Saturday, December 7, 2013

Review: Oh! My Ghost Khun Pee Chuay (OMG!)

  • Directed by Puttipong Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon
  • Starring Sudarat Butrprom, Cris Horwang, Anusorn Maneeted
  • Released in Thai cinemas on November 28, 2013; rated 15+
  • Wise Kwai's rating: 4/5

A case of haunted hair extensions is played up for laughs in Oh! My Ghost Khun Phee Chuay (โอ้! มายโกสต์ คุณผีช่วย a.k.a. OMG!), a comedy that is lifted by the considerable talent of Sudarat "Tukky" Butrprom, her easy chemistry with co-star Cris Horwang and slick production under the direction of Puttipong Promsakha Na Sakon Nakhon (First Love, 30+ Singles on Sale).

Tukky is Kitty, a young Northeasterner in Bangkok who is struggling to break into showbiz. She auditions for all the TV talent shows, only to be turned down at every turn. To earn a living, she wears a lizard costume as a mascot to a trio of campily catty "pretties" – presentation models in the bathtub section of a home-improvement store. Kitty desperately wants to show she is every bit as glamorous and talented as the plastic, botoxed models and so she decides to get hair extensions.

But soon after, she has the feeling that she is being followed, and it turns out she's right – it's a pale-faced ghost of a woman with bright red lips, played by none other than Cris Horwang.

Kitty, desperate to find out why she's being haunted, seeks help from a bar owner (Kom Chaunchuan) who dabbles as a spirit medium. Turns out the ghost is Bee, a model, actress and dancer whose soul is somehow been left to wander, but she's become attached to Kitty because the hair extensions are from her head.

After Kitty's initial shock wears off, she lays down a few ground rules, such as not appearing scarily pale and generally refraining from being frightening. Which is a genius move, because it would be insane to have cute Cris Horwang in your movie and have her be in scary ghost makeup the whole time.

Bee wants Kitty to contact her fashion-photographer boyfriend (Anusorn "Yong Armchair" Maneeted) and somehow patch things up with him because the last time they were together they fought because he wanted her to cut her hair.

So, while trying to devise ways to get close to the man, the gals bond, and dancer Bee, whose speciality is bungee-assisted ballet, helps Kitty come up with an act for her next talent show audition.

This is fun stuff, with Bee "inhabiting" Kitty's body. Here's where Tukky's gift for physical comedy really comes through, with the diminuitive round-figured actress somehow able to telegraph the graceful moves of the lithe, long-limbed Chinese-Thai Bangkokian Cris.

Eventually there's a plot twist that leads to shenanigans in a hospital. Charoenporn "Kotee" Onlanmai is brought aboard as an undertaker who is part of the solution, but he gets sidetracked during an unplanned detour to the cosmetic surgery department and comes back with breast implants (they're actually his real man boobs). Also, Tukky dresses as a nurse, which is more fun.

There's probably a message in Oh! My Ghost about how folks shouldn't feel limited because of their body type, etc., but perhaps I'm overthinking it. Quite simply, it's an enjoyable, smartly scripted comedy that clicks right along and lets Tukky shine.

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