The Overture (2005)

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A master musician defends his talent and his family's reputation against political interference and artistic challenges in this historical drama from Thailand. Sorn (played as a young man by Anuchit Saphanphong and as an older man by Adul Dulyarat) was the younger brother of a musician who was a master of the ranard-ek, a wooden percussion instrument similar to the xylophone. Sorn was eager to follow in his brother's footsteps, but his family discouraged him until his brother was killed in a fistfight with rival musicians, and Sorn took up the instrument to honor his memory. While Sorn displayed an easy talent on the ranard-ek, he was also headstrong and lacked discipline, and after impressing local audiences, he first tasted humiliation when he was outclassed in a competition with master musician Im Krun (Narongrit Tosa-nga). From that point on, Sorn dedicated himself to serious study of the ranard-ek and honing his talent in anticipation of another face-off against Im Khun. However, Sorn's rise to the peak of his form comes as the Thai government introduces a sweeping program of "cultural control," as certain traditional art forms were discouraged in the name of bringing the nation a more modernized lifestyle. Released in North America under the title The Overture, Hoam Rong was inspired by the true-life story of Thai musician Luang Pradit Phairao.

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Critic Reviews for The Overture

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

If you don't mind a bit of treacle in your cinematic cultural-exchange program, The Overture will warm you inside and out.

Dec 2, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A by-the-numbers, simple tale that pulls out all the cliched melodramatic stops when it should be exploring an obviously fascinating character in Thai history.

Oct 7, 2005 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

the music strikes to the very core just what it means to be human

May 17, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

... a combination of gee-whiz reverence and cheesy melodrama...

Dec 4, 2005 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The film probably loses some of its effect when it is brought to a Western culture, but it is still captivating.

Dec 20, 2004 | Rating: 7/10

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