The Victim

Dir: Monthon Arayangkoon
Star: Pitchanart Sakakorn, Apasiri Nitibhon, Penpak Sirikul, Kiradej Ketakinta

Ting (Sakakorn) is a wannabe actress, who answers the door when opportunity knocks, and become a star for her role in police re-enactments [Apparently, in Thailand, it's common to get criminals to do this; seems potentially dangerous to me, especially since they get handed real knives!]. When a beauty queen vanishes, Ting sees this as the 'role of a lifetime', but finds herself haunted by the titular ghost, who eventually convinces her that the facts are not quite as the police perceive them. Yawn. Seen it all before. Though not badly done, and Sakakorn is good in her role, there's an over-reliance on cheap scares that eventually becomes too predictab... Wait, what just happened? Isn't this...well, skin me alive and call me luggage. So that's what's going on.

If the preceding lines are somewhat incoherent, it's appropriate, because there's a moment in the middle here that yanks the carpet out from under the viewer, in a manner not experienced in a very long time. It sends the film off in a radically-different direction, and from that point on, you're never quite sure what's "real", or even "real" in a cinematic sense. It's an impressive head-trip, and if it doesn't all work thereafter, you've got to applaud the film-makers for even having the balls to try something so audacious. While the end result falls a little short of masterpieces such as Jacob's Ladder or, a particular touchstone, Perfect Blue, lacking quite their clarity and purity of vision, Victim takes the conventions of this over-familar genre and twists them to impressive effect. It definitely merits multiple viewings - at the very least, simply to try and determine for sure, what the hell is going on.

[The DVD was released through Tartan Video USA on September 18th, including behind-the-scenes footage and the trailer.]

September 2007

Police state of confusion
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