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Fantasia 2009 Review: ‘Queens of Langkasuka’ explores Thai fantasy world

27 Jul

langkasuka_theme-poster

Queens of Langkasuka (NR) 2008, 133 min.Directed by: Nonzee Nimibutr. Written by: Win Lyovarin
Starring: Jarunee Suksawat, Ananda Everingham, Jesdaporn Pholdee, Dan Chupong

cinemagrade c+

Queens of Langkasuka is one big mess. Spreading palace intrigue, ancient world power struggles, naval warfare, martial arts, sorcery, sea beasties and roving pirates over a sagging 133 minutes, Langkasuka has no idea how to manage any of it. Fortunately for the audience, the high-profile Thai fantasyhappens to be an entertaining and enjoyable mess. Borrowing elements of Old Hollywood  adventures like 7th Voyage of Sinbad, and taking a cue from Pirates of the Caribbean and other big budget American popcorn pics, Langkasuka marks a step forward for Thai cinema. Recently, the scene has mostly been cluttered with raucous martial arts movies and tepid horror films. Queens is on a grander scale than anything I’ve previously seen out of the country, and for the most part it accomplishes what it sets out to do. I wasn’t bored, and thats much more than I can say for several of this summer’s big profile ‘blockbusters’. Continue reading