Friday, 8 May 2009

Wonderful Town, 2007. Directed by Aditya Assarat

I went to see Wonderful Town at the BFI Southbank in London on 30th April 2009. The film is directed by Aditya Assarat. This was the director’s debut feature. Wonderful Town was made in 2007 and was made in Thailand.

The film is concentrated within a small thai town that was destroyed by a tsunami in 2004. More than 8,000 people died in the process. Assarat demonstrates how a disaster can have terrible effects and how hard it is to rebuild not only a town but also a person. The Tsunami destroyed many homes and left the town in pieces. Throughout the film we get to see the destruction of the town and how it had affected the people living there. Na, (Anchalee Saissontorn, actress) one of the main characters had lived in the town her whole life. Ton (Suppasit Kansen, actor) another main character, is an architect but also a volunteer to help supervise the rebuilding of a beach hotel destroyed by the tsunami.

The relationship between Na and Tom starts off gently and slowly. The relationship then starts to become more intense as they start to show affection to each other, without much dialogue. We first start to really understand their love when Tom drives by and talks to Na. He then asks her to go out somewhere with him but she makes an excuse for this. We can see on her expression when he drives past that she wanted to say yes, but for some reason she didn’t. Tragically Na’s brother doesn’t like the fact that she is sleeping with Tom. He ends up killing Tom and getting revenge on him. He said to Tom In the film ‘Once a gangster, always a gangster’. He ends up throwing Tom in the river.

The film ultimately is quite pessimistic and shows that the type of area and situation you are in has a huge effect on your life. In this case, the tsunami, which destroyed much of the Thai people’s, lives. It also shows that love cannot last in a place that has been destroyed and scarred.

The great thing about this film is that it’s not domineering and it has a calming feel to it. Most films have a strong and powerful narrative but this film is more subtle and free flowing. Throughout much of the film you can also see the wonderful and beautiful landscape of Thailand. The town is full of beautiful trees and open landscapes. Overall I find this film fascinating and very calming. Nothing in this film is evasive. Overall I would give this film 8/10.

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