Roong longs for the day when she can be with Min, her Burmese lover, an illegal immigrant. She pays Orn, an older woman to take care of Min while she looks for a place for them to stay. One afternoon, Min takes Roong for a picnic in jungle, where they feel safe to express their love. But meanwhile, Orn has also gone to the jungle, with Tommy, co-worker of her husband, Sirote.Written by
Chosen by "Les Cahiers du cinéma" (France) as one of the 10 best pictures of 2002 (#03) See more »
Two different cut versions were released on DVD and VCD in Thailand. Both versions are missing the following footage:
A six-minute driving scene in which Tommy follows Orn on his motorcycle;
A two-minute scene of Roong and Min driving to the jungle;
A one-minute scene of Roong fondling Min's penis (with a clear view of Min's erection in the process). The original Thai release is missing an additional scene:
A ten-minute sequence of Orn and Tommy making love on the forest floor. The UK DVD from Second Run and the French DVD from mk2 are uncut. Both versions of the Thai DVD/VCD were withdrawn when the Thai censors decided to ban the film.
The hype surrounding Apichatpong seems to me unwarranted. I am reminded of Roger Ebert's comments on Abbas Kiarostami and being utterly unconvinced of the value of his films.
First, there is no story. As soon as a story might be emerging, "Joe" (as he likes to be called these days) moves to something utterly unrelated. He has said that he conceives of nature as an opportunity for the characters to do some self-reflection. This sounds good, but there are no characters to speak of, and except for Orn, no acting whatsoever. No information is given about what they might be reflecting about, and story elements are allowed to vanish (like the distant gunshot).
The slowness itself didn't bother me, but the much-heralded Apichatpong can learn something from Tony Bui, whose first feature film "Three Seasons" is FAR better at the languid development than this. Or look at any of Ousman Sembene's films for the skillful use of dreadfully unskillful non-actors. There is just no excuse, in my mind, for such a self-important and ultimately inept use of non-actors.
User federovsky's comments are to me particularly perceptive. I give it 3; at least he is giving this some thought.
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