Will you see "Brother of the Year" after watching these Thai comedies?
While we would normally equate Thai movies to the horror genre, but if there's one thing we've learned from watching all those viral Thai ads is that they are quite adept in twanging our heartstrings or tickling our funny bones more than we give them credit for.
With the upcoming release of "Brother of the Year", it's about time that we clear the reputation of Thai movies with some of their best comedies (that doesn't forget to be heartwarming as well), and just show how eager their filmmakers are to have us in stitches rather than screams.
This teen comedy from 2011 stars teenage actor Jirayu Laongmanee as the shy Ped who doesn't listen to music until he meets Ern, played by Nattasha Nauljam. After separating for several years, Ped and his best friends Koong and Ex, played by Pachara Chirathivat and Thawat Pornrattanaprasert respectively, form a band to boost their self-confidence (and also for the ladies). When Ern joins the band with her lit guitar skills, Ped and Ern slowly grow distant from one another for their shared affection to the girl next door. "SuckSeed" puts the fun in the follies of youth and love, while also managing to be an inspiring underdog story of meeting with failure. Not bad for debuting director Chayanop Boonprakob who has been having success from the get-go.
ATM: Er Rak Error (2012)
Sua and Jib are two over-achieving bankers who have been secretly dating for 5 years in a company that forbids office romances. When a faulty ATM gives out twice the amount that people withdraw from it, Sua and Jib compete on recovering the excess money with the winner getting to keep their job when they get married. Setting up one premise with another one can be challenging for a comedy, but it just works well under Mez Tharatorn's direction that earned him a nomination of Best Director at the Osaka Asian Film Festival. Aside from making bank as one of the highest grossing Thai movies, the show-stealer here is Preechaya Pongthananikorn who was also nominated for Best Actress at the Thailand National Film Association Awards.
Pee Mak (2013)
Based on the famed ghost story of Mae Nak Phra Khanong that has been adapted countless times as a horror tale of faithful love and vengeance, "Pee Mak" takes a rather radical approach to the same tale, and even manages to inject much light-hearted humor to one of most infamous folk tales of Thailand. Mak, played by Thai-German actor Mario Maurer, is a soldier who is drafted to fight in a war during the Rattanakosin dynasty in the 19th century, leaving behind his heavily pregnant wife Nak (Thai-Belgian star Davika Hoorne). When Mak returns home with a bunch of comrades who saved his life in the war, he finds a pink Nak welcoming him home while the other people of the town keep a frightful distance.
Blending in horror and romance by director Banjong Pisanthanakun who made some of Thai's most notable horror exports, "Pee Mak" in every way reinvented the horror comedy game and revitalising a stagnant Thai cinema upon its release. It also made historical records at the box office, dethroning "ATM: Er Rak Error" from its seat as king of Thai comedy and eventually becoming its highest grossing movie to take down the likes of "Ong Bak".
I Fine...Thank You...Love You (2014)
Pleng is an English teacher when one of her Japanese students and friend, Kaya, tells her that she going to America after passing an English interview. When Pleng bumps into Yim, the boyfriend dumped by Kaya, he begins taking English classes with Pleng so that he can chase after Kaya to America. Mez Tharatorn returns with another winning combination after "ATM: Er Rak Error" (and a sequel TV series), casting Sunny Suwanmethanont who will be the titular character of "Brother of the Year", with "ATM" lead actress Preechaya Pongthananikorn in this multi-lingual comedy of hilarious errors, grammatical or otherwise.
May Who? (2015)
Class outcast Pong loves to draw him and his crush together in his comic book, but his secret is found out by his shy classmate, May. When Pong tries to get back at May for revealing his secret, he discovers that she has superpowers of discharging electricity when her heart rate goes up. Based on his own experience in high school, this is the second and most recent outing from "Suckseed" director Chayanop Boonprakob. Starring Sutatta Udomsilp as the titular lead, what would have been just a budding love story for teens is spun into comedy gold by adding the superpower element.
Cinema Online, 23 June 2018