The film for me is less successful than Joe's later works, which tend to build upon the previous ones and recontextualize them in fascinating ways, but Tropical Malady is nonetheless an interesting journey into the world of homosexuality and spirituality in modern-day Thailand. The first half of this diptych is my favourite.
Rewatched. Seen ten years ago without subtitles (the ultimate experience ! ahahah), i captured a bit more this time what is it about, or did i ? So personal, Weerasethakul created after 100 years of filmmaking his own genre, quite casually. The second part is quiet unique and makes you rethink everything you watched so far. The last bit with the tiger is of course to watch on a big screen in a theater only !
8/10. What starts as a blossoming romance between a soldier and a country boy abruptly turns into a dark folkloric tale of survival. TROPICAL MALADY seems to be a cautionary tale about the dangers of love, its capacity to destroy and erase our own personalities.
Un film en deux volets très distincts qui représentent tous les deux une facette propre de la relation entre deux hommes. C'est avant tout un film construit au sens technique. En témoigne notamment la mise en abime avec la légende thaï qui guide le déroulement du deuxième volet.
High brow cinema. I can see how judges at festivals like this. The first part has all the everydayness they seem to look for in arthouse these days, and the second part gives us a poetic 'silent era aesthetic'. The abstractions make sense and the imagery is beautiful but it is a test of endurance. I preferred the second part but I see how it needed the less exciting first part.
At some point during this movie, I was like "this is okay, meh" but by the end I was riveted. I liked the first half and the second half in different ways but both left me wanting more — would they have benefited from being separate films? Or are they necessarily together? The first half didn't feel like A.W. to me until the second took over.
Weerasethakul's films seamlessly meld the worlds of the real with the worlds of myth and legend. Here he explores the worlds of fear and desire. Many have found the transition from the first half which is firmly rooted in the real to the second which is just as decidedly in the magical as abrupt and difficult - but its no more than the passage from waking to sleep...and from sleep to dream. A masterpiece.