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Promise Me Not Makes No Promises About Quality

 

Sorradithep Supachanya                             

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In the light-hearted comedy Promise Me Not, the young couple Pong (Apinant Prasertwattanakul) and Fah (Supawadee Atkanit) swore to love each other for an eternity, only to suffer misfortunes in their subsequent reincarnations when they were reborn as two men in one life and a man and a dog in another. While the makers of this film managed to entertain the audience with plenty of humor and silliness, they seemed to forget to promise an intelligent, coherent plot that explored profound questions surrounding the theme of true love and human relationship.

The main point of the film lies in its concluding scene when a character voice-over offered a word of advice that any two people, if determined to love one another, can overcome all obstacles only if they have faith in their relationship—a promise they can make to each other (a point reinforced by running alongside the credits a pictorial mosaic of couples in which nationality, age, and gender do not seem to matter). However, the film loses this theme of a true love that defies time and place and the plot becomes unconnected, as much of the story delves in too many unnecessary subplots involving scattered-brain witchdoctors performing exorcism, a wrongfully accused blind man and a hard-of-hearing pickpocketer proving their innocence, and a sleep-deprived hypnotist with an attention-deficit disorder. Employing three directors and seven screenwriters certainly did not help keeping the story in line.

In addition, the movie skips many crucial explanations. For example, in the reincarnation whereby the young couple are both males, Mok (Vichai Chongprasithiporn) and Joey (Supoj Chancharoen) are, at one point, outraged to discover that they are soul mates. But five minutes later, the movie shows them making love on the beach, evidently accepting the above-stated fact quite inexplicably. In another reincarnation, Chanchai (Pavarit Mongkolpisit) is visibly shocked, and even disgusted, after learning that his soul mate is the pet dog of his crush. Whether or not the love continues to thrive in this life is never known because the movie omits it entirely.

Anyhow, the movie redeems itself with a good sense of humor throughout the film. My favorite is a cameo appearance by the massage parlor tycoon turned politician Chuwit Kamolvisit as a Thailand ’s future prime minister, who promises everyone husbands and wives (and those who are unsatisfied with theirs can get replacements from the government too).

With all things considered, Promise Me Not is an average comedy to enjoy when you have seen everything else currently playing in the cinema. Do not expect it to stir intellectual discussions about the nature of human relationship or make you fall deeper in love with your partner because, if you do, it will certainly feel like a broken promise.

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