It’s been a long time since I did a Movie Date for my fellow drifters! Keane should be crowned the Queen of Movies around here. So I shall temporarily sit in her seat while she’s away. 😛 I bring you the monstrous breakout Thai movie this spring! Pee Mak Phra Khanong! A remake of the classic ghost story, but this time, we have amusing twists to keep the story fresh. The road to the truth is paved with friendship and love, what’s not to like? Although this movie is labeled as a horror-comedy, trust me that it’s not scary at all. Prepare to be tickled. And maybe drop a few tears.
“I’m sorry. You can’t get to die before me. Please promise me. When I’m gone, you’ll have to carry on.”
Thai Title: พี่มาก..พระโขนง
Cast: Mario Maurer, Mai Davika Hoorne, Pongsathorn Jongwilas, Nattapong Chartpong, Auttarut Kongrasri, Kantapat Permpoonpatcharasook
Date Released: March 28, 2013 (Thailand)
Download Links: 540p ZASK (ENG SUB IS EMBEDDED)
— Brief Recap + Thoughts —
The movie opens with a bleeding pregnant woman, Nak (Mai Davika Hoorne), gripping her belly in pain. She doubles over and falls to the ground, calling for help to deaf ears in the small village of Phra Khanong in Bangkok.
Meet Nak’s husband, Mak (Mario Maurer), a simpleton who is dragged to war, where he befriends four equally weak soldiers. The battle doesn’t look optimistic with injured bodies and painful groans erupting everywhere in the medical camp. One lad with the whale-tailed hair, Puak (Pongsathorn Jongwilak), raises his voice, meaning to calm the masses by retelling stories of brave heroes in wars. Unfortunately, bespectacled soldier, Ter (Nuttapong Chartpong) timidly voices, “But they all died right?” Everyone looks on in horror. Next to him is bun-knotted hair Shin (Wiwat Kongrasri), and the one with a thick mustache is Aey (Kantapat Permpoonpatcharasuk).
The following scenes show the boys getting shot by the enemies. I think this is an interesting sequence, adding a psychological twist to the story. What if the boys were the dead ones after all?
War is coming to an end and Mak returns home, along with his war buddies. But the warm village that he once knew has changed, while villagers take turn to shun him and his friends, creepy crawlers march across the ground to get away from Mak’s house. Nak and the baby, Dang, greet him in tears as the guys are smitten with Nak’s beauty, especially Puak.
Gradually, the four guys begin to notice that something is amiss with Mak’s wife and try to clue him in without upsetting the supposedly vengeful Nak. On several occasions, their silly tactics lead to laughter for the audience. Such as the part above when the boys decide to play charade late at night and to form one of the word, Ter points to Nak, to which Shin lights up in happiness and calls out “Ghost!” He continues to brag about his brilliance to the chagrin of his comrades until Puak places his dirty foot over his mouth to shut it. ROFL. And EWWW! 😀
A beautiful cover of “I want to stop time” by Palmy that plays during the scene below. I ripped it in HQ here.
Carnival day in Phra Khanong and here you have to suspend your belief because our couple rides on the Ferris wheel, which was not invented at the time, complete with colorful lights and decorations.
It’s a romantic sequence for Mak and Nak as the two make up for the time he spent in war. A touching exchange where Mak assures Nak that he isn’t afraid of ghosts.
Nak wonders, “Baby. If one day I die, can you live without me?”
Mak looks upset. “If anyone’s going to die, then I want to die first. If I don’t have you. I can’t go on. But if I die first, you’d be able to find a new husband easily with that big ass of yours!”
LOL. Way to kill the romantic speech with a dose of racy innuendo. The statement cracks a rueful smile on Nak’s face. The two descends from the Ferris wheel and Mak urges her to visit the haunted house with him. Little does he know, his friends are determined to kidnap him, if it’s necessary to save the fool from the iron grip of Nak.
When they have kidnapped and intended to haul him out of there, Nak closes in, forcing them to disguise as the ghosts populated in Thai folklore. I can’t stop laughing at Puak’s hideous cross-dressed getup. And poor Mario on the ground with a stinky foot on his face to shush him. heh.
Soon enough, the four guys come to another conclusion that Mak is the ghost. Hurrying home, they lie and bring Nak and Dang to escape this haunted town. But the weight of 4 men, 1 women, and a baby, are too heavy for the small raft, forcing them to abandon more belongings into the waters. Still, the boat tips over, and in a frantic moment, Puak turns to Nak, “Hey, is Dang necessary?” LOL
Having no other choice, the smart group decides to toss the paddles away, leaving them in a speechless stupor 3 seconds later.
“Nice, the episode ended well…. BUT how do we paddle now, stupid!”
“Should we swim to the other side?”
“I can’t swim!” says Shin. And then at one point, he’s pushed into the water and begins hopping across in big, quick strides, which totally kills me when the other guys drop their jaws. Puak: “Didn’t you say you can’t swim? Your stroke is like Michael Phelps!” 😛
The boys hide in a temple with an angry Nak drawing closer to them, intending to take Mak with her. While the four guys scamper away in fear, a wimpy Mak steps closer to her ghostly extending long arm. With tears streaming down his face, the white hand gently wipes them away. Horrified that she’s the cause of his horror-streaked face, Nak cries:
“Are you that scared of me? I’m sorry. If I ever hurt you, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. Don’t cry baby. You won’t look handsome. I’m sorry…for lying to you all this time. I just wanted to be with you as long as I could. Even if it’s just for one more day. Do you still remember what we spoke about on the Ferris wheel? I’m sorry…you can’t get to die before me. Please promise me. When I’m gone, you’ll have to carry on.”
Still in tears, Mak reveals his side of the story.
“Nak…you don’t have to go anywhere. You said you lied to me. You didn’t lie to me at all. Even though I’m a fool, I’m not so stupid that I wouldn’t know that my wife was dead.”
Flashbacks show us that he knew ever since they played charade. To protect her ghostly entity, he threw away the Buddha amulet, found her buried body and cried out her name during that rainy night.
He continues, “Even if all the villagers avoid me and nobody wanted to be my friend. And even if I have to eat dried leaves everyday. I would still want to be with you.”
Knowing how much Mak loves her, Nak smiles gratefully and comes to terms that they simply can’t be together because it’s not a natural thing. He, however, thinks otherwise, “If that’s so, then my love for you is just a freak of nature. How is it wrong that we can love each other this much?”
She gazes at him. “Aren’t you scared of me?”
He smiles. “You know I’m scared of ghosts, but I’m scared more of living without you.” Awww.
Mak then walks towards her and pulls her into a gentle, soft kiss. Their foreheads touch and they smile, appreciating the strength that life has given them through the turbulence and losses.
From thereon, Nak continues to live with Mak and their baby, and the four friends, occasionally haunting the villagers in mischievous ways. And that my friends, is the ending of Pee Mak Phra Khanong 2013. Because, why the heck not? Aren’t you tired of stories where the dead ones have to move on yada yadi yada speech?
Having seen a few of Mario’s works before, I must say he excels in this role as the sweet and dimwitted Mak to perfection. He was in character even when he had to cry his heart out. I felt honesty and sincerity in his manner and expression. Well done, boy!! This is my first time seeing female lead, Mai Davika, and she was also well cast by the producer. Her pale, milky complexion, and a pair of big, expressive eyes, accentuated by the sharp drawn eyebrows, nicely brings out the ghastly being.
The four hilarious actors must also be credited for their natural chemistry and deft comic timing. I figure that people might come because of big names like Mario and Mai, but they stay because of the humor (although it gets redundant) that these guys dish out throughout the two hours. And of course, the enjoyment of this film is further cemented with Mak and Nak’s unmatched devotion to each other, as well as the hilarious inserts of pop culture references. (Michael Phelps? Acting Lessons? heehee!) 😎
Finishing this post with a cute video of the cast doing Harlem Shake. Adorable!
Hope you all will like this movie. Happy Labor day!