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Year: 1989

Thai title: คำพิพากษา
English title: The judgement

Rating: 5/5
Director: Permpol Choei-arun

Main actor: Somjin Thammatat
Main actress: Apiradee Pawaputanon

Fak is a brilliant Buddhist novice and villagers expect him to become the next village abbot but Fak decides to defrock in order to take care about his aging father, who is working as a school caretaker. Fak is sent to military duties. When he is back, his father has a new young wife, Somthong, who has mental deficiency. His father dies of a heart attack. As Somthong doesn't remember her address, Fak pities her and let her stay. During a temple fair, she brings trouble by announcing she is Fak's wife. Fak loses face and is bullied by the whole village. After the father, she takes the son!! Some bad words are even censured in the movie by a blank. Stepmother (แม่เลี้ยง) or wife(เมีย)? It becomes the local joke and villagers believe she is Fak's wife already. Nobody believes him when he claims the opposite. Fak is a nice guy that can never say no. So he is exploited by the headmaster (ครูใหญ่) and other villagers. Somthong is half crazy but nobody believes she has a mental deficiency. She is looking for Fak (เห็นฟักไหม) and shows her breast. She gets beaten by villagers as she behaves crazily and is irrespective to elders (เกรงใจหมาดีกว่า). Once again Fak pities her behavior issues with villagers. Officials keep complaining on her. Fak starts to be rejected (รังเกียจ) by villagers. For New Year Fak gives to subdistrict headman (กำนัน) an envelope with money as tradition. The story highlights the corruption of local officials. It is time to cremate (เผาศพ) his father's body but nobody wants to join despite all efforts done by the father for the community. Only one villager joins, i.e. the cremator. The headmaster doesn't join also. Same as the cremator, Fak is rejected by the villagers. Fak starts to drink heavily to forget his problems as he lost face. Society (ชาวบ้าน) did bad with him so it forces him to change his behavior. Every month he saves some money from his salary and the amount is managed by the headmaster. The Buddhist abbot tries to convince him to stop drinking (อายคน) but Fak cannot fulfill his promises. If he lies to monks, then who can trust him? One day he wakes up late as he was drunk. The school children wake him up to open the school door and tease him as Somthong has fallen asleep close to him. He is cross and throws a rock to them. One kid is hurt on the face. As the child's father has complained, the headmaster forces him to leave his job (โดนไล่ออก). He has 5000 baht left with the headmaster. His only remaining friend is the cremator. People on the margins of society stay together. Fak gets beaten by villagers so his leg is stiff forever. Modern development through electricity arrives in the village. The headmaster's wife wants a television and a fridge. The headmaster uses Fak's savings. On one side those officials look good as they collect money for the Buddhist temple, on the other side they are taking profit on Fak. Fak has become a real alcoholic. Nobody believes him when he claims that the headmaster stole his money (โกงเงิน) as he is a drunkard. He acts outside the society norms (ไม่เคารพผู้ใหญ่). As Fak keeps repeating the robbery to everybody, he becomes a nuisance. He is caught by the police. A villager group comes to put pressure on Fak. He needs to show gratitude (น้ำใจ) as the headmaster is a good citizen (คนดีฯหายาก). There is a sad music to announce Fak's coming death as strong alcohol has its toll. Somthong doesn't understand that Fak is dead. Now everybody is afraid of her in the village. The movie is about people judging the others without knowing all the circumstances, about hypocrite people (ผู้ดี), who behave well face to society but badly behind the society, about how rumours and gossiping can hurt people. This movie is based on the novel 'คำพิพากษา' by Chart Korpjitti. Chart Korpjitti was only 27 years old when he wrote this great novel in 1981. Following the success of the novel, this movie and a ten-hour television series were done but both were award-winning commercial flops!

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