Soi Cowboy (2008)
Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 5
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Critic Reviews: 1
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 0
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Love, loyalty and self-preservation set the stage for this look at two dysfunctional relationships. Danish expatriate Tobias Christensen (Nicolas Bro) is a struggling filmmaker who shares an apartment with his girlfriend (Pimwalee Thampanyasan), who is pregnant with their first child. Tobias met his girl after he moved to Bangkok; she was working as a prostitute in the city's Soi Cowboy district, which is crowded with brothels, bars and sex clubs, and he rescued her from life on the street.
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Here is an artist who has gone back to the drawing board and pared down his act to deliver a stark and complex humanist message with technical brio and a broad knowledge of cinema, demonstrating real poise and originality.
Clay doesn't want for ideas but his symbolism is in grave danger of smothering the story
There is skill, thoughtfulness and chutzpah here, but not enough to create the sort of mesmeric power that a film of this kind needs.
This wilful obscurantism comes across merely as a pose, an undergraduate homage to both Antonioni and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
It mostly maintains an artful minimalism you will either find subtle or terminally boring.
Soi Cowboy, confirms Thomas Clay's arthouse cine-literacy but suggests that he might not know what to do with all the movie references that he spreads liberally through his work.
Soi Cowboy's wet concrete pacing, dialogue free scenes, and prolonged takes will test the patience of even the most understanding movie buff.
Dislocation and desperation are the twin linchpins of Brit director Thomas Clay's Thailand-set slowburner.
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