Deliciously twisty and deadpan eccentric, SAMUI SONG is the sort of offbeat marvel only Pen-ek Ratanaruang (MONRAK TRANSISTOR, HIFF 2002; LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, HIFF 2004) could create. The latest from the prolific Thai maestro and Festival favorite fuses crime-movie tropes, sly social commentary, and richly developed characters, resulting in a one-of-a-kind thriller.
Viyada (Chermarn Boonyasak) is a lovely young actor longing to break out of Thailand's soap-opera ghetto — and to break away from her husband, Jerome (French director Stéphane Sednaoui), a wealthy foreigner who has become brainwashed by a charismatic cult leader (Vithaya Pansringarm of ONLY GOD FORGIVES). A chance encounter in a hospital parking garage brings together Viyada and Guy (David Asavanond), a mysterious man with a sick mother. Sensing an opportunity to earn a major windfall, Guy offers to help rid Viyada of Jerome — but the cost may prove far greater than either anticipates.
Violence begets violence and bodies have a nasty way of piling up in SAMUI SONG. Yet the director has a flair for tempering all that blood and menace with pitch-black comedy: watch for the brilliant scene in which a massive phallus gets repurposed as a murder weapon. With Boonyasak's desperate thespian at its center, SAMUI SONG becomes seductively self-reflexive. This is ultimately a story about the roles we seek and, most challenging of all, the roles that are thrust upon us.
— Toronto International Film Festival
Synopsis written by: Toronto International Film Festival