Krote Rak Eng Loei a.k.a. Love-a-holic

26 July 2006
I have just been back from the Q&A session with the director at the pre-screening of an upcoming released Thai movie called "Krote Rak Eng Loei" or the official English title "Loveaholic." First of all, I have to express my thank to Thai Film Director Association for a free ticket.

The movie tells a story of a married couple at the verge of breaking up. Everything around them is full of boredom. The husband faces mid-life crisis both at his work (as a scriptwriter) and at home. The wife seems to share her husband’s unstable feeling and seeks a refuge with a young and handsome doctor which almost leads to an adultery. The movie then comes to a multiple plot-twisting and turning-around to the point that you couldn’t believe anything you saw on the screen anymore.

The movie starred Udom "Nose" Taepanitch, a famous stand-up comedian, as a leading actor and a new comer Wisa "Mai" Sarasas, the first Thai Beauty Ambassador for Shisado cosmetic, as a leading actress. As you could expect from Udom, his performance as the husband might not be perfect but you will be laughing just by looking at his face. Wisa did a fine job for her first movie. Well, I dare say that the highlight of the movie is not the cast but the screenplay which was written by the director himself.

Even though this is his first full featured film, Ping Lumprapleung, the director and screenwriter of the movie, is not a new face in Thai entertainment business. He is a veteran local TV soap-opera and sitcom scriptwriter with a great reputation of creative and clever script. It’s no wonder that this movie apparently expresses his trademark of skilled screenplay with a plenty of funny moments, sarcastic remarks and symbolic details. Watching this movie is like riding a roller-coaster with full of twists and turns that you would never expect and imagine. Moreover, the director also starred as a supporting actor and performed a beautiful theme song of his own movie. Something he himself claimed that no other directors would do.

Check out an official website of the movie at http://www.loveaholicmovie.com/ where you could watch a beautiful music video of the theme song of the movie.

4 Stars out of 5 – recommend to those who are love-a-holic.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

17 July 2006
Johnny Depp is back in the role of Captian Jack Sparrow in the sequel of Walt Disney’s beloved "Pirates of the Caribbean." This time, our notorious anti-heroic pirate has to settle his blood debt with the legendary creature – Davy Jones, Captian of an infamous supernatural ship called "the Flying Dutchman." And that’s just not the end of mishap adventure as William Turner and Elizabeth Swann once again join the crew of Sparrow’s ship, the Black Pearl, to ensure their wedding plan and save Sparrow’s life…

The movie is totally fantastic. There are full swing of actions, adventures, comedy as well as dramatic elements in the film. The action sequences (especially a "big wheel") are top-notch and the visual effect is stunning. There are also a number of hilarious jokes and puns in the movie that would make you laugh like crazy. Johnny Depp is perfectly fitted for the role of Captian Jack Sparrow. I couldn’t imagine anyone portray this interestingly multilayered character as well as him. I am not sure if it’s only my thought that Depp is so good for his role that Orlando Bloom in the role of William Turner seems to be a bit out of place in the movie. Well, that doesn’t matter as it doesn’t spoil the fun of the movie much anyway.

In fact, according to the Internet Movie Database website, this movie is the biggest weekend opener of all time in the states. "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" smashed the previously believed "unbreakable" record of $114.8 million dollars that Spider-Man held as it generated $135.6 million dollars domestically in its opening weekend. The ending of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" suggested that there would of course be a sequel to this movie and I couldn’t wait for it. I am sure that everyone is anticipating the sequel that would make "Pirates of the Caribbean" another hit trilogy.

5 Stars out of 5, recommend to all.

Gang Chanee Kap Ee-aep a.k.a. Metrosexual

14 July 2006
Metrosexual is a term coined by British journalist in 1994 describing a man of any sexual orientation who spends a great deal of time and money on his appearance and lifestyle. However, in this movie, one might not be able to draw a conclusion on the theme of the movie by its English title as directly as an official Thai title "Gang Chanee Kap Ee-aep," which could be literally translated as "the chicks gang and a closeted gay man."

The movie tells a story of a group of friends which consists of five working metropolitan girls in their late 20’s and early 30’s. One of a girls suddenly announces that she will soon get married with a perfect guy, who seems to know it all when it comes to cosmetic, cooking and shopping. The rest of the gangs think that the guy is "too" perfect. The paranoid of their lovely friend getting married with a "closeted" gay man looms in, thus the gang embarks on the quest for the truth. Are they mistaken? If not, could they get the truth before the engagement ceremony? While the gangs are in the journey for the truth, they still have to deal with their own life and love affairs. This is a proof of love, friendship and self-actualization for all…

The movie is directed by Yongyoot Thongkongtoon, whose previous works including the Iron Ladies I & II and M.A.I.D. You may notice that all of his movie focus on what we call a minority group in the society; either a transvestite or a servant. One might think that this movie would feature heavily on a closeted homosexual man. While it is not totally wrong, this movie takes a wider look on friendship and love, with homosexuality only in the background. The director even stated that he has been maturer in movie making, thus his movie would now be maturer as well.

In fact, the groups of five leading actresses in the movie is not a new face in Thailand. They are all household name as news anchors and hosts of TV news talk show. You shouldn’t expect much about their acting as they are not a professional actress. However, their characters in the movie is almost exactly the same as their on-screen TV appearances, thus an audiences in Thailand would have no problem enjoying numerous local jokes and puns in the movie. There also wouldn’t be a problem for a foreigner to enjoy the movie as the script depicts a universal theme and the character establishment is strong. The credit should go to the script-writers who did a marvelous job in putting a story together. The dialogues in the movie are full of sharp and quick-witted quotation.

4 Stars out of 5. All in all, the movie is enjoyable to watch even though the ending is a little bit too cliche.

P.S. Check out the official website in Thai at http://www.chanee-eabb.com/ and in English at http://www.gmmtaihub.com/.


World Population Day – 11 July 2006

13 July 2006
I guess it’s not too late to talk about "World Population Day" and the United Nations agengy behind it – UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, which is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.

This year, the focus is on "young people." I really like the theme of the poster promoting this special day. The message is clear.

Being young is tough.
You feel
Invicible.
But you’re vulnerable.
To drugs, HIV, pregnancy,
peer pressure.
Confusing.
You feel strong.
Powerless. Engaged. Shut out.
Beautiful.
The future looks wide open.
You can take control.
Start now.

Check out the official website here.