The all-time highest grossing film in Thailand, this uses a historical defence of the country as a metaphor for resilience in times of hardship - such as the moment the film was made, in the middle of a long recession. Bang Rajan was a village north of Ayutthaya that succeeded in blocking the advance of an invading Burmese army eight times in 1765-66. The script's characters and incidents are invented, but Thanit went to some lengths to ground the film in historical accuracy: he had his cast living as 18th century villagers in jongkaben loincloths for a month before the first frame was shot. The characters themselves are stock heroic types, but the best of them are written and played with real flair: the mercenary Tong-Menn, who can only fight when drunk, the tomboy Taeng-Onn, the reckless adventurer Inn (played by Winai, the husband in Nang Nak) who leads a disastrous sortie behind Burmese lines. Thanit does a fine job visually, the score is first-rate - and it's even quite sexy.
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