of the best Thai films to hit local shores this year and Thailandís
entry for Best Foreign Language Oscar at the upcoming 85th
Academy Awards, Headshot is a stylish crime drama that makes
highly effective use of a non-linear structure to offset its fairly
Further buoyed by some convincing performances across the board, the
film revolves around Tul, a formerly straight-laced cop turned hitman.
The circumstances behind his transformation are quite unexpected, as is
what happens to Tul after he is shot in the head during what should be a
routine murder - after waking up several months later, he sees the
world upside down.
Now, Iíve seen films where characters lost
or gained sight, or where near-blind people had visions of murders or
the like, but I canít ever recall watching a film where the lead
characterís vision was inverted. At any rate itís an interesting device,
and upon discovering his affliction Tul unsurprisingly loses both his
enthusiasm and his aptitude for the hitman caper. His bosses donít take
kindly to quitters however...
Headshot was directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang,
one of the darlings of the ĎThai New Waveí whose previous works include
some of the most highly-regarded Thai films of the past decade and a
half, including 6ixtynin9 and Last Life in the Universe. Gritty crime
thrillers have long been his bread and butter, and his latest outing
shows him to have honed his skills to a rare degree - Headshot is lean,
atmospheric and artfully constructed to continually catch viewers off
balance. While somewhat more casually attired than Alain Delon, Tul
nonetheless still manages to give off an appropriately Le Samourai-esque
loner assassin vibe, and he is ably assisted by the smouldering
Chanokporn Sayoungkul as the requisite femme fatale whom he may or may
not be able to trust. A highly accomplished outing, and one nigh on
unmissable for fans of quality Asian cinema.
half-hour Making Of featurette entitled ĎHeadshot and the
Karma Bulletí which in addition to the usual BTS stuff also discusses
the genesis and development of the film in some detail; and a short
Video Documentary shot by the filmmakers for research purposes
concerning the real-life case of an elderly Thai man who reads and
writes upside down. There are also four Eastern Eye Trailers.