Comments by Wong Lung Hsiang
Thai Title: Sud Sanahaeha
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Writing Credits: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cast: Kanokpom Tongaram, Min Oo, Jenjira Jansuda
Year Released: 2002
Runtime 125 min
Blissfully Yours demonstrates Tsai Ming-liang-ish voyeuristic realism at its extreme that even Tsai Ming Liang himself has not been able to achieve. It is the type of film that early Italian neo-realism directors had fantasized in making, but could not. The [establishment]-[transition]-[main body] structure even resembles Abbas Kiarostami's ... And Life Goes On. The first 40+ minutes [establishment] consists of a series of uneventful events in the "civilised world". The next segment [transition] shows the characters driving towards a forest, and then ... the opening credits! This is followed by the main body of the movie - another 80+ minutes - which consists of a series of uneventful events again. But this time round, the characters are enjoying (or are they?) their escapist adventures under the sun and the shadows of the wood. With long takes, close-ups of crying faces, sleeping beauty, and a fondling of the penis, Blissfully Yours introduces us to a set of human beings seeped in inactivity, who can only respond to their ennui by ad-hoc sensual pleasures, somewhat like the trio in Vive L'Amour. An audience member said at the end of the film with an extremely impatient tone, "A long take of a sleepy face". This is Weerasethakul's gutsy attempt to portray the characters by means of bombarding the audience with boredom. It may turn off 99.9% of the audience members, but it has nevertheless won my admiration.