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LEKHA SHANKAR


An exchange of Film News, from Thailand, India and other film-spaces across the world.

 


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'The Last Executioner' will be released in Thai Theatres,today

 ‘ THE LAST EXECUTIONER’   Wins Best Actor Prize at Shanghai International  Film Festival

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‘PETCHAKART’ ,‘THE LAST EXECUTIONER'’  probably the most awaited Thai film of the year, will have its  public release in Thailand ,today , and expectations  are running high ,after its recent  success at the Shanghai International Film Festival ,where the film  won the Best Actor Award for lead-actor  Vithaya Pansringarm !

Vithaya’s is a unique success story , of a takewondo-expert stepping into the film-arena at the age of fifty, doing bit-parts in international productions shot in Thailand ,  bagging a  huge international role ( ‘Only God Forgives’), and  then ,moving into  Thai movies.

He sweeps the screen in ‘The Last Executioner’   ,a hard-hitting, moving story,based on the real-life story of Chavoret Jaruboon,   Thailand's last jail-executioner who specialsied in machine-gun executions . The film brings out the themes  of irony, karma, retribution.

Executioner Chavoret was  a rock-singer, who wished he could become a famous in that field.  But he became infamous in another  field,instead.

He enjoyed his job as a jail-warden ,until  he got   ‘promoted’- and what did get promoted to become?  An  ‘executioner’. !  

The film has many moments of soul-searching, as well as moments  of  body-killing.  Mental agony mixed with physical gore.  There are some surreal scenes, which  are distracting.

But the strength of the drama, comes from the fact that  it’s all based on the real life of  a real-life individual.

And the high point of the film, comes from the fact  that not many biopics have been made ,in Thai Cinema.

The movie and its director , deserve kudos for this.

The film’s Bangkok-premiere  was attended by the real-life executioner’s wife and daughter . Needless to say, they were in tears after the screening.

 

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                                    OTHER THAI FILM RELEASES

  There have been  a  varied  assortment of Thai  film-releases , of varied species and genres.

‘ Naresuan 5 ’  the fifth of the gigantic historical series, has its full quota of  fights , speeches, spectacle. It received a big shot on in the arm, when the ruling Military Govt ordered ‘free’ screenings , in their aim to  “ spread happiness”  to the Thai people. The stampedes at the thetares,   did not bring happiness to some people, but it certainly made the film a hot favourite  with many others.

Well-known Thai star Ananda Everingham made a come-back after a long break,  with a dark tale of ghosts ,mystery, horror- Hong Hoon (Crack my Skin),based on a well-known Thai story made into celluloid many years back. It was  the debut film of the scion of the well-known Kantana Studios family, Kulp Kaljareuk, and was very stylishly made. After all,  he owns of the best post-production houses in the country. But  the film was all style and no soul.

Meanwhile,  a small  indie film, made  in the North-Eastern Thai  dialect  ’Poo Bao Tai Ban’  by young director Uten Srirwi, who sold his rice fields to make the 3 million baht film, had a fair run in the theatres.  The story of a rural youngster who dreams of becoming a film-maker,   earned 10 million baht at the box-office, giving much hope to the indie film-makers of the country!  But since it had  no English  sub-titles, it was not accessible to the international community.

 And when  the mega  Hollywood film ’Transformers’ was released , the brave little Thai movie was whisked out of the screens.

 

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About LEKHA SHANKAR

SHANKAR LEKHA

I'm an Indian film-writer, based in Bangkok, and write for publications in India & Thailand. I also coordinate and curate film programs in the two countries, at cultural centres/clubs, film festivals.


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