on July 10, 2007
I suppose BLISSFULLY YOURS could be summed up as a great film about nothing, or perhaps about life's tiny moments.
Filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul is one of the more interesting filmmakers working now, and though this extraordinary film may not be the best place to start with his work, it does sum up much of what he seems to go after.
Here, as with his other films, there's an interesting contrast between documentary starkness and a slight dreamlike quality, where everything almost seems real, but is just slightly out of synch with the normal intensity one would assume with normal life. The departure from absolute reality is accented here by the two-act structure (also seen in TROPICAL MALADY), with credits appearing 43 minutes into the film for the first time. The explicit fascinations with spontaneous creativity notable in MYSTERIOUS OBJECT AT NOON, and with memory and legend that shaped TROPICAL MALADY are more muted here, but still present: the romances (and joys and angst) depicted here seem drawn from recollections, or from the unconscious ways we work through problems and crises. And - whether seen in myth, or seen in romance - the omnipresence of human creativity is a quiet background force here as well.
A reflective tone is notable here - rather than use minimalism to examine the defects of modern society, Weerasethakul uses a calm and quiet tone to focus on joys taken for granted. I would note that the severe depression seen in one character is an indication that he's well aware of difficulties in the lives of ever-evolving characters, but he also maintains a strong respect for those same characters. So in a way this is a film spotligting those moments of peace we all seek - the variety we too often fail to grasp the significance of when we do find them.
This may be the best-looking of the Weerasethakul films I've seen, with a lush visual sensibility (even in the urban segments, set in and filmed in Khon Kaen) that presents both beauty and a kind of florid mysteriousness in great fashion.
In short, this is a film of grace and power.
on April 23, 2008
Be warned, even though the listing says "uncut", this is the Thai-government-approved censored version of the film. There are about 10 very significant minutes missing. The complete version is on the Strand Releasing DVD. Great movie! See it complete!
on November 26, 2011
I had not seen any of this director's work before, and I approached this film with a frisson of mixed expectations: was it going to be sensual, mysterious, erotic? It was none of those, at least initially. Instead, it seemed to be the simplest of stories told in the simplest of terms, and at a certain point even the story begins to disappear and moments begin to hang there, almost timelessly, and almost independently of each other. The film then takes on the quality of a complex tapestry of unconnected, yet strangely connected, moments, and every thing falls asleep - a symphony of almost unbearable tenderness ends on a whisper. My predominant emotion while watching this film was reverence; I found myself watching almost breathlessly as the camera lovingly explored its simple objects, whether these were flies on food, sun filtered through the leaves of a forest or a woman crying. There are a few shots when people's faces were filmed whilst they were lying down, and I found myself resisting the urge to turn my head sideways to see what the expression on the faces were, finding that I wanted to rather go with the director's view and accept things the way he chose to present them. That trust was amply rewarded, and this film has now stayed with me for weeks, flashing into my mind from time to time, enticing and inviting me to explore the world in the way Weerasethakul does in this astonishing film. As you can see, this film has the power to change one's conception of the world we live in pretty radically. I am sorry that my review is so subjective, but I don't know how else this film can be approached.It is indeed sensual, mysterious and somewhat erotic, but it is above all a visionary exploration of the everyday world that lets the mundane speak for itself in its most intimate and revealing terms. So be prepared to have your heart broken, not by sadness but by the loving and mysterious spell of the ordinary.
While i am not the most sophisticated movie lover, i watch an awful lot of movies including a wide selection of foreign, independent, and "art" movies. This movie was tedious beyond belief. At least twenty minutes is spent with a camera out the window of a car viewing nondescript landscapes. The plot, as it were, has some humorous moments, but it is pointless and is simply dropped about half way through the movie. You might think from the reviews that this would be in the realm of a Terrence Malick film such as The New World or Days of Heaven featuring sublime or dreamlike physical landscapes. You would be wrong. It is like a bad 70's porn film that takes over an hour to get to the silly sex scenes. I'm at a loss to see what anyone would get out of this movie. Based on the rave reviews at Rotten Tomatoes, i invited two friends who love foreign films to watch this with me. After watching it, they told me that i would not be permitted to choose movies for group viewing for at least three months. Unless you are someone with an informed knowledge of and appreciation for Thai cinema, this is not the film for you.