This second feature of Apichatpong Weerasethakul is more an experience than a story-dependent film. Something strange happens to your feeling for time while watching this two-hour long film: time seems suspended, absent. When 45 minutes into the film the opening credits suddenly appear, they come as a bit of a shock, because by then you are irresistibly drawn into the non-story.
The way this film treats time is reminiscent of several films by Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-Liang: long, drawn-out scenes, in real-time or almost, and with little or no dialogue. Also the relationship between the main characters brings to mind Tsai's films, more in particular 'Aiqing Wansui' with its triangular relationship.
'Blissfully Yours' is an impressionist rendering of a lazy afternoon in the mountainous border region between Thailand and Myanmar. Min is an illegal immigrant from Myanmar, who takes his girlfriend Roong for a pick-nick. They are joined later by Orn, an older woman employed by Roong to take care of Min.
One of the main ingredients in impressionism is the sun, and the sun plays an important though discrete role in this film also. It is present everywhere in the second part of the film, softly filtered through the canopy of the jungle, but also as a threat to Min who has a skin disease and was told to stay out of the sun.
What also filters through in the film is the political issue of Myanmarese immigrants in northern Thailand. The first half hour shows the three main characters consulting a doctor about Min's skin condition. Min, who has no papers, doesn't speak - perhaps because the doctor would refuse to treat him if she knew her patient was an illegal alien and not a Thai. And the doctor's refusal to give Min a 'fit-to-work' certificate unless he can produce official papers is typical of the administrative vicious circle so many illegal immigrants are caught in all around the world.
This makes for a stark contrast between the first and second part of the film, between grim reality and a dreamy, lazy afternoon that is bathed in light.
American audiences may feel uneasy seeing sex scenes that are neither censored, clinical, beautified or violent. Not recommended for viewers who require car chases and shoot-outs, or for those who don't like ants.
31 of 33 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?