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Tropical Malady Review

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In two halves, we see first the gentle romance between country boy Tong and soldier Keng and then Keng’s quest to track down a mysterious, ghostly creature in the jungle

★★★★

This sophomore effort from Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a real oddity. Described by the director as a “memoir of love and darkness”, it’s a movie of two halves, the first part concerning the gentle romance between country boy Tong (Kaewbuadee) and soldier Keng (Lomnoi), the second involving Keng’s quest to track down a mysterious, ghostly creature in the jungle.

To attempt the fusion of these disparate elements was an audacious risk that could have resulted in an embarrassing mess. However, pairing such radically contrasting stories is the film’s great strength. Weerasethakul brilliantly juxtaposes natural and supernatural, real and mythical, modern and ancient, and

draws out fascinating parallels between the two stories, showing man’s primal

desire for control to be equally powerful in either situation.

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