Proof that Thai arthouse cinema doesn’t begin and end with Apichatpong Weerasethakul (‘Uncle Boonmee…’), this graceful portrait of alienation and displacement is a reflection of writer-director Aditya Assarat’s own feelings as a foreign-educated Thai not quite at home in his homeland. A similar scenario faces his protagonist (Laotian-Australian heartthrob Ananda Everingham), who’s returned from college in the US to star in a post-Tsunami Thai drama about a lovelorn amnesiac. His visiting American girlfriend feels frozen out by the extent to which he’s gone native, but later events reveal how this cross-cultural misfit is defined by his emotional rootlessness. Assarat’s approach to the story is oblique; avoiding melodramatic conflict or upfront self-declaration, he allows themes to express themselves through a cumulative mood of woozy melancholy, a restrained colour palette and the revealing potency of small moments. Some will find it a bit muted, but those attuned to the quiet desolation of an Antonioni or Hou Hsiao-Hsien will find much to admire. A welcome discovery.
Cast and crew