Nang Nak

Mak and Nak (Intira and Winai) have a rather large barrier between them that neither can see.
dir Nonzee Numbutr scr Visit Sartsanatieng
with Intira Jaroenpura, Winai Kraibutr, Pramote Suksatit
99/Thailand 3 out of 5 stars

Based on a Thai folk tale, Nang Nak is set in 1868 and tells the story of a woman whose love for her husband is so strong that even death can't stop it. Nonzee Nimbutr (Dang Brierley's) has certainly tapped into a passionate, intense story here ... so much so that the film became Thailand's biggest grossing film within just two weeks of its release there.

After Mak (Winai) is sent off to war, Nak (Intira) pines for him as the baby inside her grows. And even the fact that she dies in childbirth can't shake her love; she remains in the house raising their baby until he finally recovers from a serious injury and comes home. The neighbours know this isn't right, but how can they convince Mak and avoid the deadly wrath of Nak? And when a ghost gets angry, who ya gonna call? Yes, a ghostbuster. And also a priest and a local vigilante group.

It's all beautifully filmed, making the jungle an idyllic paradise with colour, sound and imagery that makes you feel, taste and smell the setting. We also get sucked into the drama as Nak struggles with whether or not she should confess the truth, and as Mak ignores the clues. This personal touch makes the gruesome violence even more vividly felt (although it does seem overly icky at times), and the tension builds very nicely to an over-the-top Exorcist-like ending that gets a bit swamped in all the histrionics.

[adult themes, grisly violence, brief sexual situation] 19.Oct.99 lff

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"A movie out of the ordinary. Storyline is very clear and direct. Nice scenery. A movie with a lot of Thai hunks! But most of all, a movie that is touching and very meaningful. I will definitely watch it a second time." --Sapuvan, Malaysia.

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1999 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall