Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review- Bangkok Love Story (DVD)

Bangkok Love Story
2007
Thai/Gay/Drama

Steamy Thai nights provide the backdrop for unbridled romance, crime and action as two men unexpectedly brave forbidden love. Maek, a cold assassin-for-hire, is sent to knock off Iht, a police informant, when in a twist of fate the killer is shot for refusing to pull the trigger. After making their escape, an indelible bond is forged when the vulnerable assassin is nursed back to health by handsome, married Iht. But as taboo feelings of desire swell between the swarthy new lovers, their relationship is discovered. Now there s no turning back as enemies, friends and lovers are pitted against each other.

I saw the cover to this DVD a while ago searching for something else on Google Images and it totally grabbed me. I even downloaded it. It looked like a gay, Thai version of Bonnie and Clyde…dangerous and sexy at the same time. I went to the video store looking for other films yesterday and there is was, so I had to rent it.

Holy freaking crap, this movie was intense, dark, totally sexy hot, and utterly tragic. Only Asians can call a story with a tragic ending a “love story.” They practically invented the genre of emo, bittersweet, love. Yes, I’m telling you the ending is less than HEA, although in its own way there was an HEA. None the less, it’s a compelling story that will take you to places…maybe you don’t want to go to, or maybe you do.

Cloud is a street thug basically who does hits for the local mob syndication. His mother is dying of AIDS and his younger brother is HIV+. It’s the only way he can get money to take care of them. He has one rule though, he won’t kill anyone who is a good person, meaning he only kills thugs and assholes.

He’s hired to kill Stone because Stone knows too much about one of the crime bosses. Stone is a good guy, engaged to be married and Cloud refuses to kill him. Instead, he shoots the crime boss and gets shot. Stone grabs him and takes him away. In the weeks that follow, Stone takes care of Cloud, in a very loving way I might add, and falls in love with Cloud.

There’s a constant and slow build up of sexual tension that goes on between Stone and Cloud and when they do let go, dang, but it was hot. Really hot. Even though they’re always doing it on the ground in the rain… ewww.

Unfortunately, Cloud has some issues around homosexuality due to some minor issues of his step father molesting his brother and trying to molest him. Yes, nice life these boys had. /sarcasm. This keeps Cloud feeling a bit disgusted by what he’s done with Stone.

Most of the story is about Stone aching for Cloud and trying to win him back, while Cloud stays distant and cool, even though he does feel something. They are also trying to hide out from the the uber crime boss who’s trying to kill them.

It does get a little to syrupy and over dramatic in bits, but there’s enough pain and sadness all around to keep it balanced on the emo side.

I loved though how this film was done. One thing particular to Asian films is that distinct lack of dialogue, with scenes and pictures expressing more about what’s going on. There’s a lot of fade in and out with brief clips of different scenes and parts (other characters) of the story to let us know what’s going on without having to go into a lot of detail or unnecessary chit chat. It’s rather brilliant actually and it’s what I get off on in Asian films.

This is ultimately a raw and sad movie. Nothing is hidden, including the devastation of AIDS, which in Thailand is a huge issue, although not shown as political statement. Just a reality of poverty and the sex trade in Thailand.

The love story is very real though, and I thought the scenes between Cloud and Stone were poignant and sweet. Unfortunately, their lives were destined for something else. Still, I enjoyed this film. Just don’t expect to be left with an upbeat feeling.

Heat level: 2- some sex/kissing scenes between men, but no full on nudity.

Grade: B+

4 comments:

Madelynne Ellis said...

Sounds interesting. I like dark and brooding and questionable HEAs. Love the silences in Asian films too.

LVLM(Leah) said...

Madelynne! LOL I'm shocked anyone commented since this blog is deadsville. I just didn't know where else to post the review.

Yeah, I liked the movie, but the ending, it's... sad. Definitely Asian. Makes me want to watch more Asian gay films. *sigh*

Sally Sapphire said...

Hi, hon - thanks for stopping by my little slice of the blogsphere. It's nice to see that somebody else shares my frustration with poorly marketed ebooks. If it's a short story or a novella, let readers know . . . and price it accordingly.

Sedonia Guillone said...

I saw this on the shelf at Blockbuster a couple of years ago but never watched it. I still would like to see it.