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Syndrome and a Century 2006

The cinematography of this film is very clean and peaceful to me. The camera moves very slowly like looking at a still photograph. The film starts out with a picture looking up to the trees, very calm looking, this is to established that we’re now in this world with lot of trees where the sky is blue with cool wind blows. So the first half of the story will happen in this rural environment in the countryside province of Thailand. There’s a scene when the camera totally stop following the character and just stares out to the blank space of the green rice fields. It looks like the camera lost interest in the characters conversation and wonders of to somewhere else and then the credits come up as the camera is staring at the fields. In the movie it looks like the camera have life of its own. It often wonders of to somewhere else and when there’s a people talking, it’s like a person standing in a corner looking in to those people from a far, most of the movie is shot in medium long shot. The film is divided into two parts the first part happens in the rural area and the other one happens in a modern hospital in the city. The director said that it’s a story about his parents and what he can remember when his parents are doctors in the hospital when he was a child. The film doesn’t have a linear narrative story but instead it’s like you put some characters into the story and let see what will happen. The film is filled with lots of humors. From the start in the rural hospital a female doctor interviews a young soldier doctor and she asked him what is DDT stands for? And he said is it for killing bugs and the female doctor (Dr. Teoy) doesn’t reply anything so he said “Destroy Dirty Things”, “ Deep down To you” Dr. Teoy remains silence. This first half focuses on this female doctor.  I think this doctor is supposed to be what he can remember of his mother. Later on Dr. Teoy treats an old monk who dream that chicken is trying to revenge him because he’s eating too much chicken and the monk said he has been doing nothing but good to the chicken by praying for them everyday. It looks like the director is joking with the beliefs of Buddhism which is kind of funny though.  I think it’s a love story but an unfulfilled love story. A man is secretly in love with Dr. Teoy but she doesn’t like him instead she likes a guy who she met once at the orchid fair, so you see no one’s really happy in love. And it then there’s a scene of a young dentist and a monk firting with each other in the hospital. The director wants to play with the Thai beliefs of reincarnation, so the dentist said that he think the monk is his brother who died sometimes ago. And the monk also tell him that he used to want to be a DJ and own a comic store, which is a bit strange, what kind of monk wants to be a DJ and likes to listen to foreign songs but ironically the dentist likes to sing a Thai country songs. Later on the dentist even gives monk his CD singing love songs but normally he only sings about teeth and gums. The second part of the story happens in a big city hospital where everything looks a bit more haunting. This part focus more on the character of Dr. Nhong where he was asked to go to work in another city with her but he doesn’t want to go which is another unfulfil love and ends up having erection before saying goodbye. Also the reincarnation theme still exists in this second half, a young patient who is poisoned with carbon monoxide, the doctor asked him if he can reborn again next life, what sex will he choose to be. And he said he’ll be a man because in his last life he’s also a man. Also there’s this old woman doctor who has to drink before going up to speak in front of TV but she said that she’s not an alcoholic. So there’re many things going on in the story, many relationships and characters it doesn’t necessary tell a story as a whole but each of them left us with a story will from them, they don’t need to have a happy ending but it left us think what will happen to them after and let us see the outcome of the people lives in different places. The story gives us the feeling that its not so healthy living in the city but at the end it gives us an idea that may be there’s a place of peacefulness in the city which is the park where city people is trying to maintain their health as a whole by doing aerobic dancing.

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