I’m off on a tangent here, but film is food for thought is it not?
Lost in Thailand is the surprise 2012 low budget Chinese comedy hit that rocked the Chinese film industry to its very core. The film grossed over 200 million dollars to become the highest grossing film in Chinese cinema’s history, yet went nearly unnoticed in the west due to a very limited release.
Lost in Thailand was shot in and around Chiang Mai where the film’s notoriety unexpectedly put Chiang Mai on the Chinese traveller’s radar. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese tourists have been flocking to Chiang Mai since the film was released, stoking an unforeseen windfall for the local economy and changing the demographics of local tourism ever since.
As a resident of Chiang Mai I was well aware of the film’s impact on the city, but had not bothered to see the film, thinking it was just another farcical Asian pop comedy. But, with monsoon rains coming down in bucks last Sunday, I decided it was time to see what all the fuss was about. To my great surprise the film was as clever as it was funny and entertaining!
Director, writer, and star Xu Zheng’s comedy drama scenario is nothing out of the ordinary per se, but the film’s spectacular success sits squarely with the director’s fresh limber contemporary take on film making that rejigs established elements of Chinese cinema. The film’s irresistibly likable characters, first rate production, spot on cinematography that frames the action in the lush scenery in and around Chiang Mai, and a happy ending brings the film full circle. This is a thoroughly fun and enjoyable road movie that delivers a light hearted escape from the hectic humdrum realities of day to day life in urban China or anywhere else for that matter.
Leave any lingering preconceptions you may harbor about Asian comedies behind, relax, and let the quirky twists and turns of the film work its charms.
In Mandarin; English subtitles available
See trailers You Tube. Available On DVD, iTunes, Netflix