Isan Special

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Time Out says

Mingmongkol produced Thailand's first avant garde feature Mysterious Object at Noon. Here she takes inspiration from one of Apichatpong's early shorts, Driving. Her debut feature is framed as an overnight bus journey from Bangkok to the North-eastern province of Isan. But the bus has hardly left Mhor-Chit Station before the passengers suddenly become characters in a post-synched soap opera. With borrowed voices, they act out the story of arrogant young model Phenprapan, cheated out of her inheritance by her stepmother and reduced to helping a con artist by taking a job in the Jarawee Hotel, where she's supposed to dig up dirt on its hunky young manager Danny. Whenever the bus stops, the people revert to their normal selves. This is first and foremost a tribute to Thai pop culture of the 1960s, but by displacing the cheesy material to an anomalous 'realist' setting, Mingmongkol expresses all her ambivalence about escapism, fantasy and romance. Funny, cheerfully inexplicable and easy to enjoy.
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Release details

UK release:

2002

Duration:

112 mins

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