Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (12A)
Starring: Thanapat Saisaymar, Jenjira Pongpas
Friday 19 November 2010
Harry Potter doesn't have a monopoly on impenetrable narratives this week. A Palme d'Or winner at Cannes this year, this low-budget Thai film is a numinous meditation on the afterlife.
We first meet the eponymous uncle on his deathbed in a forest hut; as he slips away, his past lives are played out to serenade him to the other side. His late wife appears as a ghost – "Heaven is overrated", she tells him – while his son resembles a monkey with black fur and red eyes. The writer-director Apichatpong Weerasethakul happily admits that his film operates "like a stream of consciousness", and while some will surrender to its gentle flow of comedy and irony, others will find it merely wishy-washy. All one can say for certain is that Hollywood will not be remaking this in a hurry.
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