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October 25, 2011


remaker 1.jpg

Kon raruek chat
Mona Nahm - 2005
Kam & Ronson All Region DVD

With some assistance from producer Oxide Pang, I had higher expectations for Remaker. Mona Nahm's short feature doesn't tread any new ground, nor does it have the visual panache or narrative twists associated with the Pang brothers, working together or separately. The film is of some interest in being one of the few Thai commercial films to be directed by a woman. For the past few years, Nahm has settled on a steady career as a production designer in Los Angeles.

Saved by drowning in a traffic accident, Tom finds himself with a psychic connection to Pim, a young woman now in a coma. Tom takes financially responsibility for Pim's hospitalization. Through telepathy, Pim explains to Tom that he has to save the lives of others to make amends for his karma. Tom eventually learns to go out of his way to do the right thing, rather than bypassing those in trouble. Philosophically, this is barely Buddhism 101. There's even an orange robed priest that seems to appear and disappear at will in a couple of scenes.

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The film was done with an extremely low budget. Some of the computer generated special effects are too obvious, and appear done with old technology. And yet . .

Maybe it was a choice done for budgetary reasons, but actress Piyada Akaraseni plays multiple roles, as Pim, and as three women whose lives are saved by Tom. Piyada even got nominated by the Thailand National Film Association for her performance. Maybe Mona Nahm was inspired by Meg Ryan's multiple roles in Joe Versus the Volcano. Piyada has more consistently worked in Thai television. The most interesting of her performances is as Tom's awkward secretary with the very large glasses, which hints at some comic potential that isn't realized in this film. Where mystery and suspense are lacking, Mona Nahm fills the running time with close-ups of Piyada's long hair whipping in the wind. Ultimately, The Remaker is a disappointing film, not heeding the lesson of its own story, that sometimes just having good intentions is never enough.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at October 25, 2011 07:11 AM