Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Black Pomtong, Lalita Panyopas, Sirisin Siripornsmathikul, Tasanawalai Ongarittichai
Director: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Shortly after losing her job, Tum finds a mysterious noodle box full of money on her doorstep. The clever beauty attempts to hold on to the loot and soon finds herself at the center of a thrilling, high stakes caper betwe... more »
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Surprising, funny, with a profound message about greed
Nicholas Carroll | Portland OR United States | 01/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first Thai movie I've ever seen, and I was skeptical about watching it after seeing the previews for it. After all, Thailand isn't known for its film industry. As I watched it, I was surprised at every turn, as this movie is quite sophisticated in playing with your expectations from the get-go and going in a completely opposite direction. Just when you think you know what's going to happen next, something else happens instead. I suppose that's to be expected from the title of the film ("6ixtynin9"). Don't let that fool you, its nothing more than a marketing gimmick to play with your expectations of what that number represents. The actual "Thai language title" of the film is "A Comedy about the numbers 6 and 9."
The film is about a woman (Tum) who is laid off from work and one morning finds a mysterious box outside her apartment door. Since her apartment number is a 6 that keeps falling around to the number 9, this sets off a series of comedic capers when she takes the box in and discovers that its full of Thai baht, the equivalent of $25,000. She calls her best friend and speaks hypothetically to find out what her friend would do in such a scenario. Tum decides to keep the money and that's when things are thrown off kilter. Two guys come looking for the money, and we learn the money is for fixing a Thai boxing match, and once it has gone missing, everyone starts looking for it, and the dead bodies that keep piling up as a result.
What makes this film a surprisingly entertaining and absolute joy to watch are the talented cast of off-beat characters, most especially the nosy downstairs neighbor. She is a riot, with her exaggerated facial expressions and manner of speaking, you just can't help but love her. This film perfectly captures Thai society, with the bribery system and how much money plays a role in people's lives. The caper keeps upping the ante with new twists, as you don't know who's bad or good in this, other than the woman who started the movie by keeping the money. Its vaguely reminiscent of the Tom Hanks film "The Man With One Red Shoe", as Tum isn't completely aware of all the bad going on around her. By the movie's end, you get to see what happens when an obscene phone caller sets off a roomful of trigger happy people, and the ultimate message of all...how greed ruins many people's lives. Its simply profound, symbolic, with hints of the Thai buddhist culture, fantastic acting, funny situations, and an overall message that could just as well speak to our country's obsession with money. There are several "artistic" scenes of absolute brilliance (such as when the screen is all red when Tum does a deed she hates doing and imagines someone else doing it for her). All in all, a great surprise and simply one of the best foreign language films I've ever seen, period. It is worth seeing, and well worth owning for any serious fan of foreign films."
One of the better Thai movies I've seen
Linda S | 01/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie was reminiscent of the style of film you'd see from Guy Richie ( Snatch). If you liked movies like Snatch or Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels... this movie is definitely for you.
The Dark humor made me laugh many times. As did the excellent performance put on by Lalita Panyopas. She's a natural beauty, who didn't need special makeup or any effects. Her acting not to mention was terrific as well.
The film was fast paced, and left little to let the mind wander. The script was well done, and the characters were definitely original. The camera angles were great and really impressed me for a Thai film. In the past most Thai films never had this level of artistry but this is a new beginning.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who loves dark comedy, action and cute girls stuck in quirky scenarios.
Dark Comedy Where Fate Brings Wealth & Death...
Kim Anehall | Chicago, IL USA | 02/15/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Fate is in the hands of those who chose, as choices are the ultimate tool for a person's destiny. Yet, destiny can be skewed in different directions, as others' choices can influence the parties involved in the choice. Moments where choices of others influence involved parties and have a negative effect on the people involved can have devastating affects on individuals. In some instances where the choices of others have negatively affected people it has led to self-doubt, anxiety, poor self-esteem, depression, and suicide. In 6ixtynin9 Tum (Lalita Panyopas), who works in bank, finds out that three people are going to be fired. Instead of the regular policy employed here in the western world, Tum is pulled into a lottery where the winning sticks get them fired. Tum happens to draw one of these lottery sticks.
Jobless and stranded in her apartment Tum contemplates the different ways she could possibly kill herself, as she is aware of her bleak future in a country that is notorious for it's heavy level of prostitution. No income means that she cannot buy food, as she turns desperately to shoplifting. Tum has no savings as she has sent her money home to help support her mother, and the future as a bank employee appears to be very rough, as many others in other banks have also been laid off. When her thoughts are dark and she sees no possible way of getting out of her situation, she finds a small cardboard box outside her door.
What would you do if you found a box with an obscene amount of money inside? The same thoughts are crossing Tum's mind, as she calls her best friend for advice. The origin of the money also concerns her, but she does not have to wait long until two ruffians from a kick boxing school arrive asking for a box that was outside the door. First they leave, but then quickly return to retrieve the money that they suspect Tum has in her possession. During the two thugs' search for the money Tum smashes in the head on one of them, as he discovered the money that leads to a physical struggle between her and the other thug. Tum gets away shaken and disturbed by the situation, as she has killed both of them.
The thought of being unemployed has long disappeared at this point for Tum, but now she struggles with the idea of going to the police and the guilt she is experiencing. Eventually Tum decides to go to the police, but at the police station she sees how they treat criminals in the jail, which causes her to change her mind. This means she must find a way to deal with the corpses and maybe other thugs looking for the lost money. As she dwells on her predicament the situation is about to get worse, much worse.
6ixtynin9 is an interesting film in many aspects. One of the first and most evident reasons why 6ixtynin9 is interesting is because it is from Thailand, and visually it brings some of the culture to the story. It also has an appealing affect on the audience, as it is a lighthearted comedy with a very dark theme. One question is how could someone make it funny to cut off a male organ, and then ground it in order to serve it in a meal? Well, 6ixtynin9 provides some very bizarre humor, which works very well as the timing is right. Yet, besides the humor the director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang has succeeded in inserting moral and spiritual elements into the story, which also work well. The only thing that seems to be a little too much is the overacting by some of the characters, but maybe that is what Pen-Ek Ratanaruang wanted. Despite the overacting in the film, 6ixtynin9 offers a truly fun and energetic experience with much to ponder."
An amazing introduction to Thai Film!
M. Perry | Somewhere, California | 03/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
""A Funny Story about 6 and 9" kept me enthralled the entire way through! Every time I've seen it. I must have seen it at least five times in the past year and a half. Not quite a travelogue, but definitely a window into a different world, blending the cinematic worlds of Thailand, crime drama, and melodrama, the film actually works best with an open mind and a fluid interpretation to what these genres "signify." Enjoy the darkly comedic underbelly of Bangkok by one of Thailand's groundbreaking directors... 6ixtynin9"