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LOVE OF SIAM (Rak haeng Siam) (Thailand)

  Publicity Stills of
"Love of Siam"
(Courtesy of GV)

Genre: Romance/Drama
Director: Chukiat Sakweerakul
Cast:Sinjai Plengpanich, Chermal Boonyasak, Songsit Rungnoppakulsri, Mario Muarer, Wichawisit Hiranwongkul, Kanya Rattanapet, Athicha Pongsilpapipat
2 hrs 40 mins
Released By: GV & Scorpio East Pictures
Rating: M18 (Mature Theme)
Official Website: http://www.theloveofsiam.com/



Two young boys are best friends living quiet family lives in Bangkok. Their lives are disrupted when one boy's older sister goes missing on a jungle trip. The shattered family moves away, separating the boys. Years later, now in their late teens, the boys meet again. One of them is now the leader of an aspiring boy band whose managing assistant bears a striking resemblance to the lost sister. The boys must deal with their family and social lives and their feelings for each other.

Movie Review:

Countless films have been made about the subject of love but few come as close to answering what love is as “Love of Siam”. This is a film that understands that love isn’t simply in the telling, it’s also in the showing, the doing, the little simple acts of love that we perform for the ones we care about. And yes, it is tender, touching and guaranteed to stay with you for a long time.

The story unfolds with two young boys, Tong and Mew, who live across the street from each other. Tragedy befalls Tong’s family when they take a vacation to Chiang Mai and Tong’s sister, Tang, goes missing. Devastated, their family moves away, but not before Tong leaves a parting gift to Mew, though incomplete due to a minor hitch in delivery.

Fast forward a few years and Tong and Mew are both in their teens. Tong is a boyishly handsome secondary school boy, caught up with a relationship with an attractive girl called Donut he unfortunately doesn’t have feelings for. Mew is a singer-songwriter of his own school band, August, that is already engaged with a record company and about to release their first album. The two bump into each other one day on the street, and pretty soon, discover their feelings and their love for one another.

Lest you think this is some homosexual film, let me assure that it is not. True, Tong and Mew may exchange long stares, adoring smiles and even a kiss, but in no way does this film champion homosexuality. Instead, this is a story that celebrates the feelings we sometimes quite inexplicably develop for another person, feelings of care, intimacy and affection so strong that we have no other choice than to call it love. How we display these feelings for the other person is another matter, and one that “Love of Siam” drives home poignantly with its bittersweet ending.

But it would be pretentious for a film to call itself “Love of Siam” if all it is about is the love between Tong and Mew. Instead, writer-director Matthew Chukiat Sakveerakul fashions a film as multi-faceted as love itself. This he does through a multitude of characters and subplots that add to the richness of the film- Ying, a girl living in Tong’s old house that has a almost desperate crush on Mew; June, Mew’s record producer’s assistant who bears a striking resemblance to Tong’s missing sister and is slowly brought into Tong’s family for an unusual purpose; and most prominently, Tong’s parents, Korn and Sunee.

Indeed, it is through them that “Love of Siam” delivers its most powerful emotional punch. Still overwhelmed by the loss of his daughter, Korn spends his days at home drowning his sorrow in alcohol, leaving Sunee to support the family. Such is the depth of Sunee’s love that she drives home to bring Korn breakfast and lunch every day without fail. What will you call that devotion if not love? And how many of us are capable of that kind of love, of standing by someone torn apart by the same hurt that we are feeling?

Across generations, across time or space, and across boundaries, love is that force of nature that conquers all. “Love of Siam” celebrates the power of love, love that comes in many forms, love that expresses itself in so many ways, but the same love that gives hope, that gives meaning to life. It is one of the most beautiful expositions of love on film, a story that speaks in a universal language and will touch your heart in a most special way.

Movie Rating:

(Quite simply one of the most beautiful films you’ll see on the subject of love)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Bangkok Love Story (2007)

. Me.. Myself (2007)

. Pleasure Factory (2007)

. Ploy (2007)




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