Wonderful Town (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/03/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 90 mins

Powerful, well made and emotionally devastating drama that's almost painfully sad to watch.

What's it all about?
Directed by Aditya Assarat, Wonderful Town stars Supphasit Kansen as Ton, a Bangkok architect who comes to the rural community of Takua Pa in South Thailand, in order to supervise rebuilding work in the wake of the devastation caused by the 2004 tsunami. He chooses to stay in a small, rundown hotel owned by the extremely shy Chinese-Thai Na (Anchalee Saisoontorn), who is raising her gangster brother's child, Tee (Sorawit Poolsawat).

Discovering that there's very little for him to do at the work site, Ton begins to flirt with Na by offering to help her with her hotel chores and the two tentatively embark on a relationship. However, Na's brother Wit (Dul Yaambunying) does not take kindly to the news and warns Na to treat his sister well.

The Good
Thai director Aditya Assarat has commented that he was inspired to make Wonderful Town by visiting Takua Pa and noticing that the town had been entirely cleaned up, but that people would immediately burst into tears if he asked them about it. This contrast between exterior appearance and interior emotion is powerfully explored in the film and it's impossible to come away with anything other than a profound sense of sadness.

Anchalee Saisoontorn and Supphasit Kansen are both great in the lead roles and you desperately will their relationship to succeed. The film is also beautifully shot and there are some striking and memorable scenes, such as Na listening at the door while Ton showers and a closing shot of two girls playing on wall.

The Bad
It's fair to say that while the pacing of the film matches the melancholy mood, it also means that it's the sort of film that requires a jolt of caffeine or two beforehand.

Worth seeing?
In short, Wonderful Town is a beautifully made, superbly acted and emotionally powerful drama that's well worth seeking out. Recommended.

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Content updated: 20/09/2018 05:54

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