In the countryside of Thailand, a gang of outlaws makes the region unsafe. Among them is the handsome gun hero Dum, who became unwillingly involved in the bandit life. Handsome Dum made a promise to his upper-crust lover Rumpoey: despite the class difference, they will get married. When the moment of reunion arrives, Dum gets involved in a fire fight and cannot possibly reach Rumpoey in time. She is desperate: her father has married her off to a policeman. The taciturn Dum, called the 'Black Tiger' by his co-conspirators, has however not forgotten Rumpoey. He does everything in his power to reach her, but fate gets in the way: his gang leader suspects him of treachery and his blood brother turns into his greatest enemy. Will the two lovers ever meet up? This urgent question propels the melodrama forward, supported by exciting music, spectacular shootouts and heroic duels.
With its loud acting style, exuberant sets and stunning shots in pastel colours, this Thai cult film is as much a parody as an homage to the Western and the romantic tearjerker.
When I went to see that movie at a cinema a few years ago, I only heard that it was supposed to be good and hadn't read anything else about it. I was in for a treat! At first I wasn't sure if this movie was serious or if it was more like a spoof. That became pretty clear after a few minutes into the movie. It was meant to be funny, but that didn't mean that you didn't care about the characters. Quite the contrary was the case. Whenever you laughed with the characters, you began to like them a little more and more ... Which ultimately worked very good for the drama parts of the movie.
This movie walks a very thin line, between comedy and drama. But it never fails to deliver on both occasions. The movie breaks the illusion of being a movie very quickly, also. But that doesn't affect the drama. Although you can see painted backgrounds or back-screen projections in cars (latter are in black-and-white, the movie itself is in color) that doesn't distract.
The movie has rich colors which reminded me a little bit of Bollywood movies. That's without all the singing and dancing, so don't worry! ;o) If you like your movies a little off beat and weird, go out and watch this one! Don't forget: It's OK to laugh! :o) After his father was killed a young man named Dum joins a group of bandits who dress up cowboys and roam the countryside of Thailand. After joining them he soon has made a name for himself as the fasted gun in the east and which he is known as the Black Tiger. But in the back of his mind is a childhood sweetheart that grew up in the upper class of society and despite Dum coming from a poor family they decided to meet at a particular place to reunite. Though, Dum gets caught up in gunfight and misses the chance to be with his loved one. So because of that she is married off to a policeman, but this doesn't stop Dum from trying to get in contact with her, even if something always gets in between them.
Wow! Did someone splash some sort of painting on the screen? What a feast for the eyes, but the substance was clearly drowned out by the vibrant plateau of ultra-bright colours and by also the deviously campy style the director opted out for. These visuals just leap off the screen and were more than impressive. Sadly because of the style being the film's main strong hold, the story had to fall by the wayside, really. It's simple, but not always as compelling to that of what's happening in the background. It's one of those films when style is everything. Even the spoof element foreshadows the plot. Closer attention in building something stronger in the plot could have made this a more perfect viewing.
This Thai film is filled with many, that's MANY homage's from the western genre, especially that off Leone's spaghetti westerns. All of this is blended in with formulaic clichés and a romantic twist about fate. This tragic love story isn't particularly new, but the way they interwoven the eastern culture with the western. There are enough unpredictable patterns drawn up. The storyline isn't a linear one, because we explore into our protagonist's past midway through the flick, looking at why he became an outlaw and how important this girl has been in his life. While the opening and ending scenes are set in the present time. Actually, I was kind of confused about the whole setting, but I found out it's set in the modern times, but the outlaws are just dressed up as cowboys. Basically the film goes out of its way to blind us with it's weirdness and zestful context, but amongst all of this it mixes elements of Thai traditions to that of Hollywood successfully to give us a laugh and create some excitement along the way.
The production follows that of the early spaghetti westerns filming techniques. These things range from sharp editing, to the kinetic and circulating camera-work. The quick pans always seem to have a mind of its own. The pulsating score splashes out a variety of eastern, but also western themes. Even one of Ennio Morricone's themes from "The Good, the bad and the Ugly" is continuously given a spin. *Hmm* the score actually seems to be on a loop. The way the film looks it does come across like a stage show and the pacing is somewhat up and down. Although when it gets into Western extravaganza with the wild shootouts and loud explosions it's simply eye catching with the amount flair and wham-bang awe that's generated. These moment are filled with arty images, but they let the red paint spill out gratuitously. They do go over-the-top at times, like its been ripped out of a comic book. That can go to the final stand off, which has some panache about it and ends rather nasty. All I got to say is Ouch! That's gotta hurt! I kept asking myself if I was watching a cartoon and that's definitely because of the look, but also the performances. These characters were beyond cheesy, and all had massive egos, well except for the two leads that were kinda flat. Those outlaws with their colourful outfits and sinister laughter were just ridiculously hilarious! I just love how it found something to take the mickey out of. Everything about the film is well equipped with it being snazzy and polished up. Replacing the grit and rawness found in most spaghetti westerns, by keeping in the mode of the technicolour Hollywood westerns. Oh, well.
It's no more but a terribly cheesy parody (and a decent one too) with steroid pumping visuals. But a definite warning as this film is not for everyone. If you enjoyed the offbeat "The Happiness of the Katakuris" (2001) you might find something to like here. This is a scrapbook, a happy jumble, of many of the things we instinctively respond to in movies: color, shape, sound and movement, all intensified by heightened emotion. 7cb1d79195
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