Tears of the Black Tiger
Star-crossed lovers Dum (Chartchai Ngamsan) and Rumpoey (Stella Malucchi) fight to be together as the world conspires to keep them apart in Thai director Wisit Sasanatieng's genre bender. Though Rumpoey's big-wig father arranges for her to wed the police chief -- who's out to take down Dum's underworld boss -- her heart belongs to gangster fugitive Dum. Hitting on all cylinders, this turbocharged tale builds to an unforgettable climax.

Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

You don't hear many movies described as a "technicolor Thai Western," especially with imagery this bold, and it's an even bigger surprise to discover that the parts with the eye-popping visuals are the weakest. This Thai film, which took years to score an American release, has a great first act, a love story between a peasant boy and a rich girl who fall in love in a river of neon-green grass. Then the film turns into a action movie, aping Westerns and war movies and gangster pics, and it falls flat, seeming not to have a clue what to do with each genre. The Chinese Kung Fu Hustle successfully mixed martial arts and gangsters with a similar love story, but that was a screwball comedy told at a quick pace by a filmmaker who knew what he wanted to do; this murky melodrama feels lost and slow-witted by comparison. Admire the photography, but don't bother watching it.

− May 18, 2008 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

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