Born Blood

Director: Akarapol Akarasaranee
Year: 2002
Starring: Arnut Rapanit, Buntita Thanwisate
Time: 94 minutes

This one feels like American Grafitti transferred to Bangkok - a nostalgic look back at the early sixties where Dr. No is playing at the local theater, rock and roll is playing on the radio, the men have foot high pompadours and the women are dressed in chiffon and doing their best Jackie Kennedy impressions. The local hangouts are the ice cream parlor and the dance clubs where Elvis is King and it is just a matter of time till the next rumble between rival gangs over women and love. Teenage love is in the air. Much of the film revolves around a love between two teenagers  - between a member from one gang and the sister of a rival gang member. Romeo and Juliet in Bangkok.

There are some nice moments such as a lovelorn girl breaking up her room until she throws the radio and it switches on to La Bamba after which she forgets her rage and just begins to dance to the beat. Itís full of lush colors, great memorabilia and some old rock and roll music. Though this world feels a bit artificial and almost make believe (though people have told me that in the early 60ís Thailand really did go through an Elvis craze), it is clear that the director has a great deal of affection for this period in history and this feels like a sweet little homage to American films that have covered the subject. There is even one scene that is a complete steal from an Elvis film when one boy plays his guitar in a store while his pals shoplift like crazy.

There is a Thai VCD with English subs (apparently the DVD does not), but there is also a VCD without subs so make sure you you get the right one.

My rating for this film: 6.5