During the 16th century, as Thailand contends with both a civil war and Burmese invasion, a beautiful princess rises up to help protect the glory of the Kingdom of Ayothaya. Based on the life of Queen Suriyothai.
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The film describes historical events in the life of the heroine, Suriyothai, the queen of King Mahachakrapat. from the age of 15, ranging from love and attachment, royal wedding, resettlement in the capital, court life, intrigues, and sustenance of royal dignity. Written by
I watched the shortened Coppola cut of this film on DVD, and on the whole found it to be a cracking good story that kept me engaged, and I particularly enjoyed the high production values, the exotic costumes, sets and props, and the beautiful cinematography. The elements of nations at war, political power struggles, palace intrigues, and murderous treachery in the royal family of Thailand seemed to me very reminiscent of "I Claudius," a great favorite of mine, and I found some of the comments below referring to the film as having no plot totally inexplicable. I tended to wonder whether the deadpan acting style frequently commented-on here might be a cultural artifact, as modes of expression can vary to some extent in different countries, but judging from the remarks of some Thai commentators this wouldn't seem to be the case. The bottom line for me, though, was that I thoroughly enjoyed all two and a half hours of this film.
I do take issue with some commentators who declare without hesitation that a particular film is a complete waste of time, that you should "save your time," or "save your money," etc., and not even consider seeing it. Why on earth would these people presume to urge me (or anybody else) to reject this film sight unseen? One thing I've learned in the course of seeing hundreds of films is the absolute folly of trying to predict who will like which film. Those I've recommended to friends more often than not lay an egg with them, while they rhapsodize over stuff I couldn't care less about. I'm always interested to hear a variety of opinions on films, which is why I love the IMDb, but an opinion loses much of its credence for me when the commentator comes off as an opinionated blowhard.
Anyway, for what my own opinion is worth, I see "The Legend of Suriyothai" as a damn good story, told effectively with exotic and stunningly beautiful visual elements. I don't in the least regret spending a few dollars and two and a half hours experiencing it.
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