Thailand 2009   Directed & Written by: Yuthlert Sippapak   Cast: Chermarn Boonyasak, Mario Maurer, Somlek Sakdikul, Arkorn Peedrakul, Chantana Kittiyapan, Nuttawan Saksiri, Santisuk Promsiri

Now finally also Thailand got one: a film rating system. Thank god. Gone are the golden days when CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST was screened publicly around the clock in every mall so that mummy could keep the little ones busy with some fine entertainment while shopping the latest soaps on DVD. Even if the Thais so far did well without ratings, it was certainly only a question of time until the censors would institutionalize the power in theirs hands.

As a result BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 was the first Thai film getting a rating (Tarantino’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS was the first film ever). For BUPPAH authorities agreed to rate it 18+ (the rating goes up to 20+), but whether it will have any effect is questionable – at the end the largest group of movie goers are teenagers, and they are used to attend any movie they like, no matter what the level of sex and violence may be.

Until now censorship in the kingdom was much more random and some hope that now rating will help to classify films rather than cut them, but well, film ratings are what they are, right? We’ll keep observing what’s going on and will post updates as soon as available.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 is the fourth installment of Sippapaks franchise and it is a linear continuation of the ghost movie series. Part love story, part comedy, part horror film BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 is still a vague affair. Is it inconsistency, or is it creativity? You decide. Like many other films BUPPAH mixes solid suspense, gross ideas, splatter and humor and appears changing its mood and tone every five minutes.

Funny: in Thailand we can still enjoy and laugh about penis jokes, haha. Yep, that’s what the local audience likes, no shit. Unfortunately many have noticed that this also doesn’t exactly help the Thai film to grow up, or evolve for that matter. If you afford the luxury of wasting 10 minutes of your movie with a joke about the length of penises then it means you have nothing better to offer. And you simply supply according to the demand.

Overall BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 works quite well though: the emotional moments show the soft side of the film, while the horror produces sufficient goose bumps, and yes, you can even laugh about the funny scenes disregard how stupid they might be.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 last but not least reflects the status quo of the Thai nation: ghosts, or better spirits, are part of daily life and simply speaking also rooted in Buddhism. The films deals with the key issue of releasing souls and with reincarnation, and the fact that some spirits endlessly stick to other souls or won’t let go of certain activities they were used to, like for instance “revenge“. That’s the reason why the cartoon artist is looking for Buppah in the afterlife, as he hasn’t told her yet that he loves her. And that’s why Buppah kills again and again. In between all that the film makes fun of whatever comes its way, monks, police corruption, politicians, you name it.

The story doesn’t always develop in a linear fashion, but nevertheless gets it shit together and ends with a beautiful twist. Finally everything looks so homogeneous and it would have been better if BUPPAH wouldn’t constantly divert from the actual story that has enough substance to make a good film actually.

BUPPAH RAHTREE 3.2 improves over its running time – it may be far from art, but after a spelling mistake in the credits (sic!) at the beginning (“Excutive producer“) it develops into a pretty good popcorn film for a rainy Saturday afternoon.


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