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Tears of the Black Tiger (Unrated)





Release Date: January 12th, 2007 (Film Forum) by Magnolia Pictures.
The Cast: Chartchai Ngamsan, Stella Malucchi, Supakorn Kitsuwon, Arawat Ruangvuth, Sombati Medhanee, Pairoj Jaisingha, Naiyana Sheewanun, Kanchit Kwanpracha.
Directed by Wisit Sasanatieng.
In Thai with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Dum (Ngamsan), a.k.a. Black Tiger, sets out to revenge his fatherís murder while trying to win back Rumpoey (Malucchi), the love of his life.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Part Western, part drama and part romance, Tears of the Black Tiger blends many different genres in a very refreshing way. Dum, who comes from a peasant family, and Rumpoey, who comes from a wealthy family, fell in love when they were children and reunite years later. However, two conflicts arise: Dum goes into battle to avenge his fatherís death and, meanwhile, Captain Kumjorn (Ruangvuth) has asked Rumpoey for her hand in marriage. Just like the recent re-release of El Topo, this weird film has a simple plot yet still manages to be surprising with stylized violence and bright-colored sets, most of which purposefully look fake. Writer/director Wisit Sasanatieng pays homage to the visual style of the underrated director of old Thai films, Rattana Pestonji. The style seems a bit irritating at first, but gradually becomes refreshing, funny, oddly beautiful and captivating despite many surreal, over-the-top, outrageous scenes.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: None is required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you suspend your disbelief.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0

IN A NUTSHELL: Refreshingly bizarre and oddly beautiful. A captivating, surrealistic Thai Western.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater


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