Sunday, December 02, 2007

[DVD] Citizen Dog (Mah Nakorn) (2004)


I've already watched Citizen Dog twice last year on the big screen, the very first time during the ASEAN Film Festival, and the second with lead actor Mahasamut Boonyaruk in attendance. And after a long, long wait, it finally gets a theatrical release in Singapore, almost 3 years after it was released in 2004.

I love this movie so much, and it ranks amongst my favorites. So it's a godsend that a multi-region DVD produced by Asia Video Publishing in Hong Kong comes complete with English subtitles, and a very beautiful and pristine visual transfer in anamorphic widescreen that does justice to Wisit Sasanatieng's colourful film. English and Traditional Chinese subtitles are available, and scene selection is over 12 chapters.

There are only 2 extras in the DVD. The first is the Theatrical Trailer (2:11), and the second it the more comprehensive Behind the Scenes (42:13) look at the making of the movie. Presented in letterbox format, the visual and audio quality leaves much to be desired though, but that still doesn't detract you away from the load of material contained within. There's the usual interview with the director Wisit Sasanatieng where he talks about the inspiration for the movie, as well as dwell a little on the technical aspects of making the movie, such as storyboarding, visual effects and casting, and you can see some of these through the clips on set during production.

Both leads talk about their characters and their experience in working on the film (both are first time actors), and naturally have good things to share. It's kind of strange that within this feature there are two versions of the trailer presented, one at the beginning, and the other near the 12 minute mark. Only English subtitles are available here, and while they are not perfect, you'll be able to get by. 3 songs from the soundtrack are provided as well in music video style, the first being the visually unforgettable Lady in Blue Dress, Every Night Every Day performed by Mahasamut, and the memorable, catchy ear-worm which forms the theme song for Citizen Dog, a track titled Before, here sung acoustically by Mahasamut himself. No lyrics nor subtitles provided though, so you'll have to go back to the feature film to understand what's the song all about.

So you have two choices, but if I can recommend what you should do, and that's to catch it on the big screen first, which you'll probably fall in love with it enough to go get the DVD for keeps. Without a doubt, highly recommended viewing when it makes its theatrical debut here this Thursday!

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