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11.06.2004

MON-RAK TRANSISTOR

Mon-rak Transistor
Directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Written by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang and Prabda Yoon









Village kid meets village girl, they fall in love, she gets pregnant, he gets drafted, she gives birth, he deserts the army and becomes a pop star. Then their troubles begin. Screwball, for the way it crams surfeits of melodramatic incident that could bloat two telenovela seasons then plays them for absurdist pleasure. Satiric, too, for the way it harbors a nostalgic fondness for such overwrought soap opera tropes at the same time appearing to take affectionate digs at them. But there are genuine emotions fueling these soap opera tropes we malign. It's what makes them persist. Those flitty-tatty feelings we're all oh-so ironic ,or probably just too chickenshit, to express. And later, all artifice and agenda is dropped. A picture on the wall speaks volumes of regret. A damburst of tears and a tentative hug speak of a love that's too scared to come out of hiding. And the climactic, inevitable reunion disarms then stabs me with the flitty and the tatty, full-on, guard down, right through the heart. Pow. And I'm a mass of blubber. Nice trick, Pen-Ek, you crafty bastard.

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