"The time is now, a numbing and timeless present of hospital stays, bureaucratic questioning, and wandering through remembered spaces... and suddenly it is also then, the mid '70s and the ... See full summary »
Soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school. The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for housewife and volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends young medium Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including colored light therapy, to ease the mens' troubled dreams. Jen discovers Itt's cryptic notebook of strange writings and blueprint sketches. There may be a connection between the soldiers' enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic. Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen's tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.
A young woman sings to her lover in public, ancient kings use the energy of sleeping soldiers to fight battles and figurine princesses come to life and discuss things like skin-tone and how much they appreciate offerings. Such characters and scenes are not brought about through computer animation, elaborate costumes or thrilling action sequences, but mundane and leisurely compositions.
The film follows Jen and Keng, local women who voluntarily visit and help care for soldiers in a remote and tiny hospital. The soldiers seem to be under the sway of a spell or perhaps dreams and thoughts of their own making. Keng is a psychic and has the ability to communicate to the soldiers in their sleep. The whole film is something of a meandering daydream or series of magic spells, which is both good and bad. It is cerebral, loosely organized and full of depth. It is a kaleidoscope of Thai culture, lawn ornaments, colored lights, dreams and figures from the past, present and future, among other things. According to the TIFF catalog the film blends "neuroscience, Khmer animism, meditations on war and death, and the quotidian details of everyday life in a small village." They mention this, of course, just in case you caught too much Khmer animism and neuroscience in previous films. Seen at the Toronto International Film Festival 2015.
15 of 20 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this