I can't still wrap my head around what I've seen in this movie, and I'm not sure whether that is a good or a bad thing. This felt like a tale, born out of folklore and ancient traditions that are mostly strange to western culture. Seeing "Uncle Bonmee" was an odd experience but it was also refreshing in its nonsense and dreamy vibe.
There are times when analyzing a film beyond its lyrical aspects becomes nothing but a repetitive act in the hopes of projecting a philosophical understanding, and meaning to what you just witnessed. To reduce "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" down to a series of tropes that may or may not be true is counter-intuitive, and feels as though it misses the mark. This was melodic poetry in silent motion.
By adding pre-birth & post-death life to the menu, Weerasethakul invites CHAOS into his film, which he manages by keeping his camera as steady as his thoughts; riding one thought @ a time like a hitchhiker until the next strong thought/image asserts itself; breaking free from infinite options. It's not that the mundane & the monstrous are equivalent in his world but that both are given an equal chance to surprise.
I'm starting to understand "Joe's" disruptive narratives, but each time in his films when he pulls away from a set of characters he's been building up, and starts a new story, it hurts the experience for me. The princess tale was achingly beautiful, but when it came back to Boonmee and Co., I had already gotten into that. Maybe it's just my way of watching movies.
There is this turquoise-green that the film is washed in, as if it were made by the jungle itself.
The film's very patient progression and quietness is supposed to provide the audience tranquility. I disagree with watchers who claim it to be "flat" and unnecessarily "slow". One long still frame in that film is dense with information--from the décor of Boonmee's bedroom to the sound of insects chirping. It is a spectacular interpretation of the calmness of a man who peacefully greets his death.
This film, more than just a film, seems to be a map to some kind of "zen" state where you can interactuate with the world in it.
Perhaps the most purely naturalistic of Joe’s feature films, its lush, immersive ambience of the Thai countryside finds harmony in elements of local mysticism, which only deepen the evocative and hypnotic nature of the piece. There lies a clear beauty and magic in this film’s purity, more often than not simply resulting in a stunning, lucid work of its own unique, quiet volition. Really good.