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In Phuket Island, Thailand, the architect Paul Bellmer and his wife Jeanne lost their son Joshua in a tsunami six months ago. Jeanne is disturbed and has not accepted the loss of her beloved son. While watching some footages from Myanmar (former Burma), Jeanne is convinced that a boy wearing a Manchester United shirt in a poor village is Joshua, and Paul accepts to seek out their son in the sea gypsies camp. They hire the trafficker Thaksin Gao and they travel in the boat of master Sonchai to search Joshua. After a series of weird incidents, Sonchai leaves the trio in an abandoned village. They have to walk through the jungle where they face a journey to hell.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I completely get what the director was trying to do, and it was a mock-valiant effort on his part; the dark settings, the dream-like shots, and the faux-delusional performance by the main actress. The philosophical undertones are there, they just need to be dug out from beneath the hard-to-buy acting and set-ups. We are all interchangeable, at a physical and psychic level; in her state of utmost despair, Jeanne was hurdled into a psychotic state of mind, and very interestingly incorporating the semblance of delusional misidentification syndrome (namely, Fregoli syndrome); any and all of those children were Joshua. I do believe that this film could have gotten its point across, because the premise is actually appealing; unfortunately that was not enough to leave me with more than an empty sensation after it ended. The dude playing Paul was not believable, and his reactions to the bizarre situations arising were deadened by his own disbelief as an actor. Jeanne just figured that adopting the dead fish expression throughout the film would be sufficient, apart from a possible ripoff from the Piano Teacher with regards to the sex scene in which any and all human emotion has long abandoned her carcass. Now, the only crude emotion she displayed was during the final scene, and I believe this was not a scripted reaction; her smiling showed simply her obvious arousal with the situation, in a very primitive and sexualized manner, irrespective of any taboos people may have about the particular content. Again, it was the symbolic transfiguring into the literal, as the psychogenic breast was incorporated into the lives of children who had no healthy attachment to a caregiver, so we can look at the scene as a form of regression on their part, reacquiring the breast in an attempt to somehow be reborn through her... and she experienced the giving of life in this straining-to-be-poignant moment, and was thus reborn as well.
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