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TROPICAL MALADY/SUD PRALAD

118 MINUTES|BRATTLE

The setting of Apichatpong Weerasethakulís bewitching dream piece is Thailand, but its mood is otherworldly. Told in a series of unassuming vignettes, the first half illustrates a love story between a soldier and a shy boy in interstitial portraits: eating rice in an empty restaurant, waiting for the bus, buying shoes. These are the snippets of life that Hollywood cuts from its seamless narratives, but with them Weerasethakul defines falling in love as acceleration while standing still. Rich soundscapes and urban rhythms give way in the second half to a sparse fable about a soldier searching for a ghost tiger in the jungle. Is this supposed to be the same soldier from before? Itís uncertain. Weerasethaskul challenges the viewer to unite the disparate halves with another logic. Mobility is the filmís running theme: whereas the love story hops from place to place in rickety trucks and with abrupt cuts, the tiger myth investigates the possibility of spiritual wandering and homecoming.

BY MATTIAS FREY

Issue Date: October 7 - 13, 2005
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