A slow-moving and lethargic tale, Uncle Boonmee sticks in the mind but it's a challenging watch and hardly a film that you'll feel compelled to recommend to anyone who isn't a bona fide cinephile. Weerasethakul's spiritual meditation on reincarnation is shot in a detached manner, with his camera keeping its distance from events. The eyes, cited as the window to the soul, never get close enough to the lens to connect with the audience through the cinema screen. A shame then, because Thanapat Saisaymar's pathos and silent dignity can only be viewed from afar.
There are instances when Weerasethakul strikes real emotional chords amid his surrealism. Boonme's trek through the jungle to die in the spot where his first life began is genuinely affecting, so too is a past-life sequence where the princess is spurned by a servant... that is until she meets a talking catfish, swims into a lake with it then opens her legs to the creature in an unforgettably bonkers moment. Uncle Boonmee is a work that's wordless for long stretches, enigmatic for its duration and, like Film Socialisme, feels a lot like moving gallery art. Unlike Godard's latest though, story and character give Boonme proper cinematic pedigree.
Leave your comments on this entry below!