An affectionately cynical musical comedy so bright with homespun emotion, barnyard profanity, spontaneous eruptions into song and poisonous twists of fate that it might have you wondering whether Billy Wilder has somehow been reborn in Bangkok. Monrak Transistor confirms the reputation of Penek Ratanaruang (maker of 6ixtynin9) as the most important satirist of new Thai cinema. This film takes us deep into the heart of Thailand's beloved 'country music' look thoong a genre where lost loves and a longing for the simple pleasures back home are thematic king and queen. The story concerns Pan (Suppakorn Kitsuwan), a young man from a riverbank village whose two great passions the beautiful Sadaw (Siriyakorn Pukkavesa), whom he woos and weds, and singing look thoong prove one too many. When Pan is drafted into the army, Sadaw sleeps next to her wedding present, a transistor radio, dreaming of her dulcettoned partner, unaware that her partner will soon go AWOL in pursuit of his musical career. Pan's big break finally arrives, but fate promptly breaks it over his head, thwarting the couple's reunion and plunging the singer into a watery world of shit. Swerving from stench to sweetness and back again, the everunpredictable Monrak Transistor swept Thailand's equivalent of the Golden Globe awards last December. Chuck Stephens writes for Film Comment

International title
A Transistor Love Story
Filmmaker
Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Premiere
-
Country
Thailand
Year
2001
Medium
35mm
Length
115’
Language
Thai
Producer
Cinemasia
Sales
Fortissimo Films
Writer
Pen-ek Ratanaruang