Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nobody told me we were having a party.

When my wife and I are having problems (which seems to be happening with increasing frequency...cue the Jaws theme), we really only have a handful of ways to solve them. With overwhelmingly limited success, I tend to opt for the ol' pretend it never happened approach, which involves me saying Nothing's wrong! at least a hundred times. Her go to, on the other hand, is the let's talk it out routine. Rarely, we both decide to raise our voices and get together for the passionate tell me how you really feel verbal war (in thirteen years, I can count these with my fingers). But now, it appears, I have found the ultimate solution: the let's invite a 19 year old drifter into our hotel room to take a nap approach. This move fixes everything.

At least it does in 2007's Ploy, from writer/director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Well, I think it does anyway. After grinding through this one late the other night, I still have only a moderate understanding of what took place. If you stare at the poster for a minute and make up some random shit, I might totally agree with you that whatever you said did indeed happen. But, oddly enough, you also might be totally right.

Set over the longest day in history, Ploy tells the story of an extremely tired couple (in every way possible) arriving back home to Thailand so they can attend a funeral. The unhappy couple, Wit and Dang, seem to have fallen out of love, and while Dang attempts to sleep, her husband heads downstairs for a drink. Okay, seems straightforward enough.

At the bar, Wit meets the chick featured on the poster, the just-turned 19-year old Ploy. Ploy's in town waiting for her mom, who will supposedly arrive the next day. For whatever reason (creepy or generous, I'm unsure), Wit invites Ploy upstairs to crash and/or freshen up. Needless to say, Dang isn't too pleased about this...ploy. (My God, I'm a genius)

Oh shit, you're still reading. Um, er, from here, things turn into an incomprehensible mix of fantasy and indifference. Some things happen, of the awful, sexy and incredibly random variety, but it doesn't add up to much. Ploy and Wit lay around together -weird- but the sexiest thing happening in the hotel isn't in their room. Actually, that stuff occurs down the hall in another room. Or, um, in Ploy's imagination. I think. And Dang? Well, Dang ends up in some f--king creeper's house/abandoned Thai Hallmark store, and some freaky shit goes down. Or maybe it doesn't. It may be a dream that Wit's having, back in the hotel with Ploy (who again, may be having her own f--ked up dream).

At this point, all I know for sure is that this f--ker is streaming on Netflix and I watched it. At least I hope it is and hope I did. Sort of.

Also possibly the baffling dream of a doe-eyed Thai girl, are the Yays and Boos. We've never been to Thailand, but we've heard some stories. Some scary, scary stories. If only I didn't understand what I was told back then.

  • I, at least initially, liked the style of the film. Shots linger to an uncomfortable degree and many things are framed in interesting fragments.
  • Dang's reaction to her husband bringing a strange girl to their hotel room is so hard to pin down, it's priceless. Ninety-nine percent of her face says what the shit is this? but there's a small part suggesting this isn't the first time this has happened, either.
  • Okay, the insane sex romp down the hall is pretty intense (apparently her ass is delicious [literally]), but my favorite part came before all the graphic stuff. Let's just say, she sucks. Well.
  • There's a pretty great murder scene. That didn't actually happen. More or less.
  • And the Lost in Translation award goes to the line, Are you having a period?
  • Arguably the best awkward gesture I've ever seen takes place near the end of the film. Dang is in some weird dude's house and he wants to have a drink (of course he does). She want to get the f--k out of there. He pours, then it happens. He raises his glass and toasts her glass that is still sitting there in the table. F--king great, right?
  • And finally, even though I didn't really like this movie, I at least appreciate that it was ridiculous. Phuket, extra ridiculous!
  • I mentioned the style, and the lingering shots? It's a bit of a mixed bag. For example, I'm pretty sure we get to see Dang drink an entire cup of coffee. Uninterrupted. Just because.
  • Speaking of needing some caffeine, this f--ker is not an ideal late night flick. Unless, of course, you want to sleep.
  • The maid? Well, this chick is quite the enigma. She seems like a good worker at first, then she steals some shit, takes a piss, then (potentially, of course) takes the rest of her shift to f--k some guy's brains out. I'm actually fine with all of this. But how does she celebrate her postcoital bliss? She sings a song. Directly into the camera.
  • And finally, the ending. I wrote three massive letters in my notebook as the credits rolled. And they weren't Y-A-Y, or even B-O-O. I'll let you guess.
Well, looking back at this one, I think I'm just going to pretend that it never happened.. Try to keep it moving. My wife didn't watch it, but I'm thinking if she did, we'd probably have to discuss our feelings about it. But you? You haven't seen it. And probably never will. Unless you're a 19-year old Thai girl, of course.

If that's the case, either way, I've got one word for you:



  1. This certainly sounds like a weird one. Guessing from my own experience with Asian cinema I bet lots of those lingering shots were completely silent making the movie feel that much longer. Congrats on making it through this one.

    1. You're speaking the truth, man. Completely. Empty frames of just silence. Made the eighty-some minutes feel like a hundred and twenty.

      I'm not even fully sure I made it through, but I'll take it either way.

  2. I kind of feel like I need to see this now.

    1. This is exactly how I feel when someone either has no idea what a movie was about and/or they say it was shitty.

      This one might hit on both fronts.