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Tropical Malady (2004)

Cast: Banlop Lomnoi, Banlop Lomnoi, Sakda Kaewbuadee, more...
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Strand Home Video
Genre: Foreign, Southeast Asia, Werewolves, Wilderness & Nature, Experimental/Avant-Garde
Running Time: 118 min.
Languages: Thai
Subtitles: English
    see additional details...

Synopsis
One of Thailand's leading experimental filmmakers, Apichatpong Weerasethakul directed this ambitious examination of fear and desire. Keng (Banlop Lomnoi) is a soldier who has been assigned duty as a forest ranger in the woodlands of the country. While on duty, he meets a young man named Tong (Sakda Kaewbuadee); Keng becomes deeply infatuated with Tong, but while Tong is friendly with Keng, he is obviously unwilling to respond to his romantic overtures. As Keng deals with his disappointment, he learns that a number of animals and villagers have fallen victim to a vicious predator who may be a tiger or a shape-shifting shaman. Keng gathers his courage and begins tracking the beast, which alternately resembles a jungle cat and his friend Tong. Sud Pralad ( aka Tropical Malady) was screened in competition at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Too unusual. by honor599 June 13, 2009 - 5:46 PM PDT
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0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I'm sure there are many undercurrents and hidden tones to this film, but I can't make any of them out. I would categorize this film with the "The Thin Red Line", which I also did not 'get'.

I do commend the film on one respect: while I do not have a progressive outlook when it comes to same-sex relationships, I found the displays in this film quite acceptable.

Bonding in the Forest by talltale November 20, 2005 - 2:40 PM PST
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2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
In his continuing saga of life and what to make of it--Thai version--Apichatpong Weerasethakul (will someone please provide me with the phonetic pronunciation of this guy's name: "A peach at pong We're a "sethacle" is the best I can manage) has produced his most interesting work yet. TROPICAL MALADY is also his most accomplished in terms of filmmaking, although so far from what "normal" audiences are used to, both here and in his native land (according to some Thai and Thai-based friends), that it's bound to be awhile before he's invited to direct, say, "Ocean's 15," an episode of "The Sopranos" or even "Iron Ladies 3."

The first hour of "Tropical Melody," as one friend misspoke (another calls it "Tropical Malarkey") is devoted to following two young men who seem to be attracted to each other, as they work and play in the countryside and city. The local color is lovely, and so are the two guys. The second hour, while it appears to feature the same twosome, turns metaphorical with a vengeance, ending with a rather sweet (if you're still awake) nod to Asian mysticism and the connections between all things. Or maybe part two is just a ghost story from a foreign culture, into which bored movie intellectuals 'round the globe are attempting to find deeper meaning.

Whatever: this is a push forward in filmmaking and budget over Weerasethakul's "Mysterious Object at Noon" and even his harder-core but full of natural beauty "Blissfully Yours." Though this director excels at capturing "stillness," a gentle reminder is in order: Too much stillness, even when you include full-frontal, can lead to snores.




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.94)
52 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2004
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Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
kraigpdx
80 Best Films Since 1980
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The list is only 75 titles long, because GreenCine doesn't have the following titles: The Plague Dogs, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Last Exit to Brooklyn, The Nasty Girl, City of Hope, Gadjo Dilo
Shermonster

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