Friday, June 5, 2015

แสงศตวรรษ (Syndromes and a Century) (2006)


Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Writer:    Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cast:       Nantarat Sawaddikul, Jaruchai Iamaram, Sophon Pukanok
Language: Thai


Story about director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's parents who were both doctors, and director's memories about growing up in the hospital environment. I didn't know anything about the film going into it and this semi-autobiographical aspect was lost on me. I had seen 'Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives' from this director and saw this film as part of catching up with other films in his repertoire. 

The film shows two doctors both of whom are serving in an army hospital 40 years apart. The dialog and events in first part of the film are repeated again 40 years later in contemporary settings but with slightly different outcomes. Concept of reincarnation is again a theme in this film but I don't care much for it. The film is technically sound and the interaction between the characters are interesting enough to make it a good watch. There isn't much of a narrative or any sort of continuity to follow and I didn't get much meaning out of it. You do have the change in human interactions with modernity as people become more and more impersonal. There is a scene towards the end where people are engaging in a public aerobics exercise and that scene is very funny. The first half of the film doesn't have any background music while there is some in the second half. 

To sum up, it is a good enough watch mainly due to the random dialog and its technical aspects but I didn't really understand the film. The sets are exquisite and I might have got more out of the film if I was in a different mood without any distractions but as it stands, it just went over my head. Maybe there is nothing to actually get and that's the point. Open to stand corrected on re-watch but I don't think I will ever get round to  it. Uncle Boonmee was fantastic in an Ozu meets David Lynch kind of way.

Rating: 3/5