Every relationship has an expiry date. Every relationship needs its fantasies… some more real than others…A highly detailed psychological drama Wit and his wife, Dang having just returned to Thailand after a decade living in the United States. Checking into a hotel, the couple meets Ploy, a sexy 19 year old. As the trio are locked inside one hotel room, they slowly begin to discover the threads that connect them together when Ploy triggers the underlying issues and intense relationship of the couple. It starts with subtle suspicious and builds up to overwhelming jealousy before it reaches a devastating climax.
On first viewing, Ploy is one of those art house films that have very little to say and in order to pad it out into a feature length, the movie utilize plenty stoic long take shots of people doing rather mundane stuff (like peeing, changing clothes and walking down the corridor). In order to extend this short tale on marriage blues, this movie threw in an unrelated sex romp between a bartender and a chambermaid to “spice things” up (fyi: the double quote would be an indication that it’s actually not that erotic).
For an art house film, the cinematography felt rather sterile and the film color felt too washout that it wasn’t very pleasant to watch. There’s nothing much on screen that generate the dreamy state that the movie poster / dvd cover seems to be promising.
The film’s only salvageable bits were the on screen charisma of the young actress (Apinya Sakuljaroensuk) who played the title role, some clever framing (the one that invokes the scandalizing naked feet which went on to reveal something else) and the unexpected song moment by the chambermaid. The “climatic” heated quarrel between the husband and wife also hit all the crucial points of relationship failures and it makes one wary of the love expiring on a relationship.
While there some interesting points being raised in this movie, they were delivered in the dreariest manner. This would be where the initial review would end as basically that’s the essence of the movie that I caught and it’s tempting to be not so wordy. However in order to appreciate all sorts of movies and to be fair to the movie, more researches were made for this movie.
It turned out that the director of Ploy, Pen-Ek Ratanaruang is quite an arthouse darling. There are people who seemly genuine enjoys his work and this movie. They were touched by this movie and were exclaiming how this movie made them feels and think. They were able to find meanings in things that were not presented on the screen and come out with theories for the various characters’ behavior. A few of them also pointed out that the cinematography was top notched while I had felt strongly otherwise.
Since there might be a gem that I’m missing, I rewatch Ploy in the wee hours of morning and they are right, the movie became more tolerable. Without the rush to find out the outcome of the plot and in-between 2am to 3am, things become more bearable and easy to swallow. However I wouldn’t be calling this a masterpiece by a master. There are far too many aspects that could be interpreted as an amateur effort and it’s really open to interpretation if you are so inclined to. Personally Ploy isn’t a movie that I would recommend to people.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
This Code 3 DVD contains no extra features.
The playback of the dvd looked and sound fine on the TV. The notable aspect would be during the couple songs inclusion moments, it tends to be way louder than the dialogues. So tune it down if you don’t want to disturb your neighbors while watching this late at night.
by Richard Lim Jr
Posted on 16 August 2009