Director: Nithiwat Tharatorn
Cast: Sukrit Wisetkaew, Ploy Chermarn
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: GV
Opening Day: 15 May 2014
Synopsis: The Teacher’s Diary is inspired by a true story of how two total strangers overcome the most impossible of odds and find love within the pages of a lost diary. This new romantic drama from GTH (producer of acclaimed Pee Mak) is based on the events that unfold after a teacher forgets her diary at school only to have it serendipitously found the following school year by a male teacher who has replaced her. Let’s see how soul baring confessions on paper manifest into an emotional bond so powerful that two star-crossed people who have never met before are able to fall madly in love.
The Teacher’s Diary is one of those South East Asian movies that remind people that you don’t need a Hollywood-sized budget to make a good movie. All you need are the basics – a tight script that balances sentimental moments with witty lines, sound technical work, good direction and fine acting from the leads (okay, it’s a pretty tall order but The Teacher’s Diary manages to somehow fulfill all of it).
Based on the premise of how two strangers who have never met, bond and connect through a shared diary containing their experiences of teaching a small group of primary school children at a floating boathouse-school, The Teacher’s Diary easily charms the audience right from the beginning with its humorous scenes. Witty lines aside, the tight script manages to balance the romance and steer it firmly away from being mawkish while remaining sentimental. The fairy-tale like romance that grows between Song (portrayed by Sukrit Wisetkaew) and Ann (portrayed by Laila Boonyasak) is balanced by the reality of the betrayal both faced in their previous relationships where their partners’ hearts wandered in their absence. The poignant moments are deftly balanced with the funny moments where the school children say and do the darnest or ,sometimes, the sweestest things.
The leads’ fine acting also gives life to characters who could easily have been portrayed as stereotypes, doing justice to the script. You find yourself rooting for the bumbling but good hearted Song who has to hide away as he figures out how to solve primary level math problems so that he can teach the children how to solve the same problems two days later. Similarly, you feel Ann’s pain when her tough exterior gives way and she shows her softer side to the children she care so much about or when she cries at her boyfriend’s betrayal. In the hands of lesser actors, Song would easily have been portrayed as a clown while Ann would have just been a domineering woman who suddenly cracked.
Romance aside, the movie is also inspirational as it captures Song’s and Ann’s personal growth as they rise above the daunting challenges they face and discover that they are capable of more than what they originally thought they could do. They find out what it is that they are truly passionate about and the values that they hold dear. And it is through chronicling and sharing these life experiences with each other through a diary that they relate to and grow to love each other. Similarly, it is through watching them grow that the audience end up rooting for the two of them and their romance.
(The Teacher’s Diary is a heartfelt love story that isn’t sickeningly saccharine with a witty script to boot, making it an ideal movie to watch with practically anyone)
Review by Katrina Tee