Pen Choo Kab Pee (The Unseeable) (Wisit Sasanatieng, 2006)
Wisit Sasanatieng, according to the Netflix description for Pen Choo Kab Pee, is one of Thailand’s foremost directors. I was kind of skeptical when I dialed this one up (I didn’t connect him with the lovely Tears of the Black Tiger until just now when I looked him up on IMDB in preparation for writing this review), and I knew very little about it; I came out of it somewhat stunned. You have seen this plot before, I can almost guarantee it, but Sasanatieng does it up so stylishly, and with such heart, that some very well-trod ground feels fresh, new, and above all exciting. This is what a love story should be.
Plot: Nualjan (Where the Miracle Happens‘ Siraphan Wattanajinda) is pregnant and left in the lurch; her boyfriend Chob said he was off to Bangkok on business for a few days, but never returned. Nualjan leaves her small rural village in search of him. In her condition, however, she moves slowly and must stop to rest often. One of those stops is at a hostel in the middle of nowhere. The super, Ms. Somjit (The Coffin‘s Tassawan Seneewongse), is reluctant to let a soon-to-be unwed mother stay there, but she allows it on the condition that Nualjan stay away from the main house, the home of Madame Ranjuan (Suporntip Chuangrangsri in her only, to date, screen appearance), who has not been seen in public for some time now. Nualjan finds herself quickly bonding with another guest at the hostel, Choy (uncredited on IMDB, unfortunately, and the credits in the film are not subtitled). She soon starts wondering how it is that so many people at the inn know so much about her…
Yeah, it’s been done, and when you get to the Big Twist, you will probably have seen it coming for at least half the movie. That doesn’t matter one little bit, because this one is all about the journey. Kongkiat Khomsiri’s script is so well-paced and gorgeous that I find it hard to believe this is the same guy who wrote Art of the Devil II; my guess is that Sasanatieng, who got his start in the business as a screenwriter (working with his pal Nonzee Nimibutr, whose name you may know from Three…Extremes II), had, shall we say, a strong hand between the original draft and the finished product. I was thoroughly enchanted with this movie, and recommend it highly; check it out at your earliest opportunity. ****