Thai title: นาคปรก
English title: In the shadow of Naga
Director: Pawat Pawangkasiri
Main actor: Ray McDonald,Sahat Piempongsan,Somchai Khemklad
Main actress: Intira Jaroenpura
7 millions of baht have been hidden following a robbery. One of the robber is called Sing. His girlfriend is a prostitute. The police raids the illegal casino (บ่อน) she is staying in. They are looking for Sing but she doesn't know where he is hiding. The money has been hidden in a Buddhist temple. The three robbers come back to the temple but a chapel (โบสถ์) has been constructed on the top of the cache. They need to dig (ต้องขุด) but as it takes time, the only way is to become monk (ต้องบวช) in order to be able to stay in the temple. Sing points his gun to the abbot to force the ordination. Sing and Dang ordinate (เป็นพระ). Pong prefers to remain as a temple boy. Sing and Pong behave badly as monk, i.e. chase dog with feet, say bad words, don't follow closely the temple rules (ระเบียบของวัด), smoke, hit novice (เณร), don't pray before eating. Sing is atheist and calls the abbot as 'boss' instead of เจ้าอาวาส. At night time, they dig. The morning arrives earlier than expected. They need to hit the temple gong (ระฆัง), need to say blessings. The abbot has to justify their inexperience by mentioning they are new monks (พระบวชใหม่) from Thudong order (พระธุดงค์). Sing cannot support the food at lunch time made of alms donation (ฉันเพื่ออยู่ไม่ใช้อยู่เพื่อฉัน). The abbot is also doing tatoos. Pong asks for tatoos also (ศาสนาพุทธศักดิ์สิทธิ์เกิน ดีกว่าคุณทำร้ายได้). Sing is still complaining. His feet hurt as he is not used to walk bare foot. Life prison was easier. Food is not good. Earlier they promised to share 50% of the money with a fourth unknown man. The abbot has money on him and doesn't hesitate to touch a woman bitten by a snake. Dang and Sing hit badly robbers who were trying to steal Buddha statues in order to protect their secret digging activities inside the chapel. They lie to villagers (หลอกชาวบ้าน). They know they are wrong but still do wrong (รู้ว่าทำผิดแต่ยังทำผิด). Sing misses his girlfriend Nam Peung so he invites her to join him to Wat Pa Lom but she refuses believing it is another bad joke from Sing (ช่วยตัวเองก็แล้วกัน). Believing it can be good for her karma, she finally visits the temple and finds Sing as a monk (หลวงพี่). Sings removes his monk robe to make love to Nam Peung. Sing breaches all Buddhist precepts and brings trouble to the temple community. Pong is a good guy and explains to the abbot what happens before. They did a bank robbery (ปล้นเงิน) and hide the money inside the temple's chapel. Pong wanted to help his blind mother. He has lengthy discussion with the abbot about Buddhism (It is possible to teach some people to be good, it is more difficult with some others สอนให้เป็นคนดีบางคนสอนได้บางคนสอนยาก - Badness is easier to do than goodness / ความชั่วทำง่ายความดียทำยาก). Being discovered by other monks, Sing and Dang threathen to kill the monks if they don't help to dig. At morning time, they need to go for alms (เป็นเวลาบิณฑบาตร). If they don't go, they will have nothing to eat. Today is Makabucha day so local people are coming for offerings (บูชา) and listen to sermon (ฟังเทศน์). Dang decides to give them a poignant sermon regarding children working far away from parents to send them money and encourage parents to teach well their kids (สอนลูกดีดี - กตัญญู) to avoid becoming bad guy like him. While digging, they find a cache but no money. Sing starts to break the main Buddha statue. There is a small golden statue inside. A police inspector enters the chapel. Nam Peung was keeping the police inspector informed. He is a corrupted cop asking for his share. They shot at each other. The police inspector is hit. Dang is hit also. Nam Peung hits Sing, who was going to shoot the abbot. Nam Peung finds the money bag in the base of the Buddha statue but it is empty. She prefers to suicide herself instead of surrending to the police. The abbot takes the responsability on him (ผิดเอง). Pong is arrested. 4 years passed. Pong is doing ordination for his blind mother, who cries when holding the yellow robes (ผ้าเหลือง). The former abbot has defrocked. He has now a wife and a child. He is driving a Mercedes car. He comes back to get the golden Buddha statue. He was the one who kept the money. He is finally arrested and the statue is restituted to the temple. After 3 years waiting for the new film law to avoid a ban, this movie was finally released uncut with a Rate 18+. Making a story with bad monks is strong for the local Thai audience as faith and crime are always taboo in Thai films. There is a comparison between the four characters and the four types of lotus in Buddhism (บัวประเภทไหน).
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