This Week in Cinẻ Lux: a Thai ghost comedy
Cinẻ Lux is the only surviving cinema in Phnom Penh. While there used to be a handful cinemas in the capital of Cambodia, all of them are closed now, expect for the Lux, a splendid Art Deco building from the late 1930s, that keeps showing films, occasionally even in 35 mm. Most of them are from Thailand, sometimes from Korea, with the occasional local production thrown in. Most of the movies are horror films, the favorite genre of young Khmer movie goers. All the posters, banners etc are in Khmer, so it is often impossible to find out what the movie of the week is if you do not read the language. I am always mystified by the posters, and encourage readers to give me hints on what is on this week at the Cinẻ Lux.
I actually watched this week’s presentation, a Thai ghost film about a good-for-nothing, who gets called back from Bangkok to his home province by his mother who wants him to get married. In order to cleanse himself for the marriage, he has to become a monk in a remote village, where he has to oversee the funeral of an old lady, who keeps coming back as a ghost. The cinema banners are trying to sell it as yet another horror film, but it is really a comedy.
It is not terribly well made, often ackward, but occasionally quite funny (thank god for the English subtitles), and full of Buddhist wisdom about Karma and forgiving. The conflict between the country bumpkins and the would-be monk rehashes the familiar city-province-theme that is such an important issue in Thai cinema.
Petchtai Wongkamlao has a bit part as a police inspector, but apart from that I cannot figure out what film I saw. It does not seem to be in the Internet Movie Database. Any clues anyone?