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Review: Re-cycle by Oxide and Danny Pang

 

Anchalee Chaiworaporn / TCN (Thaicinema.org News)

  All rights reserved / 3 June 2006
  Translated by Sorradithep Supachanya.
 

 

As a disclaimer, the following review of Re-cycle by Oxide and Danny Pang assesses only the first 90 minutes of the total 112 minutes. This was by no means a result of a walkout; I needed to catch a train to Rome for my trip back to Thailand .

Actually, I had not anticipated a great film but only a good ghost story similar to Pulse by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, which screened at Cannes in 2001.

Then, I changed my mind when finding out that the film was selected to close the Un Certain Regard competition this year. There must be something special about it.

Spending 90 minutes with Re-cycle, I discovered that Oxide and Danny Pang had greatly improved their work beyond their editing expertise. The films cinematography, art direction, score, and camera angles showed meticulous efforts.

Re-cycle opens with a Hong Kong writer Ting-yin (Angelica Lee) conversing with a publishing house manager about her new novel entitled Re-cycle, which departs from her previous romantic stories (in a flashback scene, Ting-yin admits that she has based her earlier romance work on her life but declares that her lover has been dead. Yet, a man (played by Thai actor Jay Jetrin Wattanasin) shortly walks up to her and tells her that he has divorced from his wife and now wants her back).

While Ting-yin is writing Re-cycle, she starts suffering terrible visions, hearing weird phone calls, and seeing mysterious shadows. This initially fuels creativity for new novel but Ting-yin eventually disappears into her novels world of discarded trash and dead souls, who many times tried to kill her. She would have died if not for the help of a little girl. I watched the film up until the part when the little girl brings Ting-yin to the Transit, which acts as the passage to reality.

Will Ting-yin make it? I am as eager as you to find out.

Re-cycle showcases the Pang brothers effort to intensify the emotions of both the viewers and the characters, such as the use of close up shots and quick editing during the press conference scene. However, the special effect kicks in once the story reaches the spirit world.

 

 

Throughout the movie, I was constantly at the edge of my seat. If there were weak points, they must be the parts when Ting-yin repeatedly encounters a variety of ghosts while searching for the Transit to reality, or the overexciting score which annoys more than helps.

The strongest point of the film happens to be its cinematography and art direction by Decha Srimantra and another Thai crew member (could not catch his name in time).

Actually, I almost regarded Re-cycle as a Hong Kong film not a Thailand-Hong Kong collaboration because the entire cast spoke Cantonese (Jay Jetrins dialogue was dubbed in Cantonese). But, the film has a substantial Thai production, including cinematographer, art director, music director ( Payont Permsith), and a number of producers. I think Ill keep it Thailand-Hong Kong collaboration.

This film shows that these brothers have a bright future in Hollywood . Watching Re-cycle reminds me of a well-produced Hollywood film.

Regardless, the plot lacks depth and it takes both great story and great style to make a kick-ass film.

I give two and a half stars for Re-cycle.

 

(Thanks Sorradithep. I am too lazy to do any writings after 5-week trips, and actually in one-week break before the start of another trip. Luckily, Sorradithep decided to do the translation.)

 

 

All rights reserved

 

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