By William Wolf

NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL 2010--'UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES'  Send This Review to a Friend

This odd film from Thailand, part of the program at the 2010 New York Film Festival and written and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, requires a willingness to give oneself over to the supernatural. I have trouble on that score, as the events seem more nonsensical than spiritual to me. But to each one’s own.

Boonmee, played convincingly enough by Thanapat Saisaymar, is dying. His kidneys are failing, and the end would appear to be a matter of time. His wife is already dead, at least until this fanciful screenplay resurrects her (played by Natthakarn Aphaiwonk) as a ghost to take care of him in his final days of his present life.

But the filmmaker’s vision is not that simple. Boonmee’s son has been gone. Portrayed by Geerasak Kulhong, he comes back in a weird non-human form. Off the family goes on a trek through the jungle. Boonmee is intent on dying in a cave, which is where he believes he started off on his first life, whenever that was.

Will he have yet another life? The situation begs the question, but frankly, despite the mystique that the writer-director churns up, for me at least the life we see depicted in this long, slow experience is quite enough. A Strand Releasing release.

  

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