USA Release date: 19th November 2010
Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 21st November 2012.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember the critics getting pretty excited about this film from Thailand and so it was duly added to ‘The List’. One of the more enlightened channels here in the UK finally gave it an airing this week and so I decided to give it a look. I must admit it wasn’t quite what I was expecting but I still found it worth taking the time. Here’s a brief summary before I give you my thoughts.
Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar), a farmer, is dying and he knows his time is short. His sister-in-law (I think that’s the relationship anyway), Jen (Jenjira Pongpas) comes to visit him from Bangkok with Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee). Boonmee is being nursed by one of his hands from Laos, Jaai (Samud Kugasang), who has to leave soon. Whilst sitting having an evening meal the ghosts of Boonmee’s family begin to appear starting with his wife, Huay (Natthakarn Aphaiwonk) who had passed away 19 years previous. Then his son, Boonsong (Geerasak Kulhong) appears in the form of a monkey with red eyes. They discuss how they became the way they are and come back to visit Boonmee later in the film. It’s very much a fantasy, but one that is rooted in the real world; one of those films that’s quite hard to describe but that’s the bare bones of it (excuse the pun).
All the performances are very good (with my usual caveat that it’s hard to judge a performance in a language alien to me). I loved the way the characters all took the appearances of ghosts in their stride; like it’s an everyday occurrence. This gave the film a very natural flow that added to its magic. I don’t profess to understand it all by any stretch of the imagination, but it was well made and I loved the ending… that was really unexpected (no clues here).
SteelMonster’s verdict: RECOMMENDED
My score: 7.7/10
IMDb Score: 6.6/10 (based on 4,896 votes at the time of going to press).
MetaScore: 87/100: (Based on 21 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes ‘Audience’ Score: 58/100 ‘Liked It’ (based on 9,155 user ratings counted at the time of going to press).
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