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Beautiful Boxer (2004)

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Bio-pic of transgender Muay Thai boxer Parinya Charoenphol who pursued the sport to pay for her sex change operation.

Writers:

Ekachai Uekrongtham (screenplay by), Desmond Sim (screenplay by)
6 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Asanee Suwan ... Nong Toom / Parinya Charoenphol
Sorapong Chatree Sorapong Chatree ... Pi Chart
Orn-Anong Panyawong Orn-Anong Panyawong ... Nong Toom's Mother
Nukkid Boonthong Nukkid Boonthong ... Nong Toom's Father
Sitiporn Niyom Sitiporn Niyom ... Nat
Somsak Tuangmkuda Somsak Tuangmkuda ... Pi Moo (as Somsak Tuangmuka)
Kyôko Inoue Kyôko Inoue ... Herself (Female Wrestler) (as Kyoko Inoue)
Keagan Kang ... Jack (the Reporter)
Yuka Hyodo Yuka Hyodo ... Japanese fan (as Hyouda Yuka)
Tanyabuth Songsakul Tanyabuth Songsakul ... Tam
Sarawuth Tangchit Sarawuth Tangchit ... Young Toom
Natee Pongsopol Natee Pongsopol ... Novice Monk Toom
Nattama Narkpo Nattama Narkpo ... Pi Nam
Chayaporn Tometh Chayaporn Tometh ... Pi Nid
Panuwath Kongsamuth Panuwath Kongsamuth ... Jate
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Storyline

Based on the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a Muay Thai boxer who underwent a sex change operation to become a woman. The movie chronicles her life from a young boy who likes to wear lipstick and flowers to her sensational career as a kickboxer - whose specialty is ancient Muay Thai boxing (moves which she can execute expertly with grace) - to finally confronting her own sexual identity, which leads to her sex change op. Written by theunraveler

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Born in a boy's body, believeing he has a girl's heart. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Thailand

Language:

Thai | English | Japanese

Release Date:

29 April 2004 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

A Luta Pela Beleza See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,713, 23 January 2005

Gross USA:

$199
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

GMM Pictures Co. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the sex change op, Nong Toom is currently working as an actress-cum-model based in Bangkok. See more »

Quotes

Nong Toom: It seems like the more makeup I put on, the harder my opponents kick me, so I kick them back harder.
See more »

Connections

Featured in SexTV: Nong Toom/Allyson Mitchell/The Big Bang (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man in My Dreams
lyrics and music by Wichen Kamchareon
Performed by Pumpong Duangchan and Parinya Chareonpol
See more »

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User Reviews

 
'Beautiful Boxer' is a Beautiful Film Indeed!
7 August 2005 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Rising even higher than the greatest expectations engendered by the International Press when it became a favorite of the film festivals, BEAUTIFUL BOXER is one of the more poetic, sensitive, luxuriously vivid and colorful films to come out of Thailand - and that is saying a lot, given the extravagant epics that yearly grow in popularity. This work of art is simply stunning in content, in direction, in acting, and in heartfelt simplicity of message. This is a great one! Writer/director Ekachai Uekrongtham based his first film on the true story of Parinaya Charoemphol AKA Nong Toom, a famous Thai athlete Muay Thai boxer (better known as 'kick boxer' - a demanding, dangerous sport) who entered the world of Muay Thai to garner enough money to help his family and pay for his ultimate sex-change surgery. A tough story to offer general audiences, perhaps, but Ekachai Uekrongtham presents this edgy biography with such cinematic finesse and care that it becomes a film that should appeal to a very wide audience. And much of that success is due to the towering performance by Asanee Suwan in his acting debut: Suwan is in life a professional kick boxer who won the title role after extensive auditions by many practitioners of Muay Thai.

BEAUTIFUL BOXER takes us through the life of Nong Toom, his childhood in a family of loving accepting parents who respect his love of beauty and things feminine, his brief period of being a monk who must leave the monastery because of his inclinations, through his introduction to makeup and play-acting women's roles in the Thai theaters, his ridicule as being more girl than boy (a fact that results in his parents' incarceration!), and his devoted friendship with a girl who supports his desire for femininity and a young man who stands up for him in the boys' camp for learning sports. Gradually Nong Toom realizes that the only way he can make enough money to achieve a sex change operation is to become a successful kick boxer and he aligns himself with a trainer Pi Chart (Sorapong Chatree) and with much commitment and practice becomes Thailand's most famous Muay Thai. His self-respect is further established when he openly wears makeup in the boxing ring, causing many to believe his act is a gimmick and not the manifestation of his true transsexualism. He fights the toughest opponents and wins consistently until he at last arrives in Toyko for the 'big purse' of fighting female wrestler Kyoko Inoue (who plays herself). With the money from the fight he is able to have his surgery and becomes the famous actress and model now living in Bangkok.

Under less sensitive eyes and minds this story could have become audacious, but instead the film elects to be sensitive to the transsexual conviction that Nong Toom is a woman trapped in a man's body, and it is the journey of self acceptance and personal victory that makes the story so deeply touching. Asanee Suwan, as a fine athlete, does all of his own fighting in the film and it is more choreography than brutality. He is amazing to watch and coupled with the fact that he is so wholly convincing in his fine acting that he makes this young transsexual utterly credible in movement, emotional density, and purity of vision is an extraordinary achievement.

Yes, the film has a few flaws of editing and other minor aspects, but the overwhelming power of the story more than compensates for those 'first film' learning curves. Highly recommended for ALL audiences, especially for those who fear there will be gratuitous physical scenes that might offend. There are none! Grady Harp


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