dresses up to perform a Bollywood-inspired number, but, oddly, it hardly ever shows her actually dancing, opting instead for close ups of her face mugging for the camera with cutaways to swaying hips that might not be hers. Mum and his boys then take the stage to try and top that, which should be easy. They do a few pelvic thrusts to a lewd song, and apparently that's enough.

See also:

1 comment:

  1. Hi, do you know the title of the song when the guy with the plaster on his forehead sang a song to his girlfriend in his house? Then there's a woman dancing, a man uses the bald men's heads as his drums, all these are done under a tree. Pls help me.


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