6.5/10
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48 user 30 critic

The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)

Suriyothai (original title)
During the 16th century, as Thailand contends with both a civil war and Burmese invasion, a beautiful princess rises up to help protect the glory of the Kingdom of Ayothaya. Based on the life of Queen Suriyothai.

Writers:

Sunait Chutintaranond, Chatrichalerm Yukol (screenplay) (as Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhakdi ... Queen Suriyothai
Sarunyu Wongkrachang Sarunyu Wongkrachang ... King Mahachakrepat (Prince Thienraja)
Chatchai Plengpanich ... Lord Pirenthorathep
Johnny Anfone Johnny Anfone ... Lord Warawongsa
Mai Charoenpura ... Lady Srisudachan
Sinjai Plengpanich Sinjai Plengpanich ... Lady Srichulalak
Sorapong Chatree Sorapong Chatree ... Captain Rajseneha
Amphol Lumpoon Amphol Lumpoon ... Lord Intrathep (as Ampol Lampoon)
Supakorn Kitsuwon Supakorn Kitsuwon ... Sir Sriyod (as Suppakorn Kitsuwan)
Penpak Sirikul ... Queen Jiraprapa
Wannasa Thongviset ... Akrachaya (as Thongwiset Wannasa)
Ronrittichai Khanket Ronrittichai Khanket ... King of Prae
Saharat Sangkapreecha Saharat Sangkapreecha ... Lord Buyinnaung (as Saharath Sangkapricha)
Varut Woratham Varut Woratham ... Lord Sihatu (as Varuth Waratham)
Suphakit Tangthatswasd ... King Tabinshwehti
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Storyline

The film describes historical events in the life of the heroine, Suriyothai, the queen of King Mahachakrapat. from the age of 15, ranging from love and attachment, royal wedding, resettlement in the capital, court life, intrigues, and sustenance of royal dignity. Written by AvidDark <jdh@g33k.net>

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Taglines:

Siam. 1528. A woman warrior changed the course of history.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some nudity | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The wooden house on stilts where the young Suriyothai lives is a real palace called Tub Kwan. It is located in Nakhon Pathom, roughly 40 kilometers outside of Bangkok. King Rama VI built it. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original version released in Thailand was a bit over 3 hours long. Another one, 5 hours long, was released a year later on DVD. This one contains more subplots and battles than the one released in the US. See more »

User Reviews

Beautiful, historical.
14 August 2003 | by ggrihnSee all my reviews

This is a beautiful epic film set in historical Thailand during a turbulent period about 1526AD into the 1530's. There is an interesting story behind the making of this film. Apparently, Chatrichalerm Yukol, the writer and director is a member of the sprawling Thai royal family (as is SF/Horror writer S.P. Somtow). The Thais have never been happy with films about Thailand, so much so that neither the Yul Brenner film "The King and I," or the more recent "Anna and the King" have ever been legally exhibited there. Yukol had made several well-respected "art" films. He was attending a family function when the Queen of Thailand asked him why he couldn't make a good film about Thai history. Taking this as a royal command, he spent three years researching and writing this story about a famous past queen. Evidently, going from directing small, intimate, modern films to a full-blown historical epic with thousands of extras, cannon, and elephants was quite a transition. However, the result is lovely.

The story commences as Suriyothai, a young princess, is betrothed to Prince Thienraja, who is virtuous but rather dull. She prefers her childhood friend, Lord Srithep, but agrees to "sacrifice" her own desires for the good of the Kingdom, which is the first of a series of difficult decisions she is called upon to make. We see Thailand as a country with a beautiful and sophisticated culture, every bit the equal of the Japan of the era, but under stress from rebellious provinces and foreign invaders. A series of royal deaths from disease, disaster, and assassination brings about a dynastic struggle in which Suriyothai organizes a rebellion against a usurper that brings her husband to the throne. (As King Mahachakrepat--the way in which people take new names as they gain rank can be confusing.) She then has to don armor and mount an elephant to aid her husband in defending the country from the Burmese invaders seeking to exploit the general disorder.

The film was cut from a four-hour Thai original to 185 minutes for Western release, and is consequently somewhat choppy, but still easy to follow if you are attentive. I was fascinated by this bit of history in a region of the world where I had known nothing. English subtitles were easy to follow, because, unlike some French or Japanese films, we've seen lately, it takes longer to say the same things in Thai than English, so the titles stay on the screen long enough to follow. Cinematography and settings were beautiful, and gave opportunity for some unique battle scenes, including one between river galleys, and the climactic fight which involves jousting from elephant back.

I've seen criticisms from other viewers that essentially echoed critiques of films like "Gods and Generals,"--that it lacked plot. Get with it people--history doesn't need a plot, history IS the plot.


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Details

Country:

Thailand

Language:

Thai

Release Date:

17 August 2001 (Thailand) See more »

Also Known As:

The Legend of Suriyothai See more »

Filming Locations:

Thailand

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Box Office

Budget:

THB400,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,904, 22 June 2003

Gross USA:

$454,736

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$458,564
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (extended)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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