Review: ‘6ixtynin9’

One of several recent commercial productions signaling new life in the Thai film industry, "6ixtynin9" is an energetic comic thriller that uses the escalating chaos and carnage of a dirty-money scenario to touch on loneliness and alienation in an economically beleaguered society. While the script's broad humor and writer-director Pen-ek Ratanaruang's taste for excess make this overlong but often enjoyable caper unlikely to cross far beyond the local market , some latenight fest and multicultural tube exposure could follow.

One of several recent commercial productions signaling new life in the Thai film industry, “6ixtynin9” is an energetic comic thriller that uses the escalating chaos and carnage of a dirty-money scenario to touch on loneliness and alienation in an economically beleaguered society. While the script’s broad humor and writer-director Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s taste for excess make this overlong but often enjoyable caper unlikely to cross far beyond the local market , some latenight fest and multicultural tube exposure could follow.

After losing her job due to downsizing, Tum (Lalita Panyopas) despairs until a noodle carton bulging with cash is wrongly delivered to her door. When a pair of thugs comes knocking, a scuffle ensues and she almost inadvertently kills them both, setting off a bizarre chain of events. The bodies of leering gangsters and meddling cops pile up as Tum tries to hide the evidence and flee with the cash to London. But the film goes more and more off-kilter, with its jumble of black comedy and bloodshed and its mild-mannered protagonist embroiled in violent crime making it an unsophisticated foray into Coen brothers territory.

6ixtynin9

(THAILAND)

Production

A Five Star production. (International sales: Film Factory, Bangkok.) Produced by Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Executive producer, Charoen Aiempeungporn. Directed, written by Pen-ek Ratanaruang. Camera (color), Chankit Chamnivikaipong; editor, Patamanadda Yukol; art director, Saksiri Chantarangsri; costume designer, Sombasara Theerasaroj. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (competing), Jan. 29, 2000. (Also in Berlin Film Festival --- Forum.) Running time: 111 MIN.

With

With: Lalita Panyopas, Tasanawalai Ongartittichai, Black Phomtong, Sritao, Arun Wannardbodeewong, Sirisin Sirinpornsmathikul, Likit Thongnak.
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