Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
Excruciatingly flat, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" is the kind of tedious foreign movie that gives "art house films" a bad name. Destined to be a critical darling for every high-brow poseur due to its undeserved Palme d'Or win at Cannes in 2010, the B-movie story is set in a remote jungle area of Thailand. Poised as an extended reverie, the film seeks to encapsulate Buddhist theories about man's eternal sense of family and conflict, i.e. military involvement. A father suffers from kidney failure in his family home with his sister-in-law and an assistant. This is Boonmee (Thanapat Saisaymar). Death awaits. During dinner conversations on the porch, Boonmee sees a red-eyed hairy vision of his long lost son lurking nearby. Think Big Foot with phony flashlight eyes. The gorilla-like son represents a caretaker into the great beyond. So too does a ghost of Boonmee's deceased wife. The hollow mysticism extends to a seductive catfish that performs an erotically surreal union with a water nymph princess. Artificial, ambiguous, and overwrought, this film offers one frustratingly dull experience.
Not Rated. 114 mins. (C-) (Two Stars - out of five/no halves)
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