Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – Invisible Waves (2006)




Bad karma does a slow fade, but gives the occasional wink, in “Invisible Waves,” Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s highly anticipated followup to “Last Life in the Universe.” Thai helmer, Japanese heartthrob Asano Tadanobu and Oz lenser Christopher Doyle form a pleasing combination of malevolence supported by dry wit. English-lingo limitations of the thesps will hamper sales in some territories, but the pic should go gangbusters throughout Asia and on the festival circuit.

In film noir tradition, the pic opens with Macau-residing Japanese assassin-cum-chef Kyoji (Asano Tadanobu) holding a man at gunpoint. Seiko (Tomono Kuga), the Japanese wife of Kyoji’s boss, arrives at Kyoji’s apartment to continue their steamy affair. Instead, Kyoji poisons her dinner. The next day, the newly widowed Wiwat (Toon Hiranyasup) has closed the up-market Hong Kong restaurant in which Kyoji works his day job. Continue reading

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang – Headshot (2011)


Plot / Synopsis

Tul is about to see his world turned upside down. When we first meet him, he’s been sent a package of photos and data, which he examines and then promptly puts through the shredder. He shaves his head, dons a monk’s robes, and walks onto the gated estate belonging to the man in the photos. Tul then takes a pistol and fires a bullet into the man’s neck. More shots are fired, one of them hitting Tul in the head. Everything turns black. When Tul wakes up three months later, all that he sees is inverted. Is it some bizarre brain injury, or some form of karmic retribution? In the disorienting world of Headshot, such questions linger, and draw us closer to its violence and mystery. Continue reading