Saturday, January 4, 2014

Thai Weirdness: Tears of the Black Tiger

Seriously, how have I NOT reviewed this one yet?  Today's film is Tears of the Black Tiger, a film that defies explanation.  It's a Western, but it was made in Thailand.  It's got a crazy, bright color palette that makes it look like an early Western from the 1950's, but it is also very violent.  It has a sappy, 'love that cannot be' story, but it is also chock full of dead bodies and exploding heads (three that I counted).  It has the look and feel of an all-american film, but it was (again) made in Thailand.  Tears tells the tale of two people that fate keeps apart, but always want to be together.  Things in their lives change- alot!  One of them becomes a rich heiress who's engaged to a guy she doesn't love.  The other- a Cattle Wrangler/Outlaw.  As a side note, it would be progressive to see these roles switched around, wouldn't it?  Regardless, Tears is a neat-looking, neat-feeling film that deserves more than sitting on my shelf for like two years.  You see, I originally watched the film in January 2008 (thanks, Netflix DVD Shipping Activity Log), which is about a month or so before I started the site.  For some reason, I didn't cover it then.  Some time later, I saw the movie on sale at Moviestop and said 'This was good- I should get it.'  It took me until the end of 2013 to go 'I should watch this movie again.  Wait- I never reviewed this?!?'  Let's get that out of the way right now...
The film begins with a lonely woman waiting for a man at their special place.  He's a bit busy though, since...
He has to shoot up a house full of his boss' enemies.  He does a ridiculous trick shot that is so amazing that they actually give you a Replay.  Oh yeah.
The film flips between flashbacks showing the background of our heroes and present day.  It's a bit confusing at first, but it is hard to stay mad at a film with such amazing backdrops.  Ooh ahh pretty.

What was I talking about again?
The childhood interaction between the two ends badly when a fight breaks out (giving Black Tiger his scar) and she is nearly hurt.
They get separated for years and meet again as adults.  Black Tiger tries to pretend like he doesn't recognize her, allowing her to separate from him emotionally.

Yeah, it doesn't work.
Black Tiger's blood brother and fellow Wrangler is just waiting to betray him.  I mean, just look at this face.  Would you trust him?
I won't SPOIL everything here- as the film is much less seen than it should be-, so I will be a bit brief.  It all comes to a head with an attack from the Wranglers on the household of the town's Mayor (and resident Stalin impersonator).
All sorts of shit goes down.  Many people are shot and killed (including a Midget Wrangler).  This guy gets hit with an RPG!
Will Black Tiger and his lady get together?  Will they both die?  Will this film ever use a normal combination of colors on their sets?  To find out, watch the movie.  The End.
I love this kind of weird, wild stuff.  The film takes itself 100% seriously.  That is the key to why it works.  It just tells you that this is the world that these people live in and they never question the gaudy color scheme of it.  If they ever did, the movie would just fall apart.  The intentionally-retro look and feel of it all is a great contrast with the shocking, sudden violence that occurs.  You don't see it coming, even after the first few times.  The bizarre mix of bright colors, harsh violence, retro story and choice of setting leave you constantly-intrigued.  The whole thing is just intriguing.  It definitely holds up for me.  If you think that you've seen every kind of movie out there, you're wrong.  Take us away, woman who seems emotionally-distant at all times- even in her pictures)...
Up next, a wacky comedy about demonic possession from the Writers of Balls of Fury.  It's weird, wild and highly-sacrilegious!  Stay tuned...

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