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Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

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    Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

    Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

    This is one of the other Thai movies that I love so much, and that touches my heart to the core. The other movie was called "Behind the Painting" ( ข้างหลังภาพ ).

    Before I start talking, let me first assure you that I do not expect anyone here to spending nearly 160 minutes watching the whole movie, nor do I expect anyone here to fully understand it's meanings on so many levels. There is a lot of different stories and lots of special things, that makes Thailand just what it is, and which makes a Thai the way a Thai is, in this movie.

    I'm not saying that because I have doubt in you all, or in a disrespectful way, but there are some things which I do not think Europeans will understand about Thai tradition and culture. It's hard to understand the merits of this movie, and the intentions well hidden in the story.

    Only a Thai -or a foreigner that have lived in Thailand for quite some time - will understand all of these merits.

    Needless to say, this is a movie that moves me and touches my heart, and that is the reason I would like to share it.

    Elizabeth, I think you might enjoy this movie, but, do you have 160 minutes available?

    The movie is given English subtitles so it is much easier to understand.

    Put on the popcorn, roll the film:





    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

    #2
    Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

    The 3 next parts:





    With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

    Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
    Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

    Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

      Part 7 - 9:





      With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

      Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
      Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

      Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

        Part 10 to 12:





        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
        Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

          Part 13 to 15:





          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

            Part 16 to 18, and with that the end of the movie:





            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
            Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

              Now, if there are anyone that has seen the whole short version of this movie (above)... the original Thai version is nearly 6 hours long! ... I would like to hear your objective views.

              Saying that, the reason for my emotion towards this movie is as all of you know, me close personal connection to Thailand.

              Having been in the jury at Bangkok International Film Festival one year, Asian films are different than the films from the rest of the world, and I like their way of portraying life stories. My film interest stretches particularly into Filipino and Thai films. But, I do also understand that it might be difficult for anyone not familiar with Asian culture, to understand the entire merits of the movie(s).
              With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

              Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
              Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

              Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

              Comment


                #8
                Dear pakarang,
                Was it really only a couple of days ago that, having followed a link to YouTube and your own movie, I noticed Lookchin sitting in the background? So there I was on Facebook joking that you’d miss-timed the Oscar nominations …and Lookchin had been SO hoping for Best Supporting Bear!

                Little did I know that I’d soon encounter a Thai film in which a Teddy Bear might indeed be said to play a little supporting role!!!!!!

                Right, so you’ll have gathered that I have actually watched Love of Siam!!

                You didn’t seem to expect that I might actually watch it all or think that I might enjoy it, and that surprises me. But I did watch and I did enjoy. And, while totally appreciating that there must be so very much that a farang cannot reach, it did move me and touch my heart.

                Originally posted by pakarang View Post
                Now, if there are anyone that has seen the whole short version of this movie .... I would like to hear your objective views. ....
                I’ll try, and will return to post here as soon as I have time to write. Just don’t expect a well written review or finely honed essay from the wooden seagull! Just a jotting of mixed-up rambling thoughts in my struggling-with-words way. So it will probably not seem like an objective view at all, but rather a subjective one…

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

                  Thanks SO much for the links to this movie....I WILL watch it....I wonder if I can download it so I can watch it on the plane to Singapore????

                  You mentioned the other movie "Behind the Painting"- I still haven't been able to watch it, but I DID read the short novel on your recommendation, and it is one of the most touching and lovely books I have ever read. It has become one of my favorites.

                  Oh, and tell Lookchin that there is always NEXT year for Best Supporting Bear. Although I think he should get into writing. He hasn't posted recently, and needs to consider a career after being in FRONT of the camera.............lots more awards for writers.....

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

                    The first thing I find myself wanting to say about Love of Siam, is that to me it didn’t actually feel long!!!!!!!
                    A surprise given the actual timings, and the likelihood (perhaps implied in pakarang’s introduction) that the film’s length reinforces the barrier to a westerner’s appreciation. Even the realisation when the opening titles appear that the half hour that one has just watched is merely a kind of prologue did not in anyway faze me!

                    Maybe that makes me unusual, or even having some quasi-Asian dimension. Generally we Westerners are so accustomed to our western formats. We expect a clear start, middle and ending. The “story” will be “about” a couple of main protagonists whose situations and personalities are fleshed out. Add a couple of secondary characters, usually less well delineated, and a sub-plot or two at the most. All this is packaged within a clearly defined genre.

                    I find myself making an imaginary experiment. Take a handful of film directors. They are exasperated that this Thai film doesn’t fit their western expectation of a good well-crafted movie. Let’s give them the footage to play with…actually why not the whole six hours of it…from which they can cut and edit and each extract their “better” movie. I believe that would result in many totally different films, and that none of them would achieve what Love of Siam does.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      One aspect that did hit me with an edgy almost uncomfortable surprise as I watched the first time was the sudden realisation that this was a Christian (Roman Catholic) family. Of course I can now see how that plays into the story line, especially as regards the attitudes, morals, values and expectations it implies. It also feeds into the symbolism of present giving, as well as the wider context of Christmastime in Siam Square.

                      Perhaps it is just that I haven’t encountered that strand of Thai society, nor am I at all knowledgeable of Christian influences in the wider contexts of Asian geography and history. Perhaps it is that I don’t have a strong Christian background personally, and might even not be as accommodating to those beliefs as I ought. Others watching the film may have different stumbling blocks, and for some that will be a portrayal of love that is between two boys.

                      Not that this is a ga y movie, though no doubt one of my imaginary directors would come up with one. Nor is it simply a film of growing up, or a family drama or even only a love story. To the extent that it can be said to be “about” love, it is also about that of friendship, and between family members, and “puppy love” too is explored. I feel it is as much …maybe more….about separation and loss. But most of all about the interconnectedness of these themes, and just loving others for being the way they are, and the reality of living day by day.

                      After Love of Siam it might even be a while before I can again enjoy many, even much-watched and favourite, popular love/romance films! I have sometimes wondered how much such films of the kind that follow the predictable framework outlined in the previous post, feed back into and influence real lives and relationships. We have brainwashed ourselves into expecting the perfect resolution of the “happy ending”. Real life is always more complicated.
                      Last edited by Seagull; February 10th, 2012, 19:39.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Such expectations of happiness fed by popular romances are further accentuated by wallowing in the angst of “sad endings” of those story-lines of couples whose future together is clearly doomed from the start. If any of you are still with me, I do understand you may be bristling with BUTs at this point. What about the great Tragedies you may well ask…classical Greek tragedy, Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet…and so on…what about a Puccini opera or even a well-made cinema blockbuster.

                        Which brings us to the question of whether this Thai film is popular or “art cinema”. OK, foreign-language-averse British audiences tend to think anything with subtitles must be highbrow and arty! …but I’m digressing off topic!

                        The ending of Love of Siam is probably the issue that most easily splits opinion. Asians don’t seem to have the same need to categorise and label, but if you approached the film as “popular” you might feel it is so open as to permit speculation on what happens next – Mew and Tong might even live happily ever after together at the end of a Love of Siam II ! If you think it is closer to “art cinema” you may find the ending contrived, and a view of the film as a sensitive depiction of reality has to face the question of whether there can be a cinematic ending at all. Life itself may end unexpectedly at any time without opportunity of any neat conclusion. On the whole I am content with the symbolism of completeness when the last piece of the toy is put in place. What I am less sure about is that one then hears Mew’s love song once more as the credits roll, which to me reverts to a more narrow definition of love than has been, for me, the film’s achievement.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It isn’t only about Mew and Tong, for all the roles are starring ones and well cast and performed. That of Sunee, for example, is a strong performance believably acted –a character I initially felt unsympathetic towards, but who by the end of the film comes to understand that to love doesn’t imply possession or control of another person.
                          The sequences where Sunee wants to believe that June really is Tang are deftly portrayed, justifying what might have seemed a contrived part of the storyline. With the line “Is that the truth or did you make that up to make him feel better” the film seems again to touch on issues of true communication in relationships, and the compromises that politeness and decorum, tradition and obligation may impose.

                          Paradoxically, our critical film directors, who I have so far assumed will be intent on cutting out vast swathes of footage, may have been longing to grab cameras and head on location to Chiang Mai in search of Tang. As it stands, and despite the existing prologue’s length, I couldn’t help feeling that the parents seemed too quick to apparently accept their daughter’s disappearance at that point in time. I’m unsure if this impression is intentional.

                          But one wouldn’t want any further additions to the film to be at the expense of the leisured pace of many existing sequences…the depictions of the young folk just hanging out together and the humour –such unforgettable vignettes as the playful way Tong puts on the sunglasses, mistakes the colour of the shirt, and the girl’s chorus “It’s yellow”. I’m laughing just remembering.


                          It’s a sensitive, tender and touching film that goes straight to the heart…. it made me cry too, but I can’t accept that it is sad.…it made me feel better about love and life.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Thai movie: Love of Siam (Rak Heng Siam) รักแห่งสยาม

                            Dear Lady C,

                            Thanks for your comments on this movie.... yes, it is indeed a very touching movie, and very Asian in it's own right... perhaps it is even very Thai in it's way. This is a movie that would not have made popularity in for example the Roman Catholic Philippines.

                            One of my favorite "merits" of this movie to me, personally, is the way the wife sticks by her husband even when he fall in utter dispear and head for the alcohol. I might have wanted more action on her part, but I think in Thailand, the woman's role is different than here in the west... more subdued in a way. The thing that touches me very much as well, is when he realizes she has been eating his old, and cold, food when he refused to eat it because of his sadness. This is something of a merit deep hidden in Thai culture.

                            Ever since I sat in the jury of Bangkok International Film Festival, Thai and Asian movies in general, have fallen heavy in my heart. They are preferred over any other production I have encountered, of any other country. My collection and interest in Thai movies is expanding and expanding... and one of the things I surely will buy when returning to Thailand again, are a whole boat-load of new DVDs and BlueRays.
                            With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                            Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                            Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                            Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by pakarang View Post
                              One of my favorite "merits" of this movie to me, personally, is the way the wife sticks by her husband even when he fall in utter dispear and head for the alcohol.
                              Yes I so agree… from that point in the film where she is looking after her husband one begins to see the deeper aspects of her character, and it is from that support of her husband that she is eventually able to find acceptance and understanding of Tong and Mew's relationship.

                              Pakarang, I am so very grateful that you have introduced me to Thai cinema.

                              Comment

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