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Year: 2011

Thai title: คนโขน
English title: Kon Khon

Rating: 5/5
Director: Saranyu Wongkrachang

Main actor: Sorapong Chatree,Nirut Sirijanya
Main actress: Penpak Sirikul

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Three kids, two boys and a girl, are close friends and have a dream. The girl, Raem, wants to be a theater actress (นางเอกลิเก), the second one wants to be painter, the third one, Chat, wants to have a high position. Children are now grown-up teens. The two boys love Raem. Chat is an orphan. Chat is working in Master (ครู) Yot's masked-dance Khon troupe. Khon (โขน) is a Thai classic masked play enacting scenes from the Ramakian (รามเกียรติ์). Lamphai is master Yot's mistress. She wishes to become a famous dancer (นางรำ). Chat has a fierce enemy, Khom, since childhood following a Thai boxing match which degenerated. Teachers Yot and Sek have strong dislike. During a 7 days festival (งานเปิดละคร), taking advantage that the actor playing the monkey Hanuman is injured, Chat replaces him and defies Khom playing the evil Thotsakan. Their animosity appears on the stage. Lamphai likes Chat a lot but Chat refuses Lamphai's advances so causing her ire. He is punished by Yot for playing Khon without being authorized. Lamphai promises him revenge as she felt humiliated. Yot's team will have a representation at Wat Ang Thong. But Sek proposes also to do a representation there so Yot's team is relegated to a smaller temple Ang Kaew with much less space. Lamphai will play Sida. Chat will be Hanuman. In Ramakian traditional epic, Sida is Phra Ram’s wife, Hanuman is the monkey general and the evil character is Thotsakan. It is nice to see old traditional Likay advertisement with huge painted billboards. Sek has a huge truck to do advertisement but Yot has only a small boat. Sek defies Yot and recommends Yot to cancel his representation to avoid tarnishing his troupe name by playing in a small temple. Khom promises a fight to Chat and threatens Raem if Chat refuses to come. Before the representation, Chat is beaten severely by Khom and his ruffians. His injuries prevent him to perform correctly and the representation is a disaster. Yot's name is tarnished and the teacher decides to stop Khon. It is time for “pay respect to teacher” ceremony (ไหว้ครูใหญ่) to take place. Yot respected his teacher many years ago but Sek didn't. Their destiny was different while Sek was having big name, big stage on city side and Yot was staying in the shade in countryside. Lamphai teases and provokes Chat. Teacher Yot finds Chat and Lamphai sleeping together so he is chasing Chat away and having a heart attack. He is now paralyzed. Chat and Raem declare their love causing their third friend’s despair. This causes the three friends to split apart. Chat is back following Narin’s request. Chat has always been considered as his son by Yot so the short adventure with Lamphai was seen as a betrayal. Khom betrays his master Sek the same way Sek betrayed his own master 40 years ago. But Khom is punished immediately. A fire occurs in master Yot's house. Lamphai decides to die with him. Chat cannot save them due to the fierce fire. He becomes crazy. It was his karma despite him. All protagonists pay their past actions due to Karmic retribution. This movie reminds of other cultural Thai movies such as “The overture” and “Nora” with a great focus on dying traditional arts. Movie "Kon Khon" (คนโขน) was Thailand's submission to 2012 Academy Awards. It was a controversial choice because of lack of critical acclaim and box-office success. Critics complain about its one-dimensional characters, heavy-handed melodrama and an unfocused plot. The movie was a flop earning just around 8 millions baht. This movie was directed by Saranyu Wongkrachang, famous Thai actor, director and also PAD leader! In year 2011 he wrote a message on Facebook to make an emotional request for viewers to watch his movie "Kon Khon". "Kon Khon" movie sponsors were Thai Life Insurance and the Government Housing Bank. The Cultural Ministry arranged for special screenings to around 20 schools.

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