English Title: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Original Title: Loong Boonmee raleuk chat
Country: Thailand, UK, France
Genre: Drama, Fantasy
Director/Writer: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
As a newcomer to the phantasmic world of the highly acclaimed Thailand auteur (chiefly by the West world though) Apichatpong Weerasethakul, I feel repelled to indulge myself into his semi-spontaneously fabricated mythological world, notwithstanding that this film won Palme d’Or last year in the Cannes.
His camera is never prying, plainly sticking there as an outsider, gazing the occurrence of the narrative. Ape-man, death, ghost, age declining, hallucination and a split-personal incarnation aka. the punchline in the end, all preserved in a boldly without-explanation mode, evokes the early works of South Korean auteur Ki-duk Kim (SPRING, SUMMER, FALL, WINTER…AND SPRING 2003 particularly), and furthermore it contains less storytelling, and drastically test the stoicism of its viewers, shamefully I slumbered for several minutes during the process.
An interlude of the fornication between an aging princess and a catfish bewilders me and tantalizes me at the same time, the night-cruising in the cave until uncle Boonmee’s doomed end epitomizes a telling consequence of looking for one’s own roots, there is a wealth of metaphoric segments similar to these I mentioned here.
I must concede that the film has an alluring appeal at the beginning, a structural impact is much more serviceable on me, as a Chinese agnostic, the pan-Asian mythology has yet been bleached in my milieu, meantime I’m earnestly looking forward to watching Apichatpong’s another opus TROPICAL MALADY (2004).
In conclusion, I think this film is supremely brainy, even you could say it is too smart to blame and I firmly believe it will unquestionably titillate its own groupies in a fair amount, but not me this time.