Nang Nak

"Very Good"

Nang Nak Review


Spend a little time in Thailand, and you'll quickly realize that the Thais are among the most superstitious people on Earth. You'd better make those daily offerings to the monks, and you'd better light that incense... or else.

Or else what? Ghosts, that's what. Thais love a good ghost story, and one of their all-time favorites, Nang Nak, arrives on screen via the talented hand of Nonzee Nimibutr, one of a small group of up-and-coming Thai directors who are making a small splash on the international scene.

Set in lovely and languid 19th-century Siam, Nang Nak is the simple but chilling tale of two gorgeous young newlyweds, Nak (Intira Jaroenpura) and Mak (Winai Kraibutr), who run into some very bad luck. Nak is pregnant and glowing when Mak is called away from their canal-side house on stilts to fight in one of the many wars that Siam always seemed to be fighting to keep out foreign invaders. He's badly injured, and while he recuperates in a monastery, Nak gives birth. Eventually Mak is well enough to paddle his little boat home where he's welcomed once again into Nak's loving embrace. His new son is beautiful. The end.

But wait a sec... there's a small problem: Nak is actually dead. Flashbacks show us that she and the baby died during a particularly gruesome childbirth disaster, and Mak is now living with her lovely ghost. Soon the neighbors are warily approaching Mak and asking to have a word with him, but he won't listen and lashes out violently at anyone who suggests that Nak is a ghost. Nak simply tells him the neighbors don't like her and have been spreading terrible rumors about her. She also starts killing anyone who puts doubts in Mak's mind.

When all the killing starts to get out of hand, the local monks call for a Thai-style exorcism (burn down the house, dig up the body, cut it up, etc.). Maybe Mak will let them do it. Maybe he won't.

Like Ghost, Nang Nak is terribly romantic, positing the theory that true love can't be interrupted by something as insignificant as death. The Buddhist spin, however, is that Nak must move on and be reincarnated. By sticking around, she's putting many people's karma in danger.

Kraibutr and Jaroenpura are elegant and fervent as the doomed young lovers. I'd rather watch them than Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore any day. Director Nimibutr lays on lots of misty atmosphere and spooky thunderstorms. Nang Nak is a fun trip to another place, another time, and another mind set.

Looks alive to me.



Nang Nak

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd July 1999

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Nak, as Mak

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.