Let’s say you’re a group of four adults and you want to go a movie in the Washington, D.C. area. You want to get four tickets to a 7:30 show, you’ll get one giant popcorn to share because it comes with free refills, and you’ll each get your own drink.
That’s gonna cost you…let me see…$1,562. That’s 46,633 Thai baht–without candy.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly. In reality, that scenario would cost somewhere around $60, or around 1,800 baht.
In New York City and Japan, they’ve stopped taking money altogether and are asking for a kidney–or your first born if you’ve only got one kidney left, but that shows you aren’t really serious about seeing the movie, so…
In Bangkok, every Wednesday I can see a movie for 80 baht, or about $2.70. At some places it’s 60 baht, which is right around $2. Candy and other treats are way more expensive than you’d get them outside, but for a Westerner, they might as well just be giving the stuff to you.
These theaters aren’t all run down and crappy and showing old movies–it’s not like the $1 theater back home. These are the regular cinemas, showing new movies from both Thailand and the rest of the world.
The theater I’ve been going to, Paragon Cineplex, is by far the nicest one I’ve ever been to. It’s huge, it’s fancy, the seats are comfortable, and it’s generally awesome. In Silver Spring, Maryland, the teenagers who work at the movie theaters are like, Customer? For real? Ticket? Fine, but you do understand you’re interrupting my incredibly important conversation about the guy I like, right? I mean, he was talking to that other girl and I don’t know what that means and it’s kind of life and death here. You know that, right? That’ll be $1,562.
Ah, teenagers! The people who work at Paragon Cineplex are pleasant and actually smile when they take your money. I know, crazy talk! I don’t care if the smiles are fake–at least they’re smiling.
At theaters in the U.S., you buy a general-seating ticket, so it’s first-come, first-served. At Paragon, you pick out your seats like you were at a concert–a really cheap concert. Once you get to your seat, they show about 3 hours of commercials and trailers, so my friends and I learned to come way later than the published start time of the movie. Everybody in the theater has to stand right before the movie starts when they play the Royal Anthem, a tribute to the king.
So far, I’ve seen three Thai movies. They’ve all been subtitled in English with varying degrees of success.
Here’s Hello Stranger, a romantic comedy that I loved and found hilarious, and I’m a cynic who’s not a huge fan of romcom (my cousin once told me I ruined love stories, or something like that, but she’s only 16, so what does she know?). If you’re in Thailand and you think you might want to see this, don’t watch this trailer–it shows the entire story.
Here’s Eternity, which stars my Thai (Laotian/Australian) boyfriend, Ananda Everingham. A few warnings about this trailer, though–
- You will fall in love with either Ananda or his co-star, the frighteningly gorgeous Chermarn Boonyasa. Maybe both. Seriously, how does the world not just explode from their combined beauty?
- The subtitles on this trailer are more than a little ridiculous.
- It shows a lot of the movie.
- I realize the trailer for some reason previews on the line, “No one have ever done these filthy deeds,” and shows two naked people in bed, which makes the movie seem like it’s a porno. But, come on, if I were watching porn at the theater, would I post a preview of it on a blog that my family reads? No. I would post it on a blog my family doesn’t read. That’s just common sense, people.
Finally, I watched Saturday Killer, which was awful, just awful. Just…no. I’m rating the trailer itself R+ for sensitive people and PG-13+ for others. The trailer shows more or less what the movie was about: a hired gun who has impotency–and other–problems and does non-funny things to cure the problems, including drink pee. Throw in some bad political satire, offensive jokes about homosexuals and race and you’ve got a truly terrible movie. The Thai people in the audience were laughing, but my friends and I (two Americans and a Frenchie) were not. At all. Except in disbelief. Cultural differences in humor! I don’t get it!
I wish I didn’t know what this movie is really look like, to be honest.
I am going to see Red Eagle this Wednesday come hell or high water. Or, as the saying goes in Thailand–Come really hot weather or monsoon (I just made that up!).
I don’t even like action movies, but I have a kind of pathetic school-girl crush on the star, the aforementioned beautiful Ananda Everingham.
(*Picture from this link.)
Seeing Thai Movies: 0 Megan: 1
I was going to say that Seeing Thai Movies at a Theater was my bitch, but then I realized that could be offensive to some people, myself included. So instead I’ll say that I own Seeing Thai Movies at a Theater. It’s so cheap! And the theater is so cold! Awesome!
p.s. If you want to read something actually intelligent about Thai movies, read Wise Kwai’s Thai Film Journal.