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Movie Review: Legend of Suriyothai

Story: Who? This is the meandering 16th century saga of a Thai (actually it was Siam back when this legend all happened) Princess/Queen. The film was so long that I expected Yul Brynner to come in towards the end as the 19th century King of Siam asking that wonderful question Shall We Dance?

There's lots of palace intrigue including beheadings, consorting, betrayals, poisonings, assassinations and war with neighboring Burma (Myanmar) which certainly satisfies the definition of a saga but alas, it did not have any pizzazz. It reminded me of the type of stuff one sees one the History Channel - without the commercials. There were huge amounts of time when the legend, Suriyothai was not even seen nor heard. I forgot that she was supposed to be the protagonist. I am sure that can't be what the director had in mind.

Director Chatri Chalerm Yukol tries desperately to depict the beauty and valor of his countryman but his storytelling needs lots of work. Yukel's long time friend Francis Ford Coppola produced and edited this film.

Acting: Terrible.

Predilection: I like Thai food.

Critters: Horses and lots and lots of elephants. The term white elephant comes from Thailand and if you might be interested in the history of that expression check out this website. The Royal White Elephants


Food: Tea.

Visual Art: The sets and costumes were ornament visual delights.

Blatant Product Placement: None.

Soundtrack: Lots of fanfare, trumpets and pomp.

Opening Titles: Glitzy

Theater Audience: There were just five people in the theater. The best thing about the film was the theater's air conditioning which was a temporary relief from the sweltering heat that NYC is enduring.

Squirm Scale: Lots of beheadings, swords, penetrating knives and a few deaths of innocent children.

Predictability Level: Who cared?

Oscar Worthy: No.

Nit Picking: Too many nits to pick for this one.

Big Screen or Rental: Neither. Rent The King and I and whistle a happier tune.

Length: Two hours and 20 minutes -- thanks go to Coppola since it has been edited from the original eight hours. Yikes!