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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:

The true story of Asia's most famous boxer. 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$199, 21 September 2008
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

Director Ekachai Uekrongtham encouraged Asanee Suwan against playing the lead role as a stereotype, telling him "When you play Nong Toom, you have to believe you are a woman, not a ladyboy. If you think to yourself that you're playing a ladyboy, your body language will be flamboyant, over the top. But if you approach it as if you're playing a woman, you will be natural. Your acting will be sincere." See more »

Quotes

Jack: But I still don't understand how your parents can be so... accepting... of the fact that you wanna be a girl.
Nong Toom: They know it's my karma. I did bad thing in past life, so I had to suffer in this life.
Jack: Where did you learn that from?
Nong Toom: In the temple, when I was monk.
See more »

Connections

References K-19: The Widowmaker (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Who's the Man Here?
lyrics by Si Pah
music by Bruno Brugnano
Performed by Mai Chareonpura
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A poignant and touching film for all
21 February 2005 | by maciek-in-LASee all my reviews

I rarely see films twice, but Beautiful Boxer continues to be a remarkably evocative film even on a second viewing. I saw it last summer at Outfest, and took several friends to see it this weekend, because I knew that they wouldn't see it on their own. It was a third choice film when I first saw it at the festival. I'm not a fan of boxing, and have seen my share of documentaries on the transsexual experience, so I was not particularly interested. Since I hadn't seen a Thai film, I decided to go. What a gratifying surprise the film turned out to be! Beautiful Boxer transcends time, culture, ethnicity, and gender identity to illuminate the humanity of the characters. Asanee Suwan the lead actor who plays Nong Toom is amazing. At the first viewing I thought that there was a very similar looking stunt double who did the fight scenes. Yet in the post film discussion with the Director Ekachai Uekrongtham we learned that the Asanee is an actual Muay Thai professional boxer. This was his first acting role. That makes his performance even more remarkable. He communicates the full range of Toom's being, seamlessly integrating the feminine and masculine dimensions of his/her personality.

In Iron Ladies and in other trans-gender themed films, the transvestites are usually in your face, over the top characters. The gender themes are either campy and/or played for laughs. Beautiful Boxer on the other hand conveys the inner life of the Toom's struggle to assert her identity. I was very moved by Toom's dignity, steadfast courage, and perseverance in coming to terms with who she is. The film is poignant and ultimately inspiring. Yet it is also very entertaining. The film provides a window into Muay Thai boxing, both its beauty and violence, the socio-economic conditions in Thailand, and aspects of Thai culture. It was a most rewarding experience. BTW my friends agreed. GO SEE IT!


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