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The Bedside Detective
  By Sorradithep Supachanya / 15 September 2007
   
 

 

Expectations run high for Komkrit Trivimol, a 34-year-old director with an impressive track record. His previous efforts My Girl in 2003 and Dear Dakanda in 2005 scored massive commercial successes, won numerous critical praises, and arguably reshaped Thailands popular culture. Unsurprisingly, the audience eagerly waits for his next gem.

But in his latest romantic comedy The Bedside Detective, Komkirt concentrates far more on humor than on substance. With a weak and illogical plot, one-dimensional characters who serve no practical purposes to the story, and an unbalanced mix of amateur and over-the-top acting, this movie is so lightweight and generic that it may be put in the same category as those substandard slapstick comedies currently plaguing Thai cinema. This clearly is not a good sign.

The Bedside Detective tells a story about Jock (Sunny Suwanmethanont from Dear Dakanda), a geeky gadget inventor turned private investigator who specializes in spying on cheating husbands and wives. His latest targeta wide-eyed mistress named Nampan (newcomer Patarasaya Kruasuwansiri)proves too attractive for him and he puts his life and career in jeopardy in the name of love.

Does he really love her? The plot fails to explain. Jock and Nampans simple detective (mis)adventure together seems conveniently sufficient to make Nampan forget the fact about Jock being paid to ruin her life and agree to visit his house, drink some beers, play an origami game, and stay over for the night. The story also gets messier with an introduction of a high-tech private detective who blackmails Nampan, which steers the movie from an intimate romance between two misfits to a Mission Impossible spoof with Jock and his sidekicks stealing the explicit video clips and escaping capture

 

The movie also reveals no inner feelings of and between Jock and Nampan. It shows in an early bar scene that Jock falls for Nampans angelic good looks but adds no further dimensions to it (after all, he probably has seen many beautiful and sexy mistresses in his line of work but why is Nampan special?). Moreover, it seems illogical for a promiscuous girl like Nampan who dates rich married men for easy money (to be used for an overly simplistic reason) to fall for a poor man like Jock and even care enough about him to repent her sin.

The rest of the movies cast is also sadly one-dimensional. Jocks chubby apprentice Jack (Chalermpol Tithampornteerawong from My Girl) rarely helps with the detective work but spends most of his screen time picking verbal fights with his karaoke-crooning neighbor Ruthai (Panisara Pimpru from Dear Dakanda). The debt-collecting trio (led by Adisorn Trisirikasem, Komkrits good friend and My Girl co-director) only provides comic relieves rather than serves practical purposes to the plot, although admittedly I find this trios troubles with the gecko and mishaps with the car key in the movies climax scene refreshingly hilarious.

Actually, the entire supporting cast succeeds in commanding laughter from the audience with their over-the-top comedic acting. Sunny puts in a good effort playing a charming geek. Only Patarasaya has the most difficulties portraying her character. In the scene in which Nampan discovers the truth about Jock, she must have experience a shock, an anger, and a sense of betrayal. But, the newcomer delivers none of these feelings and her face looks as blank as if nothing has happened.

Of course, this lightweight romantic comedy may entertain those in the audience who look for nothing more than two hours of humor and fun. But for fans of Komkrit Trivimol and others who desire more substantive films, The Bedside Detective will disappoint. Lets hope that this movie is only a temporary detour for the director.

 

   
   

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