The Legend of Suriyothai (2003)
A fabled moment in the history of Thailand sets the stage for this lavishly mounted historical epic. In 1528, Thailand's leadership is in chaos, as the Northern and Southern factions of the nation declare their own kings; in the midst of this confusion, young Suriyothai (M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhhakdi) is forced to marry Prince Tien (Sarunyoo Wongkrachang) and leave behind her true love, Piren (Chatchai Plengpanich). In time, Prince Tien becomes the nation's sole ruler, but King Tabinshweti (Suphakit Tangthatswasd), the ruler of nearby Burma, declares his designs upon Thailand; and as the two countries go to war in 1548, Tien is lost in battle. As Thailand's independence hangs in the balance, Suriyothai stands as her nation's new champion; she rallies the Thai forces, and, traveling by elephant, leads a brave and determined campaign against the invading Burmese troops. Suriyothai originally opened in Thailand in the summer of 2001, screening in a sprawling 185-minute version, and became one of the country's biggest box-office hits. Two years later, director Chatrichalerm Yukol, a member of Thai royalty, reshaped the film for international release with the help of his friend Francis Ford Coppola; the film was shortened to 142 minutes and retitled The Legend of Suriyothai. … More
- R (for violence and some nudity)
- Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Classics
- Directed By:
- Chatrichalerm Yukol , Chatrichalerm Yukoi
- Written By:
- Sunait Chutintaranond
- In Theaters:
- Jun 20, 2003 Wide
- On DVD:
- Nov 25, 2003
- Box Office:
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Critic Reviews for The Legend of Suriyothai
It is overlong, overproduced, overscaled and crammed with too many plots, subplots and digressions.
Without knowing what has been lost in the process, it would be hard to imagine the original film was any less repetitive or more dramatically engaging than what remains.
Compelling enough that one wishes to be able to see the entire eight hours, with all the missing context filled back in. As it is, this short version seems even longer than eight hours.
Visually ravishing and full of double-crosses and nefarious plots worthy of Shakespeare.
Someone does shout, "Get the men and arm the elephants!" Sadly, this alone doesn't make you think of Cecil B. DeMille as the press notes would like you to. "Hercules and the Captive Women" comes more to mind.
LEGEND OF SURIYOTHAI looks very much like the "larger than life" film epics of 1950s and 1960s
American audiences expect crouching tigers and hidden dragons in their Asian fare, so plodding elephants may be a little anti-climactic. This one is for the history buffs.
With excellent acting, amazing sets and production standards as high as any I've seen, the movie has only one real problem: Once you're lost in the jungle, it's a very long way out.
What pieces of the story you do manage to figure out don't carry any emotional weight.
The film tells its story in the flattest manner possible, a story that could have been fascinating and enthralling.
Enjoy the gorgeous and gaudy splendor of the sets, the locations and the spare-no-expense battle scenes featuring 3,500 extras and 160 elephants.
demonstrates Shakespearean themes of unrequited and true love, lust for power, and betrayal
'Get the men and arm the elephants!' As that line indicates, 'Suriyothai' is at least unlike any other movie now in theaters...
The bottom line is often leaden and redundant: There is quite simply too much to sort through.
Unabashedly sentimental and unambiguous, hailing the titular princess as a saintly hero at every opportunity, and painting good and evil characters without shades of gray.
Audience Reviews for The Legend of Suriyothai
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