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Year: 2004

Thai title: ทวิภพ
English title: The Siam renaissance

Rating: 5/5
Director: Surapong Pinijkhar

Main actor: Nirut Sirijanya
Main actress:

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Thai lady Manee is a Paris-based archive specialist. A mysterious French old work 'The Voyageur', written by French author Francois-Xavier, is brought to her for interpretation at the Thai consulate in Paris. Manee is agitated by the record's allusions to Siam's past. Her father is a famous professor. She never got real love from her parents, who are always busy. Her father believes “The Voyageur” is just a tale (นิยาย) as it contains many inaccuracies. When she returns to Thailand, she finds herself going back and forth in time between the present day and the time of Siam's exploitation by French and British colonialists. It starts in 1855. Manee finds herself in Doctor Bradley’s home, who is the former home resident in her own home! Thai people are puzzled by Manee as she can read, write and speak French and English. She meets Francois-Xavier, a French writer. She explains the future to some Thai people but they doubt and even think she is playing double game. British ambassador is coming to negotiate commercial treaty with Siam. The trade treaty is unfair but Manee argues it is better to accept instead of providing good reason for Britain to invade Siam. Siam's secret weapon is a library as only knowledge increase will help Siam to compete with Western powers. Manee learns much about her country's history (Thai Longitude 0 was located in Bangkok at Wat Phra Kaew and set up by King Mongkut) and becomes a fighter alongside her ancestors. She finds valuable lessons in life and love along the way with soldier Dhep. Manee wishes to help her fellow Thai friends against greedy French colonialism. Is she right to influence the past as she knows the future? Thailand is used as a buffer between English and French possessions. It is seen this way by England but France forces Siam to abandon some of their own possessions such as Khmer kingdom by threatening using gunships. French consul sees Thai as barbarian and has no respect for their traditions. Sometimes changes are good and needed. Manee is upset that mistakes in the past cannot be changed such as the failed love between her parents but people tried their best. 38 years have passed. Thailand is defeated at Paknam by French gunships (14 July 1893 Paknam incident). Siam loses east of Mekong river banks. Siam has to pay a huge fee amount despite French only lost 3 men versus Siam who lost many lives including Thep. Siam kept its integrity despite losing big parts of territory and Manee has lost her love. It is a remake about the 1990 version shot by Cherd Songsri. It has also be adapted for TV in 1994 as a Thai TV serie (ละคร) with Saranyu Wongkrachang. It was also adapted as a Musical and a cartoon. It took one year to make the 2004 movie. The director Surapong Pinijkhar was then sick for many years due to blood vessel issue in the brain and was half paralyzed. The movie takes place in Rama IV period despite the real story happens in Rama V period. This version is more elaborated on historical details than the previous versions. One of the highlight of the movie is the true statement that Thai modern people read only six lines a year! This movie is part of the first 25 films heritage list announced on October 4 2011, which is Thai Movies Conservation Day.

ThaiWorldView film database contains 1473 movies.