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A charming movie
For a French-speaking American younger than Jonas would now be, I couldn't always easily connect with the collection of colorful individuals (among others, an unorthodox high school teacher, a couple of organic vegetable farmers, a laid-off type-setter, a disillusioned journalist, an eccentric cashier with a compassionate bent, and a redhead captivated by tantric sex) that got together in this film, post Paris manifestations of May '68, to share their frustrations, their ruminations and their fantasies. But the film chewed on heaps of intriguing controversial issues of the time - many lines taken directly from Octavio Paz and Pablo Neruda - which continue to stir emotion in any thinking, feeling individual. The film is also personal, full of heart and full of intellectual stimulation. It's melancholic and nostalgic, yet wistfully optimistic. Recommended to anyone interested in the provocative issues that fomented the famous student demonstrations around the world just a few years before this film was conceived.
stunning cinematography, banal performances
This is a very appealing film for dreamy people easily stirred by beautifully exotic costumes, some compellingly exotic actresses and a few scenes of relentless brutality. The story is complex (and at times downright bewildering) but fascinating, taking place in many places and involving many characters. We get a heavy dose of intrigue, assassination plots, adultery, regicide and betrayal spanning a dozen or so years in the heart of medieval siam (now thailand). By virtue of just that, the movie is worthwhile. But the sometimes dreary, monotone delivery of lines makes the film feel like it was dragging. Though I don't understand a word of thai, the dialogue seemed annoyingly but frequently devoid of sentiment. With sizable patience and curiosity though, this movie can be a rewarding experience.