Troubled adults and the modernist experiments of transformation

“Tropical Malady” by Apichatpong Weerasethakul is a critically-acclaimed Thai film. It received the special jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004, an extremely rare honor for any Thai film. The critics that praise the movie mostly talk about the second segment of the film, in which the main character goes into a dark forest where the transformation of a tiger and a human being occurs.

The film’s first segment is devoted to a lyrical love story of two men, a soldier and a village man. The film critics point out that the mixture of an indie-style, almost documentary-like love story and the element of folk tales proves refreshing. The audience can enjoy “what is a dream and what is reality?” experience for 2 hours, they note.

The critical success of this small-budget Thai movie in world cinema prompted me to think of one fact: people and other things transformed themselves much easier in the past than today.