Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Winai Kraibutr, Intira Jaroenpura, Manit Meekaewjaroen, Pramote Suksatit, Pracha Thawongfia
Director: Nonzee Nimibutr
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Military & War
NANG NAK tells the heartbreaking story of a loving husband and wife who are separated by war. The husband returns home to find his wife has given birth to their son. The reunion seems idyllic until Mak gradually awakens ... more »
A pure love tainted by fate.
A. C. Walter | Lynnwood, WA USA | 06/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Nang Nak" is set in the late 1860s and is based on a Thai legend of the supernatural. When war comes to Thailand, a young husband, Mak, leaves his newly pregnant wife and goes off to fulfill his duty as a soldier. A serious wound leaves Mak convalescing in Bangkok for many months, but eventually he becomes strong enough to return home. There he reunites with his devoted wife, Nak, and finally sees their infant son. However, it soon becomes evident that Nak's labor pains caused a singular transformation in her. The other villagers have come to fear Nak--and for good reason.
"Nang Nak" set box office records in Thailand when it was released in 1999. It even managed to outsell James Cameron's "Titanic" in that country, and it is easy to see why. Filmed among menacing rivers and lush jungles, "Nang Nak" is a visually stunning film grounded in a solid story line. From the beautiful shots of Thailand's flora and fauna to the chilling supernatural scenes (which occasionally have the slightest--and rather surprising--hint of Sam Raimi's distinctive cinematic style), director Nonzee Nimibutr immerses his audience in an enchanted world. If the film can be criticized for one thing, however, it may be said that the devotion paid to Image is too zealous. The actors chosen for the two lead roles sport close-trimmed modern hairstyles and ideal physiques, and this works against their credibility as village peasants. Also, some of the most evocative nature sequences in the film are edited too aggressively; hence these images are denied some of the power they might have achieved in the hands of, say, Werner Herzog or Terrence Malick. Even so, "Nang Nak" has plenty of power and poetry to spare.
(A cultural/historical note: The unusual and rather startling blackened teeth of the villagers in the film are due to the practice of chewing beechnuts. Notice that at a certain point in the film one of these nuts is placed in a corpse's mouth as it is prepared for burial.)"
spook-light-hill | Indiana | 03/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
I don't need millions of dollars in special effects and plot
twists and Bruce Willis. I wanted to see a Thai folk legend.
I wasn't disappointed. It's beautiful. The best movie I've seen to date."
Stunning and disturbing
Abe J. Flores | Culver City, CA United States | 02/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this Nang Nak first in Thailand on an official Thai VCD with no dubbing and no subtitles. Now, I neither speak, nor read Thai (I tried to learn but it beat me) but I was able to foollow the story with surprisingly minimal confustion, a testament to the directorial skills of Nonzee Nimibutr. The film was moving and well produced and gave me new respect for the Thai film induatry which is still fighting for survival in the midst of some of the worst video-piracy in South-East Asia.Now, to my pleasant surprise the film crosses the Pacific in the form of this new regionless DVD. This DVD is a letterboxed Chinese release with permanet Chinese and English sub-titles burned onto the image. However it looks like a second or third generation dub. The image has been significantly darkened and has been digitally processed with edge enhancement. These changes are a bit of a problem; while the darkening of the image does stylize the film slightly the image lacks subtlety and some of the bizare and otherworldly colors occassionally used in the film are gone. The edge enhancements make the image look somewhat fake which is very much at odds with the very naturalistic image of most of the film.If you speak or read Thai I highly reccomend the "Right Pictures" VCD release which I believe is still available. If you cannot the Ocean Shores DVD available here is perfectly acceptable if slightly flawed."
Slow Moving, Romantic Thai Ghost Story
Christopher J. Jarmick | Seattle, Wa. USA | 12/01/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Nang Nak is a well known and regarded Thai folk/ghost tale. Many believe the story is true. There have been approximately 2 dozen theatrical and television films dealing with the legend over the past few decades in Thailand, but I haven't seen any of them before and was not familiar with the story. ...This is a high quality, rather arty type of film exploring a well-known Thai folk legend (that many believe is true) which will be unfamiliar to most Westerners. I had no knowledge of the legend and was able to enjoy the film, though it moved slower than I would have liked. It's a beautiful shot and edited film. The acting is adequate. I felt no burning chemistry which made the romantic elements of the film's first hour rather flat. The special effects are limited but very effective and well done. If you want something a little different, foreign, low-key but effective and chilling this one's for you. The DVD's a little
pricey but it might be difficult to find at rental outlets.Three and a half stars rounded up..."