Posts tagged "Bhandit Rittakol"

The Magnificent Five (Review)

The Magnificent Five

aka Phra-dek-seua-kai-wawk

Directed by Bhandit Rittakol

The Magnificent Five is a 2006 action comedy where a group of mismatched heroes band together to rescue children sold into slavery. They learn to work together and laugh and love and all that other crap, all while shooting bad guys. Set in the distant past, Magnificent Five incorporates a Swashbuckling style that seems inspired by the Pirates of the Caribbean films while being completely different in plot development and characters.

It is sort of interesting to see the character of Captain Johnson, as he is a totally evil colonial trader dude. It is not that far out of bounds, he could be just the same as the evil British and East India Tea Company characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean films, if one were to ignore the history of Thailand and colonialism in South Eastern Asia. As you may or may not know, Thailand was the only country in the area that was never colonized, but the colonies surrounding it were played off of each other by Thai rulers. Thus, unlike films from places such as Indonesia, there is not a whole ton of films where patriotic nationals fight off oppressive colonial forces against long odds. So is Captain Johnson an evil symbol of colonial aggression, or just a handy stereotype to make a bad guy out of? You make the call!

Like many Thai films, the exact translations and spellings of character names is a jumbled mess. So I will be going with a set translation of everyone’s name, but also listing the alternative names for each of the characters. Maybe one day I will bother to learn enough Thai that I will have a set translation scheme preference, but my crippling laziness will probably prevent that from ever happening.

Suer (Jesdaporn Pholdee) – A Thai cool tough guy and legendary warrior, but he’s also a lazy drunk. He’s the best fighter in all of Thailand, thanks to his grand strategy of just walking up to people and shooting them. Jesdaporn Pholdee was voted the Sexiest Man in Thailand in 2003 and has roles in the Iron Ladies films as well as Queens of Langkasuka. His name is sometimes subtitled as Seua. (Nickname: Tiger)
Raka (Paula Taylor) – A whipmaster and tough girl who helps rescue the kids and has some bitter vengeance on her mind. Paula Taylor is a Thai/British model/actress/game show constestant who is also a big name in the Philippines. Her name is sometimes subtitled as Rakaa. (Nickname: Chicken)
Mahah Thong Suk (Note Chern-Yim) – A monk who fled his village after standing up to some rude colonials who can’t stand the fact a non-white guy talked to them. Whatever he warns against comes true. Eventually joins the crew to rescue the kids. His name is sometimes subtitled as Phra. (Nickname: Monk)
Sum Lee (Koti Arambawy) – The bomb-crazy kid and thief partner of Raka who gets very angry at monkeys. His name is sometimes subtitled as Dek. (Nickname: Kid)
Worg (Sarawut Mardthong) – A guy who sells medical herbs, until he’s dragged into the mess with escaped thieves and kidnapped children. Has special herbs that will turn you gay. His name is sometimes subtitled as Wawk. (Nickname: Monkey)
Captain Johnson (Damian Mavis) – A White guy so he’s evil. Okay, he’s evil because he’s selling children into slavery and it looks like he molests little girls as well.
Master Kajorn (???) – A Slave Trader who runs mines that are worked exclusively by slaves, along with owning lots of lands that anyone who passes by must give him tribute.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 24, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,