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Thailand / Netherlands / Korea / Hong Kong, 2005 (MIFF 2006, Regional Focus)

Director: Pen-ek Ratanaruang


“If Jacques Tati, the French comic absurdist, had ever made a gangster thriller, it probably would have looked like Invisible Waves.” - Hollywood Reporter
This ethereal existential offering from Thai revelation, Pen-ek Ratanaruang, who was the subject of a special MIFF spotlight in 2004, effectively serves as an (anti-)sequel to his last film, Last Life in the Universe.
Starring Japanese heartthrob Asano Tadanobu, the plotline follows a furious and guilty hitman who makes a dash for Thailand after inadvertently killing his girlfriend. On arrival, he discovers there's no shaking his problems; in fact, they've now taken on sinister proportions.
Much of the film is given over to comic bliss with the hitman assailed by minor indignities and malfunctioning amenities aboard a ship. Guns do go off and people die but Pen-ek de-emphasises the thrills in favour of his unique brand of existential slapstick. It is also superbly shot by celebrated expat Aussie cinematographer Christopher Doyle (Hero, MIFF 2004).

D Pen-ek Ratanaruang P Wouter Barendrecht, Micheal J. Werner
S Prabda Yoon Dist Accent Films L English, Mandarin, Japanese w/English subtitles TD 35mm/2005/115mins

Pen-ek Ratanaruang was born in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1962. His films include Last Life in the Universe (MIFF 2004), Mon-Rak Transistor (MIFF 2004) and 6ixtynin9 (MIFF 2004).

See also...


Straight to MIFF from Directors' Fortnight at Cannes 2002, Pen-ek Ratanaruang's third feature - following Fun Bar Karaoke (1997) and 6ixtynin9 (MIFF 2000) - is a romantic action musical comedy with ... More »


After losing her job due to downsizing, Tum despairs until a noodle carton chock full of cash is wrongly delivered to her door (a simple but superb visual gag explained in the title). When a pair of ... More »


Visionary director Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Ploy, MIFF 08) returns with another dreamlike journey through Bangkok's criminal underworld. ... When a job goes terribly wrong, cop-turned-hitman Tul suffers a ... More »


6ixtynin9 (Ruang Talok 69) Thailand ... Pen-ek Ratanaruang's second feature is a macabre black comedy that highlights his talents as a filmmaker who can successfully mix genres. Leaving both critics ... More »


Every relationship needs its fantasies; some are more real than others. ... Arriving back in Thailand after a decade abroad, Wit and his wife Dang check in to a five-star hotel downtown. As Dang ... More »


“Oozes a sylvan sensuality.” - Bangkok Post ... Former MIFF guest and Thai revelation Pen-ek Ratanaruang (Invisible Waves, MIFF 06; Ploy, MIFF 08) returns with a moody supernatural drama about a ... More »

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