THAI MOVIE

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ละครเร่
ละครเร่

Year: 1969

Thai title: ละครเร่
English title:

Rating: 5/5
Director: Prince Bhanu Yukol

Main actor: Manop Aussawathep,Dokdin Kanyaman,Charin Nantanakorn,Sompong Phonmitr
Main actress: Suthisa Putnuch

A local troop plays traditional theater (เล่นละคร) in front of a pleased audience. The actors sing and dance well (รำดีดี). Middle age women give flower garlands (ดอกมาลัย) to the handsome main actor. Manager (ผู้จัดการ) Thongdam supervises the troop. Thongdam is fond of a young dancer called Maram but the love is not reciprocal. An old master is always teaching constantly the dancers and singers to look for perfection. Before representations actors pay respect to their master and spirits (ไหว้ครู). The two leading actors are handsome actor Boon Ek (พระเอก) and young lady Kathin (นางเอก). A high society young woman from Bangkok, called Waew, likes the handsome actor (เสียงดี - รูปหล่อ). She has a fiance called Prachalin already. Waew's father wishes to take Boon Ek to Bangkok to become a famous singer in nightclubs. Boon Ek refuses as he cannot leave his master but he falls under Waew's charm (ถูกเสน่ห์). It is the opposite of standard scenario as this time the rich lady seduces the poor man. The troop (โรงละคร) always moves from one temple to another. Beautiful representations with colorful costumes are shown. Manora (โนราห์) dance is like a bird dance. Waew brings Boon Ek to old style nightclub with singers and couples dancing. There is an opposition between traditional arts and modern songs, between Lakorn (ละคร) actors and Bangkok singers. A few beautiful 1960s romantic songs are featured in this two hours movie. Following a trip to Bangkok Boon Ek comes back drunk. He never missed a performance. His performance is a disaster (คนอะไร!) as he is too drunk. He has big hope (มีหวัง) for a career (ดารานักร้อง) in Bangkok and wishes for good money. Katin gives back to him her fiancee ring. The old master is very sick. Almost no spectators are paying to view the theather performances since Boon Ek left. The troop is out of cash. Vaew's heart balances between two men, her fiance and Boon Ek. The old teacher will not ask Boon Ek to come back (ยอมตายดีกว่า). Waew's fiancee, Prachalin, is a former singer and compositor. He prefers to lose Waew than a good singer! Thongdam is selling his own gold jewelry to simulate customers renting the troop. He even takes a life insurance (ประกันชีวิต) as he knows he is very sick. Waew doesn't love Boon Ek as he is a countryside guy. She is just having fun. Thongdam dies. He legates his money to the troop. To thank him, Malam decides to learn to dance to try to replace Boon Ek. Boon Ek is now a TV star (ดารา tv) and comes back to his province for singing. He declares his love again to Kathin through a song while she is the audience. She leaves the concert crying. He comes back during a lakorn representation and promises not to leave again. The Bangkok buzz is not for him. This is veteran actor Manop Aussawathep's first movie. It has a few similitudes with Cherd Songsri's movie Nora (โนห์รา) regarding traditional arts protection and conservation. It still features a very nice color picture for a 40 years old Thai movie. This movie was directed by the General Major His Royal Highness Prince Bhanu Yukol, a pioneering Thai filmmaker. He is the uncle of famous director Prince ChatriChalerm Yukol.

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