ASIANatomy
Pure Asian Entertainment: Film, TV, Anime & Manga

Beautiful Thai film that's erotically dark

  • Jan 17, 2008
Rating:
+3
I was quickly won over with one reviewer's perception of this film and sure enough this film was very interesting and intriguing enough for me to never leave my seat. Jan Dara opens with the eccentric statement that the film is based on the writer's first novel, and that it's not for religious people. Jan Dara is a young Thai with a traumatic background. The name "Jan Dara" is given to an infant boy whose mother died giving birth to him. The father (Santisuk Promsiri) blames the boy, actually giving him the name "Jan" the short form of a Thai word meaning "accursed."

Believe it or not, that's probably when the father was nicest to the boy. His earliest memories recall his father's sexual relationship with his childhood nanny. Branded a "bastard" by his father, Jan is later disowned and cast out of the house. Years later Jan Dara returns to seek revenge by outdoing his father's sexual conquests. The movie rapidly progresses through Jan's childhood and the physical and emotional abuse involved. Before long, Jan is a young man (Eakarat Sarsukh) who struggles with his identity and his hatred for his father.

The movie is set in an unspecified region of China in the 1920s through the late 1930s (a date is never given, but a newspaper mentions Pres., who was in office from 29 to 33). However, the outside world never affects Jan or his family. The reason the movie seems to be set there and then is that the producers needed what was a basically a feudal time, when the father was lord of his estate and could legally beat up servants and have sex with their wives.

There is a tremendous amount of sex in Jan Dara. It's not sensual lovemaking, either, just people using each other in the harshest ways. Almost everybody has sex with everybody else. Father and son share concubines (although father doesn't know it). That warning for religious people to stay away now seems like a good idea. The biggest drawback is that the story proceeds much too quickly toward the end. All of sudden people are pregnant, married or missing, and it's never shown how or why. The only member of the cast who may be known to is Christy Chung, who plays the father's main mistress. Jan Dara is a good choice for fans who has a place in there heart for the love of foreign films believe me it captures mine.

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December 03, 2010
Nice review, milady. I think I liked this more than you did. This was so depressing.
 
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More Jan Dara (Original Thai Versio... reviews
review by . December 20, 2008
posted in ASIANatomy
Dvd cover
JAN DARA is a Thai film based on the novel "The Story of Jan Dara" by Utsana Phlengtham. Directed by Nonzee Nimibutr (Nang Nak), the film caused quite a stir in Thailand because of its illicit material. I saw this film in early 2006 and it silenced my voice for awhile, I just couldn't bring myself to review it; I believe it's because of its strong and sensitive themes. Sometimes I think there is a double standard when it comes to film-making. When European film-makers produces …
review by . May 19, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
JAN DARA is one of those rare films that succeeds on many levels: the story as adapted from a famous Thai novel 'The Story of Jan Dara' by Utsana Phleungtham is one of intrigue and exploration of lust, revenge, and thwarted passion; the cinematography by Nattawut Kittikhun is incredibly atmospheric while at the same time pausing for some of the most beautiful studies of nature on film; the musical score by Chartchai Pongprapapan and Pakawat Waiwitaya mixes the exotic pentatonic Oriental melodies …
About the reviewer
Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
Ranked #17
Married into the military for over a decade and it does has itpros andcons. The lifestyle is great and Ido enjoy it. I'm able to do things and see things that I thought I wouldn't dream of. My kids loves … more
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Enter the exotic and haunting world of JAN DARA; a saga of sex, guilt, retribution and love set in the moody and turbulent Thailand of the 1930s. Jan Dara, a young Thai man whose earliest memories recall his father having sex with his childhood nanny. Jan Dara's mother dies after giving birth to him. Eventually he's disowned by his father which brands him as a bastard in the Thai culture. Years later Jan Dara returns to see revenge by outdoing his father's sexual conquests. Based on one of the most acclaimed Thai novels of the 20th century and directed by one of Thai cinema's most successful and accomplished directors Nonzee Nimibutr (NANG NAK and BAYTONG).
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Details

Genre: Drama
Release Date: January 1, 2002
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 1hr 52min
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