Saturday, September 08, 2012

Seven Something ( รัก 7 ปี ดี 7 หน / Rak Jed Pee Dee Jed Hon)

Love in the Air

The Thai film studio GTH continues in its roll of churning out crowd pleasers in the genres of horror, and lately, romance, and it's no surprise that the latter genre was selected for its film celebrating its 7th anniversary, with the number 7 being featured prominently in the three separate stories in Seven Something, each helmed by a different director, and showcasing the stable of performers both new, and those who have starred in its productions in the past. As usual, everything is perfectly crafted, from production values to the striking performances by its good looking cast, that Seven Something serves to be a winner yet again.

14 touches on the modern day relationships between teenagers Puan (Jirayu La-ongmanee) and Milk (Sutatta Udomslip), where the prevalence of technology and social media begin to play a part in their lives and courtship routine. It may be fun at first, but slowly and surely, things start to get overboard with addiction, and when private moments are turned into public ones for others to judge with Likes or scathe with unflattering comments. It's also probably one of the very first short films that feature all Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, web searches and forum participation all into one, and tone down various online scandals that have been making their rounds, for the PG crowd. Director Paween Purijitpanya (Phobia 2) also varies his presentation here adopting different visual styles, but beneath the gloss and whimsical tale, is a stylishly delivered social commentary that doesn't feel that it's preaching the pitfalls that teenagers get into very easily with their net-savvy.

21/28 is probably my favourite of the lot, because it contains a stories within a story, tackling two different timelines seamlessly that deal with two young adults who had fame get in their way, and allowed ego to dictate the breaking up of their relationship. Cris Horwang and Sunny Suwanmethanont star as Mam and Jon, two rising actors many years ago who found fame, and romance, when they starred in their blockbuster "Sea You". Unfortunately they had gone through a very public break up during an awards ceremony, and have been out of touch since, until recently when Mam looked up Jon, now an employee with Sea World, to get together again to boost their flagging careers, by putting them into contention for a studio follow up to their film titled "Sea You Again".

It is the film within a film, and the dabbling with the production of another, that made it a lot of fun with a string of cameos from GTH's filmography. The non linear timeline adopted by director Adisorn Tresirikasem (Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story) also made for great storytelling which allowed the plot to take its time to unravel, bringing in nuggets from the character's past that added flavour to events transpiring in the present, and allows one to invest emotional interest in both the protagonist, leading us to eventually root for something more positive to come out of their very negative separation. Cris Horwang shines here in her none too modest role as a has-been actress trying to find some respect in her profession of choice, since it's so easy to get sidelined by those younger, and better looking actresses.

And lastly, 42.195 by Jira Maligool (The Tin Mine) served up something inspirational behind a tale of taboo relationships. Obviously set against a marathon race, and about a more than middle aged woman whom we had seen in the prologue of Seven Something as a newscaster, this segment deals with her story of friendship being developed with a runner (Korea's Nichkhun), and how that friendship actually developed into something more, leading to both to confront their affection for each other, and societal's frowning upon any relationship between an older woman and a younger man, formed when they started running together to prepare for an upcoming marathon.

But this segment hid more lessons than the previous two combined, about the running of one's own race regardless of how fast, or how far others can cover, and how one should leave behind the old and let go of one's painful memories, not out of disrespect, but out of one's necessity to look ahead. And looking ahead may not be difficult with the focus, like the runners, being 7 feet upfront, one step at a time, rather than to suddenly face the daunting view of the long road up ahead. Perhaps I will keep this in mind in the most unlikely situation I find myself running, and running long distances.

Seven Something is the anthology that GTH can be proud of to celebrate its 7th year of production. Here's wishing them 7, and more, years to come to entertain a whole new generation of movie goers, with a request that they do get back occassionally from the romance genre to the horror stories it had a knack of telling, to scare everyone in the darkened halls of a cinema with yet another tale of the macabre. Stick around during the end credits for a fun filled closing credits music video involving all the cast in this movie.

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