Thursday, December 10, 2015

In Thai cinemas: Sway

Three dysfunctional relationships unfold between Asians in three cities in Sway, the debut feature by Thai-American writer-director Rooth Tang.

The drama was put together over the course of many years by Rooth, who graduated in film studies from the University of California, Irvine, and has taken part in industry initiatives, such as HBO's Project Greenlight.

For what would become his first feature, Rooth began with Bangkok scenes that were shot in 2010 with Thai stars Ananda Everingham and Sajee Apiwong. He's a well-travelled dreamer who seduces a Bangkok office worker, who then gets pregnant, but she is afraid to say anything.

In Los Angeles, the Caucasian-American second wife (Kris Wood-Bell) of a widowed Japanese-American businessman (Kazuhiko Nishimura) is having insecurity issues, along with problems with her husband's teenage daughter.

And in Paris, a drifter Chinese-American translator (Matt Wu) ponders his next move while renewing a relationship with his girlfriend (Lu Huang), a former Hong Kong TV star who is struggling to make it as a serious journalist. Meanwhile, the young man's parents are on the verge of divorce, giving him doubts about the future of his own relationship.

Sway made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and has also screened in Taipei's Golden Horse fest, last year's Singapore International and this year's Shanghai fest.

Critical reception has been fair so far, and I've got my own review.

It's in limited release at Esplanade Ratchada, House, Major Cineplex Ratchayothin and SF World Cinema at CentralWorld. Check out the trailer, embedded below.

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