Hello Stranger | Movie Release, Showtimes & Trailer | Cinema Online
Movie Details

Hello Stranger

Just like thousands of Thai couples, during the nine days holiday of Songkran festival, a guy and a girl choose to visit Korea with their own specific reasons. They did not start the trip to go together, but end up returning back home to Thailand together.

Language: Thai
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG13
Release Date: 21 Apr 2011
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Running Time: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN SCREEN CINEMAS
Cast: Chantavit Dhanasevi, Nuengtida Sopon, Chantawit Thanasewee
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun
Format: NA

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Review
Writer: Ezli Eahsan

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Watch this if you liked: “Before Sunrise”, “My Sassy Girl”, “Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story”

After horror flicks, historical epics and Muay Thai action movies, what more can Thailand's film industry offer to the international audience? The answer is the romantic comedy "Hello Stranger", a story of two strangers meeting in a foreign land; He (Chantavit Dhanasevi) is a football fanatic, videogame nerd, social butterfly, comic lover and tired of love stories while She (Neungtida Sophon), is a Korean soap opera fan, devout radio station listener and an avid book reader. They make a pact, not to know each other's names so that there will be less emotional attachment, but later end up exploring Korea together, sharing rooms and also confessions of heartbreaks. Will the experience in the Land of Kimchi make them realize love happens when you least expect it, or do they end up going back to Thailand to live separate lives?

What makes this film cheesier than normal is that everything happens in the likes of Korean soap opera cliches, and it is scary when the audience discover that the director, Banjong Pisanthanakun of "Shutter" and "Alone" fame, is doing a romantic comedy for the very first time! Not taking any risks, he worked on the screenplay together with his male lead Dhanasevi, which resulted in a great comic sense of humour shown by the two main characters, as the director captures the moment perfectly. Pisanthanakun also bravely tackled the issue of how the Korean pop culture has taken over the world by storm (in this case, pointing directly to Thai's teenagers). The point of not being able to differentiate fantasy from reality is on constant debate, as is seen by Dhanasevi's character when he points out to the female lead on the truth of being a hopeless romantic.

For its cinematography, the potential viewers will see the colourful side of Korea in a soap opera point of view, from Dae Jang Geum theme park, a cute little coffee shop, a flashy disco and a romantic snowy background. The first 3 minutes of the movie, will make one think that they are actually watching a Korean tourism advertisement. Why the heavy pro-Korean shots one might ask? Well that is because Seoul's Film Commission provided the financial and administrative support for this film in order to promote the city of Seoul.

"Hello Stranger" is a good comedy even if the word romantic is not included. Fans of Eastern soap operas will enjoy the story, but still, the leading lady is the real success of the entire film. Her energy, charm, quirk and sweetness paired with her wonderful voice for the movie soundtrack, make up a really impressive performance for an actress in her debut role. It is a big gamble for KTCC (Korea Thailand Communication Center) to co-produce the movie, but the result was surprisingly good; "Hello Stranger" was a big hit in Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia, which proves this cultural exchange is a successful formula for more future co-operation between the two countries.

Cinema Online, 12 April 2011
   
Showtimes
 
Classification
U - General viewing for all ages
P13 - Parental guidance is advisable for children below 13 years old
18 - For 18+ with elements for mature audiences
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