สนับสนุนโดย สำนักงานศิลปวัฒนธรรมร่วมสมัย กระทรวงวัฒนธรรม Supported by Office of Contemporary Art And Culture ,Ministry Of Culture

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Greed Is the Word: Ong Bak 3 Preaches Love, Not War; Forgiveness, Not Revenge

  Sorradithep Supachanya /
   
 

Maybe its the current political climate. Maybe its intended in the original script. Unlike its predecessors whose premises rest upon non-stop fighting, blood, and gore, Ong Bak 3 shows us that violence solves nothing, that revenge breeds more hatred, and that peace begins with an act of forgiveness. Some will regard this departure as a refreshing take on a genre so stereotypical, so sanitized of relevant messages. But others will find this movie a big disappointment.

Ong Bak 3 attempts to be a different kind of martial arts movies. It trades fight scenes for dialogues on the Buddhist philosophy of karma and the cycle of life. Its Muay Thai fighting style, invented by Tony Jaa, the movies leading man, reflects this subdued, composed tone. As a result, fighting in Ong Bak 3 is less violent, less grandiose than in other Jaas features but focuses on showcasing the raw beauty of a human body and its graceful movements. The waterfalls scene, for example, is Jaas physical monologue of part ballet, part meditational poses, part Thai traditional palace dances. This is certainly unlike anything that has preceded it.

With far fewer fights and less death-defying stunts, the movie risks alienating its target audience of action movie fans who only look for two hours of pure gladiatorial entertainment, not non-violence evangelism. Filling the screen time with unnecessary slow motions and unimportant subplot deviations and having a weak storyline, plaguing plot holes, and underutilized characters also do not help winning viewers over.


 

Ong Bak 3 picks up where part 2 has left off. Tien (Tony Jaa), who was orphaned in a mutiny, was captured by his parents murderer as he was raiding his palace to avenge their deaths. Rescued by an anonymous hero, he recuperates in a small village where he finds love and enlightenment. Meanwhile, his parents' murderer faces his own mutiny by his top bodyguard (played by another martial arts star Dan Chupong), and the new king intends on eliminating all threats including Tien.

Unfortunately the final showdown is too sedated, too anti-climatic for its setup. But all in all everything nicely leads back to the Buddhist philosophy and the symbolic Buddha statue that comes to be the stolen object in the first Ong Bak installation set a few centuries afterward (perhaps Tien is Ong Baks protagonist several reincarnations later). Again, this may or may not be in the minds of the trilogys screenwriters originally, but the attempt at being different and relevant is applauded.


   
   

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