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JAN DARA- One more Version of Famous Thai Erotic Tale

‘JAN DARA’-  Steamiest  Version of  Famous Thai Erotic Tale   


 I'm just back from the premiere of the steamiest  version of  possibly  the steamiest (and cruellest) novel in Thai literature  'Jan Dara' .

The story of  a  sex-crazed house where a father despises his son and  sexually lures every woman he encounters, of older women who seduce young boys, of  maids who beckon virgin-masters, and  servants who violate virgin mistresses.  This is not a story that is easy to like at all ,and yet, it continues to seize the imagination of the top film-makers of the country.

Well-known director Nonzee Nimibutr made 'Jan Dara' in 2001 and it caused a sensation .

 This new film, by the venerable 'Mom Noi' Devakula  is sure to create huge waves too.

Nonzee cast  Hongkong actress Christy Chung to show her bare skin. But in this film, it's an all- Thai cast who  have no hesitation  to shed all  clothes,  display breasts and bums, and indulge in every kind of coital activity,from masturbation to sadism .  This is a Thai film where  sexual explictness is  raised to a new level.

Mom Noi ,a revered acting- teacher to many top Thai stars, made a come-back as Director  ,after a long break,with  another famous Thai novel  'Eternity'.  In this film, his lavishly mounted sexually explicit scenes, with top stars like Ananda Everingham and Ploy Boonyasak,   set a precedent, which he followed with his next film 'Outrage' (the Thai version of  Kurosawa's 'Rashomon') . It has  probably now climaxed  (no pun intended) with  'Jan Dara'.

The  venerable  director  seems to have introduced a new form of  sexual  dialetics and visuals in Thai cinema, which has been little seen.  One hears 'Jan Dara'  has an 18+ rating, but one  wonders  how it  escaped a lot more of  the  Censors ' scissors. One will have to  wait and see.

In between all the steamy scenes,  the baby-faced Thai heart-throb Mario Maurer, does manage to exude a certain  innocence  and purity  that  is refreshing in the orgiastic movie. The early scenes with him as on old man recounting his life-tale,  however,seem  gimmicky and pointless (unless this leads to 'Jan Dara' -Part 2,  as some say)

Actress Bonkoot also turns in a mature performance , and deserves to get a lot more meaty roles  in her career. There are other  lively performances  too,including  the protagonist's  servant-friend.‘ 

'Jan Dara' will be released in theatres,this week- watch out for the  media  blitzkrieg,in the country.


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I'm an Indian film-writer, based in Bangkok, and write for publications in India & Thailand. I also coordinate and curate film programs in the two countries, at cultural centres/clubs, film festivals.



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