Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

HOM RONG / THE OVERTURE (2004)

No doubt this is the first film about the ranad ek, a traditional Thai music instrument something like a small xylophone set in a wooden hammock. (Lionel Hampton, with his double-mallet grip, would have loved it.) A fact-inspired drama built around the life of ranad ek master Luang Pradit Pairoh, called Sorn in the film, the story bounces back & forth between early years when his obvious talents were jeopardized by a rebellious attitude; and late years as an honored teacher & statesman when he took a stand against government modernization codes that used military force to ban native classical music.* Luckily, the culture, history & music, barely known in the West, holds enough interest to ride out a by-the-numbers treatment from director Ittisoontorn Vichailak. And the time shifts, meant to enliven the clich├ęs, only make the personal relationships less involving, even confusing. A son comes home from study abroad with a piano & a jazz influenced style of playing, but since this relationship is new to the film, the pay off when Dad finds a bit of a groove on his ranad ek is weightless. It’s like that all thru the film, and no amount of speedy tracking shots into Close-Ups can hide the impersonal tone. Though it does allow Vichailak to show off Anuchit Sapanpong, the model-worthy young man with an Audrey Hepburn neck who plays young Sorn.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: *A more positive sign of cultural modernization is the reduction in betel nut consumption that blackens the teeth of so many characters in the sequences set during Sorn’s youth.

No comments: