Review: ‘Kling Wai Kon Por Sorn Wai’

This "Thai Graffiti" follows a group of high school students more interested in adolescent high jinks than academic achievement. Swiftly paced and cleverly mounted, the frothy comedy has surprisingly universal appeal, although it's far too frank for its logical audience.

This “Thai Graffiti” follows a group of high school students more interested in adolescent high jinks than academic achievement. Swiftly paced and cleverly mounted, the frothy comedy has surprisingly universal appeal, although it’s far too frank for its logical audience.

Khan (Mos Patipan) is the acknowledged ringleader of a middle-class gang calling itself the Rolling Stones. Forever pulling gags and impressing or bullying the younger kids, Khan and Co. are in for rude surprises as graduation approaches, and they’re more or less told to shape up or expect to be pulling guard duty on the Cambodian border.

Eventually, the boys do the rite-of-passage thing and learn to conform and have fun, in the time-honored TV afterschool special tradition. But helmer Somching Srisupap, still in his 20s, has a blast showing their confusion along the way. Even if the slapstick action is frequently over-orchestrated, he’s particularly adept at building sequences of cleverly contrasted widescreen close-ups interspersed with moody breathing spaces and pop-culture sendups familiar to teens everywhere.

In fact, the colorful coming-of-age pic would play well in Western schools — if the script wasn’t so scatological: The lads break up a school meeting by breaking wind in unison, and they’re more likely to watch “Debbie Does It All” on dad’s VCR than hit the books.

Fortunately, the un-p.c. undertone makes a quirky counterpoint to the upbeat ending, at a talent night in which everybody overcomes their hang-ups in one fell swoop — and the girls learn to rock. Enjoyable and remarkably polished, it’s nicely acted, even if no one stands out.

Pic’s mildly head-scratching title — surely the result of the same semi-translation that plagues its subtitles — is a hint of the quizzical reception it will receive from educators and fest programmers.

Kling Wai Kon Por Sorn Wai

(THAI)

Production

A Tai Entertainment Co. (Bangkok) production. Produced by Visute Poolvoralux. Directed by Somching Srisupap. Written by Chaninthon Prasertprasat.

Crew

Camera (color), Arnuparp Buajan; editor, Sunit Asvinikul; music, Jingel Bell Co. Reviewed on vidcassette at the Hawaii Intl. Film Festival, Nov. 12, 1993. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

With: Mos Patipan, Saksit Tangtong, Nutsima Kooptawatin, Vitid Ladd, Teerawat Aranyanag, Saksil Suwanket, Pramot Sangsorn, Sagaewal Yongjaiyoot.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading