×

The Letter

Love is eternal, or at least feels that way, in "The Letter," a slow-moving, glossy Thai remake of a 1997 South Korean meller that doesn't just tug on the heartstrings but uses them to drop anchor in a sea of schmaltz. Although a major hit on local release in June, it's unlikely to get delivered to many non-Asian territories.

With:
With: Anne Thongprasom, Attaporn Teemakorn, Supichaya Julwattana, Rewat Promhrak, Ronnaroung Booranat, Noppakao Utaisri, Pranee Wantaya, Srijai Puttarach, Prasert Indhira, Wallope Sangjoi, Buatong Kaewfan, Gamthon Wongkieatrat, Yupa Kaiyasit, Tianshai Saiwaphon.

Love is eternal, or at least feels that way, in “The Letter,” a slow-moving, glossy Thai remake of a 1997 South Korean meller that doesn’t just tug on the heartstrings but uses them to drop anchor in a sea of schmaltz. Instead of building dramatic tension or achieving urgency, pic plods along to its predetermined “Love Story” destination. Although “Letter” was a major hit on local release in June and may create some pan-Asian interest because of the stamp of the successful original, it’s unlikely to get delivered to many non-Asian territories.

Bangkok professional cyber-chick Dew (Anne Thongprasom) inherits an old house on the outskirts of Chiang Mai, in the north of Thailand. A bus ticket mix-up results in Dew and her horny friend, Kate (Supichaya Julwattana), being protected by a local gardener, Ton (Attaporn Teemakorn). Dew and Ton fall for each other, and, when Kate is killed, Dew is drawn to the arms of Ton and the idyllic, no-tech life he offers.

Minor conflict ensues, but marriage is inevitable, as is a sudden sickness. Title refers to an antique love letter found by Ton, as well as underlining his sadness at the impermanence of cyber technology as a form of romantic correspondence.

Debuting director Phaoon Chandrasiri uses her experience helming TV drama series to good effect. All thesps give warm and endearing perfs, although none can escape the general tedium that envelopes the film. Apart from the repetitive score, tech credits are generally of a high standard, and cinematography by Naruphol Chokanapitak is impeccable.

Pic was the final project of influential Thai producer Duangkamol Limcharoen (“The Overture,” “Last Life in the Universe,” “Monrak Transistor”), who died of cancer last December, prior to film’s completion.

The Letter

Thailand

Production: A Sahamongkol Film Intl., Film Hanza, Cinemasia production. (International sales: Golden Network Asia, Hong Kong.) Produced by Duangkamol Limcharoen, Nonzee Nimibutr. Executive producers, Nimibutr, Somsak Techaratanaprasert. Directed by Phaoon Chandrasiri. Screenplay by Kongdej Jaturanrasmee, based on the South Korean film "The Letter."

Crew: Camera (color), Naruphol Chokanapitak; editor, P.D. Yukol; music, Boyd Kosiyabong, Chatchai Pongprapaphan; production designer, Ek Iemchuen; sound (Dolby Digital), Suraprom Pinyosub; casting Phalathon Siraksa. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (A Window on Asian Cinema), Oct. 13, 2004. Running time: 109 MIN.

With: With: Anne Thongprasom, Attaporn Teemakorn, Supichaya Julwattana, Rewat Promhrak, Ronnaroung Booranat, Noppakao Utaisri, Pranee Wantaya, Srijai Puttarach, Prasert Indhira, Wallope Sangjoi, Buatong Kaewfan, Gamthon Wongkieatrat, Yupa Kaiyasit, Tianshai Saiwaphon.

More Film

  • Spirit Awards Showcase Oscar Players and

    Spirit Awards Showcase Oscar Players and Also-Rans, With Heavy Hitters on Deck

    Five of the last eight best feature winners at the annual Film Independent Spirit Awards have gone on to win best picture at the Oscars, including a four-year streak from 2013-2016. It was a steadily evolving status quo that led former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences governor Bill Mechanic to question his organization’s [...]

  • Bo Burnham34th Film Independent Spirit Awards,

    Bo Burnham Wants 'Eighth Grade' Star Elsie Fisher to Direct Him

    Bo Burnham won his third award in three weeks for “Eighth Grade” at the Spirit Awards and said he wants the film’s 15-year-old Elsie Fisher to direct him. “I’d love to work with Elsie again,” Burnham said backstage after winning the Best First Screenplay trophy.  “She wants to direct so I’d love to switch roles [...]

  • Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive

    Nicole Holofcener: 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' Director Was Cheated Out of an Oscar Nomination

    “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” screenwriter Nicole Holofcener offered a blunt assessment of the lack of Academy Awards recognition for director Marielle Heller, and women directors everywhere. “I feel Marielle was cheated and I feel badly about that,” Holofcener said backstage after winning a Spirit Award for screenplay with Jeff Whitty. Holofcener was originally attached [...]

  • Stephan James as Fonny and Brian

    2019 Indie Spirit Awards Winners: Complete List

    The 2019 Independent Spirit Awards took place on a beach in Santa Monica, Calif., with Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” taking the top prize for best feature along with best director for Jenkins. Ethan Hawke and Glenn Close took the prizes for best male lead and best female lead, respectively. Bo Burnham took [...]

  • Oscars Oscar Academy Awards Placeholder

    Hated It! How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Gripe About the Oscars

    Watching the Academy Awards telecast, then grousing about it the next day, has become a hipster parlor game — it’s what the Complete Oscar Experience now is. The complaints are legion, and we all know what they are, because we’ve all made them. The show was too long. The host bombed. His or her opening [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content