Pen-ek's social/moral fable may have a slight Coen Brothers flavour, but it goes places no US movie has ever mapped. The first chapter celebrates the bucolic romance between Pan (Suppakorn, outstanding) and his village bride Sadaw (Siriyakorn, charming). Then, as Pan is sent off to do military service, the film's prison-guard narrator observes that what could have been a 'delightful short' still has a long way to go: Pan becomes a deserter to pursue a singing career, commits manslaughter while fending off his gay manager, and eventually winds up begging on the streets of Bangkok. Meanwhile the ever-loyal Sadaw gives up on him and allows herself to be seduced by a smooth-talking salesman of de-worming pills. Not exactly a musical, the film integrates songs by Surapol Sombatcharoen, a Thai C&W star of the 1960s. (It also boasts a new song by Wisit, director of Tears of the Black Tiger, and pays a very sly homage to that film.) Great retro music, pop morality, social satire and absurdly potent drama. Wonderful, and one of a kind.
Cast and crew