This summer break, the love stories of four distinctive flavours take place all across Thailand in Hormones. Best buddies Phu and Mai will battle it out for the heart of the same girl. Meanwhile, Joe wears sincerity on his sleeves as he decides to put the knowledge of love he's learnt from books and movies into good use by confessing the crush he has on his university friend, Cee. High-schooler O-lek has a different kind of crush. She's never met him in person but that's not a problem for her to adore a Taiwanese pop-star Ti-Ti. Things are tough for Hern, a boy who has to fight a giant temptation when his girlfriend is away when he meets a sexy Japanese siren onboard a train.
So what is one to make of adolescent love, the subject of four independent, parallel-told stories in this Thai movie? If you were to believe the first, where two best friends vie for the love of a same girl, it is that you should never forsake your buddy for a lady. Especially when that girl happens to be going out with both of you at the same time and telling each one of you lies. Less cunning than naïve, teenage girls just don’t seem to know what or who they want, so you’re better off sticking with your buddy.
If you were to believe the second story, then you should jolly well think twice before going after a girl who seems to want nothing more than just to be your friend. Else, you’re going to find yourself doing all those sweet things for her (which as the film’s protagonist shows, you may well learn from Hollywood’s bevy of romantic movies) without a shred of appreciation. No, if she doesn’t like you, there probably isn’t much you can do to impress her.
Worse still if you’re like the girl in the third story, going ga-ga over your idol so much so that you’re willing to take language classes just so you can understand the songs he/she is singing. There’s also no need to waste your money going to see him at a concert. If it’s fated, you may just bump into him somehow, someday, somewhere.
But never, never be like the guy in the last story, who on a trip to see his three-year steady girlfriend gets distracted a sweet, pretty Japanese girl on the train and suddenly throws all caution to the wind, going off to some beach to spend a night with her and cheating on the one who loves you.
If those lessons sound fluffy and inconsequential to you, well just blame it on the hormones, the raging-subsiding rush of chemicals in us that makes us do silly things especially when you’re young, caught up in the throes of what we call passion. Or blame it on the filmmakers, who never really spent much effort trying to make any of the stories resonate with the feelings we all must have felt at some point or another growing up.
And just like that awkward phase of our lives we wish would pass a little faster, “Hormones” meanders on for a somewhat interminable 135-mins. It long outstays its welcome, incapable of making one feel any kind of nostalgia or fondness for it. Life doesn’t have a forward button, you just have to go through each painful stage as it comes. But you don’t have to endure the same with “Hormones”- you can put it on fast-forward. Or simply avoid it. Either way, you won’t be missing anything much.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
The disc’s visual transfer brings out the colourful backdrop of Thailand nicely. The Dolby 2.0 audio works fine for the mostly talky picture interspersed with some radio-friendly tunes.
by Gabriel Chong
Posted on 7 August 2009