After reading a letter detailing her grandmother’s death,
Dew went to Chiang Mai where by chance she met Ton, a kind
officer at an agricultural research center. Dew started to
feel true love for her new acquaintance. They eventually married
and begin a peaceful life together. Everything was fine until
Ton died after a savage illness. Now Dew is alone again but
then something strange happens: she receives a letter –
a love letter – inscribed in familiar handwriting. It’s
is amazing how a certain film genre can inspire different
countries to produce movies of the same storyline. One look
at this Thai production and you can easily guess which kind
of film genre it was inspired by.
won’t be the only one who thinks that this 2004 movie
directed by Pa-oon Jantrasiri spells “K-o-r-e-a-n W-e-e-p-i-e”
all over it. If you got this one correct, you can at least
consider yourself a discerning movie-goer.
movie is inspired by a 1997 Korean film of the same name.
It tells the story of a computer programmer who falls in love
with an agricultural research officer and marries him. Alas,
heaven isn’t too fair to nice people like them, because
he contracts brain tumour and dies. Heaven decides to continue
being cruel to the poor woman by letting her receive some
mysterious love letters penned by her dead husband.
have to agree with us - the misery a woman has to undergo
these days is depressing.
haven’t realized already, all the ingredients of a Korean
sappy drama are in place. The falling in love, the marriage
and finally, the tear-inducing death due to some incurable
disease, they are all signature elements of a Korean weepie.
important question here is: do all these work when the filmmakers
decide to change the location to hot and humid Thailand?
the formula churns itself out just fine, and decently creates
a unique tropical and down-to-earth style set in Chiang Mai.
Girls, please take note, romantic love stories need not take
place in scenic and snowy locations every time.
the movie which gave the lead actress Anne Thongprasom a Best
Actress award at the 2005 Thailand National Film Association
Awards does drag on quite a bit. Having seen other such dramas,
viewers would know what to expect from this movie. The amusement
of the change in location and language wears off after a while,
and what is left is the anticipation for the movie’s
final “twist” where the origination of the letters
with a revelation like this, we’d think that viewers
won’t be too impressed. Worse, they’d think that
the Koreans do it better than the Thais.
by John Li