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Gunman (1983)

Mue puen (original title)


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Credited cast:
Sorapong Chatree Sorapong Chatree ... Sergeant Sommai Moungthup
Ron Rittichai Ron Rittichai ... Inspector Thanu Adharn


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Just a really well told story
23 May 2002 | by simon_boothSee all my reviews

The Sister-In-Law is a story of an assassin with a wooden leg and a heart of gold. It is the story of a police inspector with a fierce reputation and a secret to hide. It is the story of a little boy who knows his father is a hero whatever the other kids say. It's the story of a young cop who takes his job seriously. It's the story of a drunken hairdresser and his shrewish wife, and of a police snitch. To a small degree it is the story of somebody's sister-in-law too. I find it difficult to summarise the movie beyond that, because despite the presence of some huuuge genre cliches, the movie really never feels cliched... or like a genre movie. The reason for this is the complex script and rich characterisation. The basic story is quite simple, but it's really just a back story on which a picture of life is woven.

If I were king of the world, I would use my wealth and power to make really cool movies. Prince Chatrichalerm Yukoi is evidently a man after my own heart. He's not king of the world either, but being a member of the Thai royal family can't hurt when you want to finance a movie... and you can bet you're not going to get studio execs scribbling over your script and cutting out your best scenes either when you're a prince, I bet. Prince Chatri definitely has an advantage over me when it comes to making movies - no, not the fact that he's a prince, just that he's clearly more talented than me.

The Sister-In-Law is not a flashy movie, not a 'cool' movie, just a really well told story. It's a movie that isn't in a hurry to get to its conclusion (it's 141 minutes long), because it wants to make sure that when it gets you there you really care about it. The characters are developed so richly you'll think they're members of your own family, and if you don't care for every one of them by the end then you're just mean.

I've yet to see Prince Chatrichalerm's latest, the epic Suriyothai, but after seeing the level of craftsmanship he brought to The Sister-In-Law more than 20 years earlier, I'm really quite keen to watch it as soon as I can spare 4 hours to do so!

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