Scene4 Magazine — International Magazine of Arts and Media
Scene4 Magazine-inSight

november 2008

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by Janine Yasovant

คลิกเพื่ออ่านบทความนี้ เป็นภาษาไทย

It was not so usual that the Thai film “Queens of Langkasuka” got premiere release in 16-27 May at the 60th film festival in Cannes before the press release in Thailand was held. The film's producer, Mr. Somsak Taecharattanaprasert, the chair person of Sahamonkol film, saw the potential in this film and wanted to present it internationally right from the beginning. The audience there said that a lot of people saw the film and they were quite impressed. This film captured the somewhat mysterious history of an ancient empire, called “Langkasuka.”   

I thought that the foreground and the background portrayal of Queens of Langkasuka was quite spectacular. This action film is based on the actual historical facts but mixed with some fantasy content. It begins with three queens of Langkasuka, who sacrificed their happiness for their beloved land, contrasted with the lifestyles of people in fishing villages and pirates who menaced them.

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This was the first time that Wint Leawwarin, the famous SEA-write writer of Thailand, wrote a movie script.

By the way, the imagination of the writer would be only on paper if not for  the Thai scene designer, Eak Eamchuen. This time he worked with Nonzee again. Eak was responsible for the scene creation, weaponry, costumes and most of the historical props. Everything was  researched in-depth and carefully prepared through every step of production, which was amazingly realistic.         

 “This project could not be done without Wint and Eak. For Eak, I worked with him all the time, exchanging ideas, discussing and even quarrelling about what were we going to do next. Eak was important for preparation as well as the actual scene work. After that we went to meet and talk with Wint Leawwarin. I was very grateful that he wrote the movie script for us.” Nonzee said.

This speech at the press conference of Nonzee many days ago confirmed to us the importance of Wint Leawwarin and Eak Eamchuen. Eak worked with Nonzee in many movies such as Dang Bireley and the Young Gangsters(1997) Nang-Nak (1999)Jan Dara (2001) and Baytong (2003). I thought it might be strange if Eak didn’t join the team. As for the reason why Wint joined the team, I thought no one could answer this question as well as him:             

“This project was very challenging. I preferred to do something challenging and strange. We talked about making a movie about pirates in fantasy theme. Tried to anticipate and interpret the questions. We researched back about 400-500 years. At that time, queens ruled the southern empire, which was extremely interesting. At the same time, colonization by the English took place and Japanese traveled to the south. I thought that the actual Doo Lam technique was superb then I expanded the abilities of this technique in the script. Concept and story based on fighting between good and evil in human beings.” Wint said.

On the other side, "star" actors and actresses were important for Thai movie history. Great actors were working together with famous young actors. The actress Jarunee Suksawat came back to film again, the protagonist Ananda Everingham who made many movies in the past few years as well as martial arts actor “Diao” Choophong Changprung.

Many people talked about other actors who used to work with Nonzee such as Jessadapon Pholdee, Suphakorn Kijsuwan, Atthapon Thimakorn, Chaichai Ngamsan. Winai Kraibut and Suwinit Panjamawat. Thus Queens of Langkasuka was like the reunion party for them.   

Synopsis

Four centuries ago, Raya Bahadoo Shah, the king of Langkasuka Empire, was murdered and he had no son to take over the throne. The royal family had no choice and appointed the Princess Heechao, the eldest of the three sisters, to be the first female queen of Langkasuka. Although Queen Heechao ruled the land carefullyl, greedy neighboring countries, rebellions and pirates intended to conquer this wealthy and prosperous land.

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Then Yanis Bree, the Dutch weapon master, traveled with his apprentice Limkiem to bring the best and largest cannon “Mahapuenyai” to Queen Heechao to deend her kngdom. Unfortunately, pirates, who were led by the Prince Rawai and the Black Crow, the fearsome pirate who the possessed mystical art called “Doo Lam”, ambushed and attacked the ship of Yanis Bree. The Dutch ship exploded and the gigantic cannon sank under sea but Limkiem was the one who survived from that explosion.

Paree, a young ordinary man from a fishing village, had the skill to train advanced Doo Lam. He grew up and kept the desire for revenge for his parents who were killed by the Black Crow. He stayed with Limkiem who continued as an inventor in the fishing village and they developed many weapons and inventions to fight against pirates.

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Although Langkasuka has the skillful and loyal warrior Yarang, Queen Heechao must arrange marriage her youngest sister Princess Oongu with Prince Pahang from an allied country to increase her military strength. Yarang fell in love with the Princess Biroo but he cannot express his feelings to her.

As the battle of many factions began, fate brought Paree to meet the Princess Oongu and later they flee to a deserted island to heal the wounds. There he trained in the advanced Doo Lam from White Kraben, the master of Doo Lam. Paree found out that Doo Lam was so powerful and dangerous if it was used in the wrong way. Not many practitionersd can control this power. Meanwhile, Limkiem was captured and kept as a hostage by the pirates and forced to make cannons to destroy Langkasuka. Later the pirates successfully retrieved the sunken cannon, Mahapuenyai, from the sea.

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The Langkasuka Empire was at a disadvantage and nearly fell. It is up to the brave warrior Yarang, the cleverness of Limkiem, the sacrifice of the brave Princess Oongu as well as the mystical force Doo Lam from Paree to save the country from the pirates.

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Click Here for this article in Thai 
คลิกเพื่ออ่านบทความนี้ เป็นภาษาไทย

©2008 Janine Yasovant
©2008 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Scene4 Magazine: Janine Yasovant
Janine Yasovant is a writer in Chiang Mai, Thailand
and a writer for Scene4.

For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives

 

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