All movie fans, cinephiles, and cinema aficionados are welcome. If you’re looking for a thorough guide of the best Thai films of all time, you’ve come to the right place.
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1. Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior
A Muay Thai fight is staged every day in a ring across Thailand, making it the country’s most popular sport. As the ‘Art of Eight Limbs’, it is a style of combat that uses a fighter’s entire body, including their elbows and knees, as fatal weapons.
Muay Thai Warrior, a 2003 martial arts film, is widely regarded as the first film to accurately depict a real-life Muay Thai fight. Ong-Back: The Thai Warrior opened to rave reviews in cinemas across the United States.
The action-packed martial arts film was directed by Thai director Prachya Pinkaew, who went on to direct a second and third prequel due to the first film’s success. Mexico, Canada, Italy, India, and Australia were among the nations where the picture was released. In all three films, Tony Jaa was the major attraction, as he appeared in every scene.
2. Tropical Malady
Tropical Malady, a 2004 Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize winner, is one of the best Thai films of all time. One of Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s many films and shorts, this beautiful and thrilling Thai folk film appears to be his most notable work to date.
Despite the fact that Tropical Malady appeared to be a huge hit, it received a mixed response from critics. A few audience members really walked out of the 2004 Cannes screening of the film before the end.
Tropical Malady was panned by the likes of the Hollywood Reporter, yet many still considered it one of the greatest of the year. At the So Paulo International Film Festival in 2004, it was awarded the Critics Award, and at the Indianapolis International Film Festival in 2005, it got the Special Jury Prize for Directing.
You won’t want to watch Shutter on your alone. In the wake of a vehicle accident, a young Thai couple becomes embroiled in this suspenseful drama from 2004. When Jane (Natthaweeranuch Thongmee) goes out drinking with friends, she runs over a woman and then drives away, leaving her for dead. Jane and her lover Tun (Ananda Everingham) find themselves caught up in a peculiar series of occurrences, one of which is a series of unusual images emerging in Tun’s processed photographs.
After its premiere in the early 2000s, the mystery film became a huge hit. It was nominated for the 2005 Golden Kinnaree Award for best film at the Bangkok International Film Festival, where it was also recognized and honored in a number of smaller international film festivals.
In Thailand, Prachya Pinkaew couldn’t get enough action, so he made another martial arts picture, Chocolate, which is one of the country’s greatest. Ong Bak is also shown in one scene of the 2008 film, which is a nice touch. Zen (JeeJa Yanin Vismistananda) is a young girl who learns how to fight by watching Ong Bak and copying fighters at the Muay Thai gym next door to her home, where she lives.
While collecting her mother’s debt to pay for her cancer treatment, Zen discovers that she can use her Muay Thai abilities in the first confrontation, which ends up being somewhat bloody. Most critics gave the picture favorable reviews prior to its release, and the actors and crew worked hard to promote it.
5. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, the latest film from Apichatpong Weerasethakul, the Thai director behind Tropical Malady, is a bold and dramatic film in its own right. Palme d’Or-winning Thai film was filmed on film instead of digitally, making it the country’s first ever Palme d’Or winner.
Weerasethakul met the abbot at a temple in his hometown, and the film was originally supposed to be a biography of him. As he meditated, the abbot’s name was Bonmee, and he claimed to know all about his previous life. Bonmee died before Weerasethakul had a chance to make his picture, so he instead made the magical and dramatic film that won over practically every audience who saw it.
As Thailand’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards, the film was awarded the Best Film prize at the 5th Asian Film Awards.