[Last Film I Saw] Headshot (2011)

Title: Headshot
Year: 2011
Language: Thai
Country: Thailand, France
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director:
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Writers:
Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Win Lyovarin
Music: Vichaya Vatanasapt
Cinematography: Chankit Chamnivikaipong
Cast:
Nopachai Chauyanam
Sirin Horwang
Chanokporn Sayoungkul
Apisit Opasaimlikit
Kiat Punpiputt
Rating: 6.7/10

A Febiofest viewing, my screen room is half-packed, my first Thai film after UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES (2010). The story revolves a Thai righteous policeman turned desperate assassin route, a hit-man hired by an anonymous organization to kill rich scumbags and enforce justice on behalf of Heaven. The outline might be too familiar as we are in an imperfect world teeming with Headshot analogues among the film reign, to give vent to our dissatisfaction towards the dark side of our society.

First of all as a crime-noir, this film is not a cutting edge pioneer like say DRIVE (2011), but it does keep its unique vision explosion intact and some Buddhism wisdom within. An upside-down world after surviving a fatal headshot is the major gambit and exerts a disconnected nostalgia feel. But, the stunts being utilized in the film are stock, all characters are too shallow to be considered serious (even for the doctor who is the mysterious master-holding-the-helm), also the assassination group is underdeveloped given its solemn retribution mission. Nopachai Chauyanam has a stylish model appeal but is desperately wanting some characteristic drawing power to embody his overloaded leading role, only Sirin Horwang’s baby faced female fatale leaves some kick in her not abundant screen-time.

To point out a few highlights, a dark night shoot-out is executed with a spine-chilling thrill; the non-sequential narrative could be a barrier at first but also smothers the visual fatigue from the just-so-so development of the story.

An encouraging 7 out 10 fairly registers a luminous future for the international acclaimed director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang,, whose representative work encompasses INVISIBLE WAVES (2006), LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (2003) and 6ixtynin9 (1999).

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