Film, Laos

Sabaidee Luang Prabang Review by Wutthiphan

This is the first real Lao movie in 33 years, and hoping that this will launch pad for a cultural revival. Sabaidee Luang Prabang is a Lao/Thai movie stars Bangkok-based Australian-Lao, Ananda Everingham and Lao beauty queen Khamly Philavong. As for most of us that don’t live in Thailand, it might take 6 months or more before we’ll get to see the movie, but for those that live in Thailand, the movie was released on June 5, 2008.

Wutthiphan lives in Bangkok, Thailand and saw Sabaidee Luang Prabang on June 5, and he is kind enough to do a review for us, his blog posting of Sabaidee Luang Prabang is written in Thai Language, translated by Ginger.

After seeing the commercial of the movie ‘Sabaidee Luang Prabang’ whilst I was watching TV from one of the channels, as soon as I heard the name of the movie, it got my attention, and I turned toward the TV and saw one of the scenes, which is the waterfall at Kon Prapeng or waterfall in Southern Laos that I visited in the past and that’s why I’ve had a special interest in this movie. I told myself then that I have to see this movie, the first day showing was June 5, 2551, aka 2008 which is the day that I had to pay my electric bill, last day before the cut off, and I decided to go pay the power bill, and see the movie afterward.

On June 5, after paying the power bill, I headed to see the movie at Major Movie Theater at Central Praram II, and the mall opens at 11 am. When I got there, it just open, the first show was at 11:30 am. I’m not sure if this show is too early in comparison to the time that the mall opens, needless to say, this show has the atmosphere of being in the cemetery, there were approximately 11 viewers, so there is plenty of elbow and leg room, if I stretch my legs and arms out, it wouldn’t bother anyone.

The movie started, after seeing several previews (it’d not be worth it if you don’t get here on time and missed the beginning) As for me, I don’t have a high expectation for this movie except that I want to watch it for the old time sake, to refresh my memory of my previous trip to Laos that is a similar path as this movie.

This movie is a story of Sorn (Ananda Everingham), a photographer (Journalist) who is Lao-Australian, his boss gave him an assignment to go take pictures in Laos, which he didn’t want this assignment at all. Sorn then hires a tour guide named Noy (Khamly Philavong) to show him the country and also to provide him with information about various locations. The first part is in Southern parts of Laos, from Pakxe, waterfall Kon Prapeng, LeePee, Si Phan Don (Four Thousand islands), then heading up North to Luang Prabang, then the story of love across the Mekong River begins.

Besides the beauty that nature has to offer, Noy or Khamly Philavong is adorable. She is extremely attractive, and looks so natural, she doesn’t wear lots of make up, and she dressed very nice, she still wear Sinh (Lao tubular skirt), if I have to say in comparison to Thai celebrities that compete to be ghostly thin (but big racks), dressed too revealing and showing off too much skin, this is not strange at all because in the eyes of some viewers that only see Thai celebrities as some sort of machine that help to alleviate their lust or boredom, the older people get left behind, and replaced by newer faces, not much appreciation or things to remember them by, but this is not to say that all are like that because there are many good ones out there.

Lao movie stars recently gain popularity, still new in the world of entertainment (drama) so there is not much competition, might be because it’s still in the beta phrase, only time will tell.

With that said, I’m falling in love with her also, hahaha. After several that said to me, “just not too long ago you were talking about your noung Alexandra, change your mind that fast?” Just for the record, I’m keeping both hehehe.

I’m thinking that this movie will not make it big at the box office, but I’m rooting for this movie because I want to see more of this type of movie so that there are more selections for viewers, at least there is a way out.

Permission to post lots of photos of Khamly, as for Ananda you can go look at his photos at other web sites, Hahaha.

(Note from Ginger: I didn’t post all photos, to see more of Khamly click here. The elsewhere website that Wutthiphan is talking about, I found a post of Ananda at Lyn’s Lakorns blog, to see more photos of Ananda click here (sorry dead link), and please no drooling.)

Updated 6/20/2008: Lyn has lost her data, with permission to repost it here, originally posted at Lakorns.wordpress.com, May 23, 2008, Ananda on the cover of CRUSH! By lyn

In case you didn’t notice, I have a thing for Ananda Everingham. Not only is he a fantastic/worthwhile actor, he’s also a looker. DROOLS!

I love that he’s talented and not just eye candy. I love watching him on screen being natural and respecting the acting craft. He jumps into his roles full-heartedly and makes you intrigue and feel for the characters he’s playing. He’s mysterious, he’s cool without trying too hard, and he’s half-LAO. Sorry, I gotta represent my Lao heritage. LOL.

Ananda made the cover of Crush magazine for the May 2008 issue. I love Ananda but not like this. He sightly resembles the abusive, abrasive, and sightly psychotic Sean Penn and that’s not a good thing. Looking into his eyes, I feel like he’s gonna kill me, boil me up, and eat me for dinner. -Serial killer alert-

Some of the insides pics don’t fare better than the cover. It’s grimy and dark. It kinda reminds you have of Batman the caped crusader. I’m sure that’s the theme because Ananda does have a Batman-like movie currently in production called Insee Dang translated to Red Engle. I’m really excited about the film because I read at Wise Kwai thai movie blog that it’s directed by Wisit Sasanatieng, the director who gave us Citizen Dog, Tears of Black Tiger, and horror flick The Unseeable. If you watch Sasanatieng’s films, you know you’re in for a visual treat because he’s the master of artistic, colorful backdrop and the use of 1960’s color themes.

Here’s the teaser cover for the movie Red Eagle.

Updated 8/21/2008: Sabaidee Luang Prabang Movie

Part 1/10

Click here to watch part 2-10, uploaded by WeStCoAstKaL1

22 thoughts on “Sabaidee Luang Prabang Review by Wutthiphan”

  1. I just love to see Lao women wearing Sinh. They look so beautiful in it. When I see that image I automatically think of Laos. I think sinh will go by way of kimono. Japanese women only wear them during special like a wedding. 😦

  2. I wanted to watch this movie so badly! I can’t wait until it is released here in the states!

  3. Dallas, I also love seeing Lao women wearing Sinh, I think they look charming and classic but sadly I don’t wear it often enough.

    ascandaloussin, I also want to see the movie, I’m a fan of Ananda since I saw the Shuttle, and he is a good actor.

  4. to my surprise i did not expect the whole movie to be in Lao but it is – all to Ananda – without him the movie would have not be made

    what gave me even more surprise is that my grand parents’s house was in the movie, not intentionally but – the scence where Sorn is talking to his grand dad, the house behind him is my grand parent’s house – the scene of the basi ceremony – he did well – i had tears in my eyes – and it is exactly like that – if you were become a monk in Laos – the whole experience is far beyong you can imagine

    great movie – great scenes – great work!!! keep it up…

  5. Sabaidee Laung Prabang is now released on VCD, you can buy on ethai.com. I just ordered mind, and can’t wait to watch it. I loved Ananada from wtching me, myself movie. And he half Lao. When I was a child I heard the story of his mom and dad story, they make TV series about his father rescue his mom from Laos. Yes Ananada is cute and very selected in his acting role, I doubt he ever choose to play thai lakorn.

  6. Hi youra, thanks for the visit. I’m also surprised that it’s in Pasa Lao and Sorn trying to speak Lao is very pleasant to hear. I’m glad to see good quality film, especially coming from Laos, and Ananda (Sorn) being part Lao and proudly admits it is even better. This movie is especially good for some of us that left Laos at a very young age, and I hope to visit Laos very soon.

    Hi Salalao, thanks for the visit. The first movie that I saw of Ananda was ’The shutter’ and absolute fell in love with the quality of the film and also his character and acting. I also saw ’Me…Myself’ and liked it a lot. I read about his mom and dad, but didn’t get to see the movie, I believed they are divorced now, and his dad remarried.

    Hi Brian, thanks for the visit and your nice comment. I saw the movie several days ago on you tube and liked it a lot. What I like about the movie is the scenery and the character of Noy and Sorn, easy going and someone that you can relate to. The movie is special to me and many Lao people out there is because it’s in Lao language, and takes place in Laos. I’d love to read your review.

  7. Thank you for the You tube tip! I never thought to look there and was wondering how I could see it. (Doh!)

    I know what I am doing after work tonight. : D

  8. Hi Kelly, you can also help support the Lao(Thai) film by ordering from eThaiCD.com, it’s $8 (free shipping worldwide)

    Story:

    Sorn (Ananda Everingham), a multiracial photographer, is assigned by his editor to take a picture of Laos, where he’s reluctant to go. Even though, Sorn is half-Laotian, going back to his homeland is never in his mind. Sorn arrives at Pak-Cher town where he hires a guide, Noi (Khamlek Pallawong, or Khamly Philavong) to take him out to the best picture spot in Laos. They go from LeePee waterfall, Korn-Papeang , all the way to See-Pun hill, which is branch island of the Mae Khong River. Unfortunately, it’s Noi’s first time being a tour guide. She keeps taking them to the wrong direction. They have to ride and cruise uneasily everywhere. As a result, Sorn have to go back to his childhood home. By the time he gets there, Sorn finds out that his distance family for over 10 years still remembers him and welcomes him with open arms. Sorn gradually see Laos as his own home.

    At the same time, Sorn develops a crush with Noi. He then treats her like a princess. However, Realizing that Sorn is crossing the line, Noi try to avoids seeing Sorn as much as possible. Sorn discovers his own Laotian root and wants to prove to Noi that he’s not seeing her as only an one-night stand.

  9. Sabaidee! Just watched the movie last night and was so impressed. It definitely made me miss Lao a lot. I would like to find a version with English subtitles so I could show it to my parents. Does anyone know where I might find this online or in the Seattle area?

    Khop jai der!

  10. I’m thinking of getting a copy too. Have you order from eThaiCD.com before? I hope it’s a legit copy and clear too.

  11. Hi Champa, I’ve not heard about the English subtitles version, maybe in the future, one of the subbers might sub this in youtube.

    Salat, I’ve not bought anything from eThaiCD.com before, but I think they only sell legit copy. I normally get my Thai music CDs from Thainetcity.com from Thailand and they’re legit copies. I was looking for this movie in Laos but couldn’t find any and most other CDs and DVDs are not legit copies.

    1. nb-2526, ภาพยนตร์ ภาค 2 กำลังสร้างค่ะ ควรจะทำเสร็จในไม่ช้า ขอบคุณที่คอม’เมินทฺ

  12. Nye, you’re so talented… can even type in thai too:-).. would take me forever to write one word hahahahhaha plus, I don’t even have thai fonts download on any of my computers.

    1. seeharhed, I’m not good in writing Thai at all, takes me awhile to do a simple sentence, I’m just glad that I don’t get many Thai comments. 🙂

  13. LOVE Khamly Philavong LOVE
    LOVE Khamly Philavong LOVE
    LOVE Khamly Philavong LOVE
    LOVE Khamly Philavong LOVE
    LOVE Khamly Philavong LOVE

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