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Seven Something : Seven-Year Itch
  By Sorradithep Supachanya / 26 July 2012
 

 

 

With character-driven stories, rare versatility to traverse genres, and a large, loyal fan base (its Facebook page has more likes than any other Thai brands), Thailands GTH movie studio has become a respectable brand in its own right, in some ways like what Disney and Pixar have achieved.

And to celebrate being seven years old in styleand seven symbolizing a cycle of change in Thai beliefthe studio puts together Seven Something, a self-congratulatory feature, a PR-taglined gift to its fans in the form of a collection of three shorts by three of its leading directors. To top it off, one of the shorts features megastar Nichkhun, the Thai American member of Korean boy band 2PM, in his big screen debut.

With each segment representing a different life stage, 14 Likes, the first short by director Paween Purijitpanya (Body, 4Bia, Phobia 2), tackles the increasingly palpable issue of a teenagers social media obsession. Its youthful story is fittingly complimented by its fast pace, quick editing, and a plethora of social media references that anyone under 30 would recognize. While timely and relevant, it could benefit from a deeper character exploration on identity, recognition, and self esteem. Jirayu La-ongmanee (Phobia 2, SuckSeed) once again proves he has a lot more to offer than his good looks, and Suthatta Udomsilp (Laddaland) shows she can do drama as well as horror.

 

 

21/28, the second short, reunites Adisorn Tresirikasem and Cris Horwang, the director and lead actress of the 2009 local box office megahit Bangkok Traffic Love Story for a mature take on romance, rejection, and redemption between two estranged lovers. The juxtaposition between the two ages adds depth to the characters of the two leads, and leaves a thoughtful message that sometimes an aquarium tank and a movie script would have to do, if an actual island paradise and a filming crew party are no longer available. Sunny Suwanmethanont gives a subtle performance not seen since his debut in Dear Dakanda coincidentally seven years ago.

 

 

42.195, the last short, marks director Jira Maligools return to form since his The Tin Mine, also released domestically seven years ago. The number refers to the length of the marathon in kilometers as well as the approximate age of the main character who takes up running to escape from, and eventually face, a tragic turn of events in her life. Suquan Bulakul, the leading lady, gives a surprisingly rich performance for a first-timer. As for Nichkhun, well, his fans are probably too busy swooning to notice his acting. In fact, adding depths to and perspective of the young runner (Nichkhuns character) could make this segment a strong, standalone feature.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the high anticipation locally, Seven Something struggles to minimize its pretentiousness in its first two shorts, largely fueled by an overload of GTH stars cameos that oftentimes distracts viewers from the films story and message. But its last segment offers an emotionally powerful and surprisingly philosophical conclusion that reassures the audience to focus on the next seven feet in order to get through a tough day. And after all, tomorrow is another day. Poetic and meditative, this last segment saves the film and can make the viewersGTH fans or notleave the cinema satisfied and inspired.

   

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