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Thai film 'A Gift’ takes audience on emotional roller coaster

Masajeng Rahmiasri
Masajeng Rahmiasri

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Tue, January 10, 2017  /  05:22 pm
Thai film 'A Gift’ takes audience on emotional roller coaster

Actor Naphat Siangsomboon and actress Violette Wautier in "Love at Sundown", the first part of omnibus Thai movie "A Gift." (GDH/File)

Fans of light romantic comedy may be excited about A Gift, a three-part omnibus film from Thailand that utilizes music to carry and connect its stories.

The first part of the film, Love at Sundown, tells the story of two youngsters, Beam (played by newcomer Naphat Siangsomboon) and Pang (Violette Wautier, who starred in Heart Attack, The Swimmers). Despite not knowing each other, the two are asked to role-play as a married ambassador couple at a scholarship award event. Beam takes the initiative to get to know Pang better. The film later progresses to a family story starring Sunny Suwanmethanont (I Fine Thank You Love You, Seven Something) as Aey and Nittha Jirayungyurn (One Day) as Fa, then to a work-life comedy featuring Chantavit Dhanasevi (Hello Stranger, Hormones) as Llong and Nuengthida Sophon (Hello Stranger) as Kim.

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What makes this film, produced by GDH and Singha Corporation, unique is that it was granted royal permission to feature music by the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. The compositions, sung or played by the characters in the film, serve not merely as insert songs, but are an integral part of the plot. They not only emphasize the general mood, but help convey the characters' feelings.

Sensible cinematography also enriches the film, especially in Love at Sundown. The two directors of the first part, Chayanop Boonprakob and Kriangkrai Vachiratamporn, added elements that complement the melancholic-romantic mood of the scenes, such as close-ups with daylight or bokeh-esque light, which emphasize the characters’ facial expressions. 

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Another point to praise is the ability to create an emotional roller coaster throughout the shifting story. The audience is invited to enjoy comical romance in Love at Sundown, the melancholy of a family drama in Still on My Mind and purely comical elements in New Year Greeting.

Despite the involvement of multiple directors for three different stories, the three parts of the omnibus feel connected as they shift the audience’s emotional state throughout the film.

That said, some viewers may miss a key message, especially in the third part. Some of the comedy, while generally entertaining through rich facial expressions, might also not click with every viewer’s taste. (kes)

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