Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, April 21, 2008

'Beautiful Boxer' is absolutely beautiful!

You know those movies you come across and keep passing over, because they just don't sound like your cup of tea? I don't know how many times I passed on Beautiful Boxer before I finally said, "What the heck?" and brought it home. And now that I've watched it: Wow.

What a movie... and based on a true story, too!

My foreign movie trip through Asia continues.

Hailing from Thailand, Beautiful Boxer is based on the true story of Parinaya Charoemphol, a woman who used to be a man; more importantly, an internationally known kickboxer.

Engrossing, funny and touching, this movie recounts the life of Parinaya as Nong Toom, an effeminate young man with a dream. Though the original goal of Parinaya's involvement in Thai kickboxing is to provide financially for his parents and siblings, he soon embarks on an emotional (as well as physical) journey to become himself-- a woman. He begins to fight with make-up on, and with this trademark becomes famous, raising eyebrows and cheers.

The real Parinaya Charoemphol with the actor who played her, Asanee Suwan.

This movie is quite simply put, beautiful. It is acceptance of those different from us, and it's about the strength and resiliency of the human spirit. I know that's a cliche way of describing such a story, as every other life story is about the strength and resiliency of the human spirit, but this truly is a movie that has all the components necessary to make an excellent piece of work with such a common theme.

Though it covers transvestitism and a sex change, it is quite tame, and surprisingly innocent. I'd go so far as to say that this is even a family movie with a bit of controlled violence... it's about kickboxing after all. Another positive is that though it is a foreign film from Thailand, the universality of the issue and its comedy is not lost in translation-- maybe we don't get the comedy literally, or the importance of some cultural aspects, but there is little if any lost in translation.

My opinion of this movie is not the only thing that ought to draw you to it. For instance, the actor who played Nong Toom is a Thai professional boxer in real-life (Asanee Suwan), who'd never acted before. Based on his performance, which was superb by all standards, he received the equivalent of an Oscar for Best Actor in Thailand. The movie received several other awards internationally, including Best Film.

If you see only one foreign film, make it Beautiful Boxer.. it is a movie not to be missed.

1 comment:

jed said...

Oh my gosh..its really beautiful movie..the actor was really good enough to act..He's good..the thing that i could get in this movie Be in your self..follow your heart and love your family which is they are the reason why we here in this entirely world..I cried while im wathcing this film..Job well to each in every one..wish you a lot of succes..