Sunday, March 15, 2009


I wish I knew what the title of the movie Tom-Yum-Goong was meant as; I get the culinary allusion, but no more.

I wasn't prepared for the all-around awesomeness of the movie, although I have seen Ong Bak. I could imagine Tony Jaa pulling off incredible feats of the body and imagination, but TYG surpassed all expectations I had. I was touched by the lyrical rage of Tony Jaa searching for his elephants. I was amazed by the very subtly executed four-story in four-minutes sequence, or the elephant-grapple sequence towards the end where folly is the hero: orchestra composed entirely in the sound of broken bones, and unless they used green screen for that sequence, the sheer number of moves executed by Tony Jaa is sequence--upwards of twenty men grappled with and incapacitated in one long shot...

But, more so than that, the most touching aspect of the movie is the embodiment of rage. I wouldn't have thought Tony Jaa could also act, with his body and his face, the rawness of his rage: too overcome by grief at seeing the skeleton of his old elephant, he lets his foes kick him back and forth, until he gets stabbed, at which point he comes to his senses and proceeds to kill or bone-break. Niice.

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