Review: ‘Mindfulness and Murder’

Buddhist murder mystery "Mindfulness and Murder" is a visually lush curiosity that blends an Agatha Christie-like structure with luxurious visuals, but at a pace so languid, it fails to excite the senses.

Buddhist murder mystery “Mindfulness and Murder” is a visually lush curiosity that blends an Agatha Christie-like structure with luxurious visuals, but at a pace so languid, it fails to excite the senses. The directorial bow of Thai-born, English-educated producer Tom Waller (“Soi Cowboy”), the pic received a lackluster response from Thai auds on its April release, and is more likely to appeal to the Asia curious and Buddha-philes. Fest play is possible, but international prospects are limited.

When a homeless youth’s corpse turns up at Bangkok’s Manahat temple and police do nothing, ex-cop turned Buddhist monk Father Ananda (co-writer, Vithaya Pansringarm) decides to head the investigation — only to discover that many of his fellow monks are less holy-than-thou. Helmer glides on to his subjects like a predatory photographer and overdoes the slo-mo, but his direction is not charmless. Story, taken from a pulp series by Thai-residing American Nick Wilgus, has an appealing whodunit structure, but an abrupt denouement has the feel of a book slammed shut. Pansringarm is an assuring lead, but supporting perfs vary. HD lensing is postcard-exquisite, and Olivier Liboutry’s seductive score enhances the atmosphere.

Mindfulness and Murder

Thailand

Production

An M Pictures release of a Tiger Entertainment presentation of a De Warrenne Pictures production. (International sales: De Warrenne Pictures, Bangkok) Produced by Michael Pritchett, Tom Waller. Co-producers, Andrew Harrison. Directed by Tom Waller. Screenplay, Vithaya Pansringarm, Waller, Nick Wilgus, based on the book by Wilgus.

Crew

Camera (color), Wade Muller; editor, Sawit Prasertphan; music, Olivier Liboutry; production designer, Pongnarin Jonghawklang; art director, Siritiorn Nimongkol. Reviewed on DVD, Sydney, May 5, 2011. (In Udine Far East Film Festival.) Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Vithaya Pansringarm, Abhijati Jusakul, Prinya Intachai, Kitsada Hongsakrai, Sunon Wachirawarakarn, Chaiwat Sadindum, Pakapong Sangkasi, Jaran Petcharoen.

Filed Under:

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