While Wong Kar-Wai's 2046 holds the title of "Nictate's Most Anticipated Film of the Summer," the Thai love story Tropical Malady was right up there. Highly ranked on my favorite movie reviewer's site, I knew it had to be worth seeing. Um, not so much.
It's been said a million times before that movie preferences are hella subjective, which is utterly true. But sometimes you see a film that's getting rave reviews and just have to say "Wha-?!" and "What am I missing?" and "What did I miss on TV by watching this crapola?" (Just kidding about that last one. I never think that.)
The one good thing I can say about the film is that it showed me a slice of Thai life I hadn't seen before, but the slice was too thin to make the whole film tasty. The pacing was snail-slow in a bad way (not in the effective way What Time Is It There? used stillness), the story frustrating, the cinematography drab, the "mystical" second-half painfully dragged out. I was bored to the point of nodding off. I was on the edge of my seat late in the film, but only because I needed to empty my bladder during the third act. (While that bit of information may seem in bad taste, it is the set up for a joke to follow.)
Rather than write a detailed diatribe about what I didn't like about the film, I've decided to write counterpoints to press pull quotes listed in the movie's print advertising.
Press quote: "...the best film of the year!"
Counterpoint: "...not even close to the best film of the year--what are you kidding me?"
Press quote: "...seductively hypnotic!"
Counterpoint: "...virtually narcoleptic!"
Press quote: "...poetic!"