One of the few examples of Thai cinema at Berlinale this year was Ratanaruang’s Headshot. Based on a complex novel, the film centres around the actions of unpredictable hitman Tul, whose grasp on right or wrong is distorted when his life, and quite literally his sight, are turned upside down.
In a Q&A after the screening, Ratanaruang forthrightly mentioned that the film draws on a mishmash of influences, from the golden age of American film noir stylings, Italian neo-realism and the wry Thai wit of his contemporaries. Although an ambitious film, the interesting components never fully gel together, making the film feel a bit flabby and more suitable for a test screening rather than Worldwide premiere. Nice bits overall, but not really worth the festival accreditation price (a looming factor of this year’s festival that would become increasingly more apparent…more to follow).
THE GOOD: Slick but bloody action sequences.
THE BAD: Leading man and wet blanket Jayanama Nopachi is nowhere near enough of a bad ass as this role requires.