Resensi Film-Bhayu MH

Pee Mak Phra Khanong

Year : 2013 Director : Banjong Pisanthanakun Running Time : 115 minutes Genre : , , , ,
Movie review score
3/5

The story is set in mid-19th century in Siam, during the King Mongkut Era and at the height of the Rattanakosin Dynasty, when Siam was plagued with wars with its neighbouring kingdoms. Mak (Mario Maurer) was drafted to serve in a war against the foreign invasion, forcing him to leave behind his pregnant wife Nak (Davika Hoorne) at the town of Phra Khanong, not far from Central Bangkok. He was wounded during a battle and sent to a medical camp, where he met Ter, Puak, Shin and Aey, who later became his best friends. Meanwhile, in Phra Khanong, Nak struggled alone painfully to give birth to the baby. Shortly after, villagers in the neighborhood heard her singing lullabies to her baby, causing hair-raising chills and making them cower in fear. Rumours started circulating around the village that Nak had already died in labor and was now a ghost haunting the house.

After the war, Mak, accompanied by his four friends, returned to his home in Phra Khanong. Mak happily reunites with Nak and their son; he then invited his friends to stay in his aunt’s house nearby. The next day, the five went to the local market to find jobs and buy food, but the vendors fled from Mak due to the rumor about his wife. At a liquor store, the owner tried to tell Mak about the rumor, only to be stopped by her nephew. One night, Shin (Wiwat Kongrasri), while trying to fetch Mak to join them drinking liquor, lost his nerve at the sight of Nak, the cradle swinging by itself, and what he believed to be her arm stretching to pick up a lime she dropped off the porch; however, his friend did not take his words seriously. None of them notice the liquor store’s owner drowned body floating nearby. The next day, Ter (Nuttapong Chartpong), saw a corpse wearing a distinctive looking wedding ring in the backyard, and the same one on Nak’s finger. The remaining two friends started to believe Shin and Ter, but none of them actually tried bending over and looking at Nak between their legs to confirm that she is a ghost (which is an advice shared by Shin). What ensued is their desperate and comical attempts to get the message to Mak without alerting Nak, and Nak’s “dinner” made of dry leaves and live worms that Mak enthusiastically encouraged their friends to try. After the four flat out said Nak is dead, Mak became angry with them for letting the rumor get the better of them, and told them to leave. Unwilling to leave their friend behind, the four conspired to “free” Mak from his wife.

Mak and Nak, who wore a mask to avoid alerting the villagers, go the village carnival. On the ferris-wheel, Nak asked her husband if he was afraid of ghosts, and Mak assures her that he was more afraid of living without her. The couple then entered the haunted house; there, Mak’s friends abducted him, but unable to open the locked door to carry him out. They briefly managed to conceal themselves from Nak by disguising themselves as the haunted house’s fake ghosts, then busted the wall and ran into the woods when she saw them. Seeing Mak’s suddenly bleeding chest wound, his distinctive wedding ring, and how he screamed when hit by a handful of holy rice, the four friends were convinced that he was a ghost and scrambled back to the house to rescue Nak. Putting her and the baby on back of boat, the four desperately rowed, only to find Mak at the river bank. He tried to get to the boat and nearly drowned, convincing the four that he is alive, as ghosts don’t drown. Mak explained to his friends that his reaction when thrown at by holy rice was because some grains lodged in his wound, which wasn’t completely healed and was busted open by all the commotion. With six people on board, the boat started sinking, prompting everyone to throw their luggage away, even the paddles. Ter, who sat frontmost on the boat, wondered out loud who the ghost might be, and Aey, who sat behind him, dropped a ring that looked exactly like the one on the corpse, and was kicked off-board by the panicking Ter. After ineffectively rowing with their hands, Ter was handed the dropped paddle by Nak, and looked back at the other paddle, which had floated so far away it was impossible for a human arm to reach. He then stood straight up, bent over and looked between his legs and finally confirmed that Nak is, indeed, a ghost.

Mak and his three remaining friends, Shin, Puak and Ter, went to a Buddhist temple seeking chants and prayers to keep Nak at bay. However, in a panic, coupled with Mak’s struggle to get back to his wife, they spilled all the holy water, holy rice and kicked the praying monk out of the “safety ring”. The monk fled the temple, leaving the four to face the angry Nak. A pale Aey found his way to the temple and it was revealed that he was still a human. Ter, Mak and Shin push him forward then Puak and Aey kiss. Ter thought Aey is a ghost because he is have a ring (and stole the ring off the corpse to pay off his gambling debt). Nak angrily shouted at the five that she just wanted to be with her loved one, which the four friends argued against since they didn’t believe the living can be with the dead. Mak then revealed he knew the truth about Nak all along, after listening to his friends, looking at Nak between his legs and finding her half buried corpse. He then claimed that he is more afraid of living without her than of her ghostly form. His friends, seeing them reuniting, cried and hugged each other, vowing that they wouldn’t leave each other even if one of them became a ghost.

In the credit scenes, Mak, his wife and his four friends lived happily in the village. Nak uses her ghostly abilities to do chores, play charades, help fixing the temple, and scare off the villagers attempting to drive her away. It is also revealed that her child also possess some of her abilities.

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