aka Pee Lieng Luk Kon
84 min., 2007
Directed by Tharathon Siripanwarapon
Language: Thai (English subtitles available)
She’s not done taking care of the children.
* * *
I’m beginning to get a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Netflix and their instant streaming feature. I don’t know what the deal is, but besides some issues with only dubbed versions available for a lot of foreign films, this time around was a head-scratcher. It was subtitled alright, except we have to hear Cantonese dubbing (This is a Thai move)! So now I’m not sure if the subtitles were really bad or if they were accurate and the dubbing was the killer. Either way I would have enjoyed this far more if it weren’t for these idiotic issues.
Nantha’s brother Chai gets killed after getting involved with organized crime. Left alone to take care of his children, she has no idea that she herself is in danger. Being the only mother those kids really know, she takes that responsibility to heart. After being murdered, she returns to take care of them and keep them safe because they are the next targets. Add some revenge into the mix and we have a decent film.
Far from being your typical scary ghost, Nantha is sympathetic character everyone can root for. She comes back from the dead (in the evenings) to make sure the children are fed, put to bed and most importantly continue her sewing and cooking work so that they have money for their basic needs. Sure she kills anyone that would harm them, but you know you’d do the same thing for your family as well. It’s a nice balance between kick ass kills and an emotional story. She may have long black hair, but she is definitely not of the “Asian long haired scary ghost” variety.
Character development really helps keep you interested, especially since the children themselves are quite loveable. Mischievous enough to be “normal” kids, but loving and well adjusted kids you wouldn’t mind babysitting sometimes. The bond between all of them is apparent and helps bring about the emotional component necessary when watching a drama. Unfortunately I was very disappointed with the director’s dismissive attitude towards the set itself. Maybe plain old Thailand is boring and inconsequential to him, but I really wanted to see more of the scenery. I think part of the director’s job needs to be about giving people a fresh perspective on seemingly ordinary things and places. He just kind of whips through a lot of scenes and focuses a bit too much on the characters themselves – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing – without giving the viewer a chance to digest their surroundings. Listen, it doesn’t have to be all “artsy fartsy” , but I’d like at least some sort of visual stimulation besides people’s faces. (Lovely though they may be.)
I really wanted to give this a higher rating, but the awful dubbing and questionable subtitles really doesn’t allow for total immersion in the story. It detracts too much to really make an impact. It really serves as a testament to the great story and physical acting abilities that I was able to somehow wade through and find the gem that this film really is. While I think this would be a great film to watch, I would suggest you stay away from the Netflix instant version and make the effort to find a disc with the proper language.Have You Read...?