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Year: 2011

Thai title: ปัญญาเรณู
English title: Panya Raenu

Rating: 5/5
Director: Bin Banleurit

Main actor: Kowit Wattanakul,Mum Jokmok,Bin Banleurit
Main actress:

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Panya (ปัญญา), young boy, and Raenu (เรณู), young girl, are school children in an Isan village. While studying, they have issues with another student who is cheating during exams. Raenu is protecting Panya against this student! It looks like Panya and Raenu will marry together when they will be adults. This movie nicely depicts Isan village life (วัฒนธรรมอีสาน). Panya steals fish in a neighbour rice field but gets punished by catching a disagreeable worm. The teachers are preparing school performances with molam music. Panya is the school molam singer. But they are not doing well due to lack of dancers and equipment. Panya secretly promises to ordain if his school wins. The bus of a Bangkokian school is damaged near the village. They have to stay overnight in the village school. Bangkok girls (เด็กกรุงเทพฯ) have difficulties to get used to Isan food. There is a contrast between Isan boys with dark skin versus Bangkok girls with white skin. They discover Isan village life (วีถีชีวิตของชาวอีสาน) and help on some tasks such as planting rice, bugs, snakes and lizards catching. As a puppy love starts between Panya and a Bangkok girl called Miu, Raenu is very upset with Panya (คนหลายใจ). Five husbands die the same night in the village. A Shaman (แม่หมอ) is called to understand what is going on. The shaman claims a ghost is around (ผีแม่ม่าย) so all men have to wear women clothes a few days in order to fool the ghost. Raenu claims to be possessed also in order to ask Panya to love Raenu only. Ghost belief is still strongly present in Isan. The school needs to find 100 000 baht to buy music instrument to be able to join the village Molam competition. Panya dreams to be a singer. Even the Buddhist abbot doesn't have such amount of money. Hopefully a layman donates 300 000 baht to the temple so the abbot can help the school. Monks are very close to the community. The village can then participate to the contest. Miu helps to bring a Bangkok teacher to help the students to dance properly. Panya's Bangkok friends even promise to join. There is then great molam performances with dozens of dancers and very entertaining songs at the contest (วงมอลำ). Thanks to late arrival of the Bangkok friends on a tractor, Panya's team wins. Even the member of Parliament (ส.ส.) dances! After the victory, some robbers enter in his parents' home. Panya gets shot and ends up at the hospital. Panya is finally saved as he is ordained by the abbot at the last minute. The power of faith in Buddha saves him as he could fulfil his earlier promise. This movie got 13M bath revenue in 2011. A version 2 (ภาค2) was released in 2012. Lao / Isan language is used with Thai subtitles. This movie reminds of “Mon rak luk thung” (มนต์รักลูกทุ่ง) and “Luuk Isan” (ลูกอีสาน). This movie is a great homage to Isan region and features a few famous Isan actors such as comic Mum Jokmok.

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