Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul earned the Un Certain Regard prize for this look at characters suspended in erotic desire. At the centre of it is a young Burmese man named Min who is living illegally in Thailand, forced to pretend to be unable to speak in order to get medical attention when his girlfriend Roong takes him to the doctor with her older friend Orn. Min and Orn then go to Roong’s work where they trade vehicles, he and Roong take Orn’s car and she takes their motorcycle for a tryst with a co-worker who is not her husband. The young couple head into the wilderness and find an isolated spot where they spend the day making love and enjoying the atmosphere in a film that is long on mood and short on narrative, a sexy and intense experience that places you within the emotional obsession that these characters are feeling for each other. Weerasethakul has a talent for making the most mundane activities feel like intoxicating ritual, even Min’s rash feels like an opportunity for sensual fixation, and coaxes performances out of his cast that make everything feel calmly spontaneous; that doesn’t mean it’s for everyone, as it is also very demanding on your concentration and doesn’t move towards any explosive reveal in its storytelling, but it is rewarding for those looking for something meditative and deep.