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Tropical Malady 2004

Tropical Malady / Sud Pralad

AKA: Tropical Malady 
Year: 2004
Directed: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Genre: Drama/Romance/Fantasy
Runtime: 113 mins
Country: Thailand
Language: Thai
Subtitles: English Hardcoded
IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0381668/


Banlop Lomnoi - Keng

Sakda Kaewbuadee - Tong

Huai Dessom

Sirivech Jareonchon

Udom Promma

Synopsis / Plot

At one point in TROPICAL MALADY, a woman tells the principle characters a traditional Thai story about ghosts and greed, and mentions the TV show WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE in the next breath. It's precisely that kind of disjunction that fuels this film from maverick director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON), who divides his tale into two sharply-contrasted halves that suggest genre codes while defying them. Opening on a group of soldiers posing with a dead body, the film slowly makes its way to a country home where a family takes the troops in, and eventually settles on the episodic courtship between handsome soldier Keng (Banlop Lomnoi), and bashful country boy Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee), both non-actors. Their relationship unfolds in ecstatic, tender vignettes that leave much to the audience's imagination, but the chaste touches and huge smiles the young men share are cut short when Tong disappears into darkness. When the lights come up again Keng--or, as he is referred to now, the Soldier--is a player in the retelling of an old Thai fable, while Tong is now a wild, shape-shifting ghost. The two trail one another through a jungle filled with unearthly sounds, and the line between the pursuer and the pursued disappears. Eventually the Soldier receives unlikely counsel and, following the advice he receives, allows himself to be consumed and devoured by his love. Mystifying and utterly elusive, Weerasethakul's film resists allegorical or conventional interpretation, with a pace and inner logic that will challenge the patience of some, but is sure to reward those willing to travel the distance to the end.



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