A couple are looking for their child who was lost in the tsunami - their search takes them to the dangerous Thai-Burmese waters, and then into the jungle, where they face unknown but horrifying dangers.
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In Phuket Island, Thailand, the architect Paul Bellmer and his wife Jeanne lost their son Joshua in a tsunami six months ago. Jeanne is disturbed and has not accepted the loss of her beloved son. While watching some footages from Myanmar (former Burma), Jeanne is convinced that a boy wearing a Manchester United shirt in a poor village is Joshua, and Paul accepts to seek out their son in the sea gypsies camp. They hire the trafficker Thaksin Gao and they travel in the boat of master Sonchai to search Joshua. After a series of weird incidents, Sonchai leaves the trio in an abandoned village. They have to walk through the jungle where they face a journey to hell. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Many reviewers denounce 2008's "Vinyan" because it's not a typical horror film, but that's precisely why it's worthwhile. It's original.
An American couple in Thailand discover possible evidence that their young son who died in a tsunami six months earlier is still alive and living in the jungles of Myanmar (Burma). They pay some dubious characters a lot of money to go up river into the forbidden country. Things go from bad to worse.
"Vinyan" is equal parts haunting, beautiful, strange and creepy. The plot is thin but the story maintains your attention. The acting is excellent all around and you believe that these characters are real. The five main characters are Paul and Jeane Bellmer (Rufus Sewell and Emmanuelle Béart), a human trafficker named Thaksin Gao, the captain of the small boat named Sonchaï and the couple's liaison, Kim (Julie Dreyfus).
Memorable parts abound -- Kim's subtle-but-clear seduction of Paul, the beautiful floating-lanterns at the beach ceremony, the awesome tree fortress, etc.
The meaning of the film is ambiguous, but it provokes thought on many things: The nature of grief -- letting go or not letting go, obsession, madness, tribal instincts, going feral and more.
As for the tribe of lost kids in the last act, are they vinyan -- angry, confused spirits who suffered horrible deaths -- or are they simply a pack of kids gone wild in the jungle a la "Lord of the Flies"? I say the evidence points to the latter.
In any event, "Vinyan" has elements of films like "Apocalypse Now," "The Emerald Forest," "Fitzcaraldo" (or "Aguirre") and the aforementioned "Lord of the Flies".
The film runs 96 minutes and was shot in Thailand.
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