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(Pheuan... Guu rak meung waa) (Thailand)

  Publicity Stills of "Bangkok Love Story"
(Courtesy from GV)

In Thai With English Subtitles
Director: Poj Arnon
Cast: Rattanabanlang Tosawad, Chaiwat Tongsaeng, Weeradit Srimalai, Chadcha Rujinanont, Utoompor Silapan, Ratchanu Boonchooduang, Cholprakun Chanrueng, Suchaw Pongwilai, Sahaschai Choomroom
1 hr 50 mins
Released By: GV
Rating: R21 (Homosexual Content)
Official Website: http://www.bangkoklovestorymovie.com/

Opening Day: 6 March 2008


An explosive love story of two men who live seemingly parallel lives without any real chances of meeting. Until one day, a twist of fate brings their paths to a crossroads of an unimaginable yet unforgettable love affair. “Maek” (Rattanabanlang Tosawad), a man of few words, has loved no one and never thought of loving anyone except his mother and his only brother “Mork” (Weeradit Srimalai). Maek lives a solitary life and constantly changes his name and address for the sake his safety due to his job. Uncertainty is what his job is all about and it allows him no love. How could it? He is an assassin. He is assigned a new mission: “Ith” (Chaiwat Tongsaeng), a handsome, wealthy man with an unanswered loneliness in his heart. Loneliness even though “Ith” has “Sine” (Chadcha Rujinanonth), his bride to be, nearby… Maek follows Ith’s every step to complete his assignment. Unfortunately, when the trigger moment arrives he cannot kill. There is something inside of him holding him back…. something too powerful…

Movie Review:

Going by the poster and the slick website, you can easily be fooled into thinking this was a movie well worth your time, a tale of forbidden love between two hunky males against a backdrop of crime and having circumstances going well against them. Movies with homosexual themes are nothing new here, although they still are a rarity. Most that made it here are of of critical acclaim, but somehow Bangkok Love Story fell through the quality control cracks and churned out something so bad, it was entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

The main love story here dealt with the feelings between Cloud the professional hitman (Rattanabanlang Tosawad), and his mark Stone (Chaiwat Tongsaeng), for reasons unknown to him. As a good soldier, he fulfills his scope of work to deliver Stone unharmed, only to find that his hirers ultimately want Stone dead. And if you're totally oblivious to the background of this movie, you might have thought that it was a film about brotherhood and camaraderie, in an action shoot-em-up that would make John Woo proud.

And here's where director Poj Aarnon (of Chai Lai Angels fame) floundered, in trying to craft a believable love story between the emotional Stone, and the stoic Cloud, who is wary of the former's advances, and tries hard to suppress mutual feelings. There were many moments and scenes injected into the two of them living together in refuge, which wouldn't even work in a usual heterosexual romantic tale, what with soft toys (I kid you not), stolen glances (which just went on), and the rubbing of backs which automatically led to something more, barring the reference you're trying to infer from this.

Having two hunks in the lead roles of Cloud and Stone (why do I have the feeling this was Storm Riders inspired?), it was clear cut exploitation of any tangible moment to have them bare their bodies, and prance around only in their undies, most of the time bordering on the ridiculous, although one can argue that in the Bangkok heat, it's probably the more sensible thing to do, especially when you're living on the roof of a skyscraper, undetected.

The only redeeming factor in this unintentional comedy, is the cinematography. Simply put, it is gorgeous to look at, with the varying angles and unbelievable palette of colours to evoke the moodiness and frustrations of the characters in missing, longing and denying someone. Which is a real pity for its technical strength to be wasted on a story which seemed to pour on every conceivable cliche you can possibly think of, with sub plots of discrimination by disease, revenge, love, hate, and heavy handed with its liberal dose of melodrama, throwing everything including the kitchen sink to bloat the story, and leave it plodding.

Too many side characters come interferring in the central arc without adding much purpose or value, with Cloud's HIV infected brother Fog (Weeradit Srimalai, ok, I hear laughter now) and mother dealing with his ambiguous sexual orientation, and Stone's fiance (Chadcha Rujinanonth) finding it strange that her man may be more than meets the eye, and the treatment of it may resemble that in Brokeback Mountain, but without the emotional punch and resonance. The final nail in the coffin is the last act which couldn't decide how and when to pull the plug, and dragged on so much that it led to things being even more uneven, with loopholes aplenty and every additional minute seemed to be like a year in Hell.

You don't feel anything for any of the characters, and that is what ultimately sinks this love story.

Movie Rating:

(for the visuals)

(A love story gone so bad that it became unintentionally funny with lines dripping enough cheese to stuff a large pizza)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Me.. Myself (2007)

. Pleasure Factory (2007)

. Eternal Summer (2006)

. Chai-Lai Angels (2006)

. Lan Yu (2005)

. Cold Showers (2005)

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