“I am THANKING my LUCKY STAR that I’ve WON this
THAI BEST ACTRESS AWARD 2010!” – NUENGTHIDA SOPHON.
THAI MOVIE “HELLO STRANGER” PRESS PREVIEW
Yet another sweety, lovey dovey romance from the famous land of contrasts, THAILAND to set your heart aflutter.
This time round, the special brew is concocted by young horror film director BANJONG PISANTHANAKUN who’s taking a respite from his regular trademark blood-curdling flicks such as ALONE, SHUTTER and the PHOBIA series.
BANJONG is a tad weary of the ghost genre and wonders if you share the same frequency.
His latest offering is an alternative willow mellow wispy romance that will warm the “winter” of your heart.
“HELLO STRANGER” was awarded the topmost box-office hit in 2010, adding more smiles on film director BANJONG’s face as all his beloved films have traveled far and wide, out of sexy THAILAND to the rest of the world.
This charming movie bagged the BEST ACTRESS Subanahongsa award for Nuengthida Sophon in the Thai Annual Film Festival 2010.
Accolades speak volumes, right?
It is a long-winded feature movie (almost 2 hours).
But it has touched the soul-and-mind of the young, the old and the springy-at-heart in THAILAND and they swear by this film and would like to share it with you, please.
So kindly step in and bask in the after-glow of this beautiful tale shot ENTIRELY in Korea.
Last year, yours truly was trying to convince an influential THAI show organizer to invest in one JUSTIN BEIBER 2011 concert for a cool half a million american dollars.
No, this big-timer shook his head, “I’ll be interested if you can fetch something Korean,” he said in a peremptory tone, basking in the fever of the Korean magic in Thai entertainment.
Yes, the Thais have been soaking in the glory of the KOREAN phenomenon for so many years.
You can say they are blind worshipers of the KOREAN dramas and pop culture.
And it is with this marketing imprint in mind our smart film director affirmed to use SEOUL as the dream location in “HELLO STRANGER”.
He was considering the publicity buzz that would come with shooting in a famous foreign country that the Thais adore.
It was a smart move, of course.
We have the final product here, a soothing story of a young, lovelorn couple who’s eating the lonesome blues far away from home in scenic KOREA , reminiscent of the WINTER SONATA Korean drama series.
The guy and gal visit the Land of Kimchi separately, each with a personal agenda, and through chance encounters, both eventually find a common ground.
Initially they shared rooms as platonic pals and partook in confessions of each other’s heartbreak.
And long before you can say hey presto, they develop palpitations for each other and fall in love.
Our story takes off during the SONGKRAN holidays.
A disenchanted young man (Thailand’s personable actor Chantavit Dhanasevi) who has just been dumped decides to join a 7-day guided tour heading for South Korea to mend his broken heart.
On the very same plane is a young woman (Nuengthida Sophon, a doe-eyed oh-so-sweet newcomer) who is flying to attend the wedding of a Korean pen-pal, Min-ah.
She has lied to her possessive boyfriend Jim (you only get to hear him on the mobile phone) that she is travelling with a girl friend, Meow.
In Seoul, the young man has a drink too many and wakes up the following morning in the lobby of the young woman’s backpacking hotel.
After missing his tour coach, which isn’t due to return to Seoul for two days, he pleads to tag along with her for convenience, as this is his first time abroad, what’s more ….. he is an English illiterate.
Grudgingly, she agrees, and he is amazed to discover that she is only interested in visiting scenic sites made famous by the South Korean TV dramas.
He, on the other hand, acts snooty and is totally unfazed by the entertainment business.
On an evening out, these two travel mates get drunk and the following morning she wakes up in his hotel room, only to receive an unexpected call by Jim who has discovered that Meow is not in Korea with her.
After she and Jim quarrel and split up over the phone, she and the young man team up to explore the country, agreeing not to tell each other their names, so as to enjoy complete freedom together.
The following day, when his tour bus returns, he decides to stick with her as she travels to Min-ah’s wedding out of Seoul.
It’s here their new-found friendship finds a deeper meaning and blossoms into something profound.
“HELLO STRANGER” is a “feel-good”, bitter-sweet movie that will tug at your heartstrings, so bring along plenty of tissues.
Though entirely a feature film of a different genre, overseas fans of THE LOVE OF SIAM will surely appreciate this very touching and thought-provoking drama.
It addresses the same latent issues of yearning, rejection, falling in love again, and then some.
You can’t help but root for the lead characters, hoping that they will have the hots for each other, which they eventually did.
And yet ….. as in line with the Korean dramas, there’ll be a twist in the end to sear your tear ducts.
Didn’t everyone say that it’s great to be young and wonderful to be in love?
You tell me, chum.
I am counting my lucky stars now.
and THE MUSIC VIDEOS from the Movie