Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Movie Review: Nymph (2009)

Directed By: Pen-ek Ratanaruang.
Written By: Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Starring: Wanida Termthanaporn (May), Jayanama Nopachai (Nop), Porntip Papanai (Nymph), Chamanun Wanwinwatsara (Korn).

Nymph opens with one of the most mesmerizing shots in recent memory. We are in the forest, and the camera moves around effortlessly, mounted on a crane, for more than 10 minutes, as we get the lay of the land, and see a woman being attacked out there. The shot itself is a mini masterpiece akin to the opening shot of Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil, and makes you believe that what is to follow will be equally mesmerizing. Unfortunately, it isn’t.

Nymph is certainly an interesting, different movie. It is like nothing I have ever seen before, yet in this case there is probably a reason why I haven’t. It is basically about a bored married couple who travel out to the forest to try and save their marriage. May (Wanida Termthanaporn) is having an affair with her boss, and is overly dependant on modern technology. Her husband Nop (Jayanama Nopachai) is a photographer who is increasingly drawn to the nature all around them. Then Nop disappears, and May is left alone. She goes home after a few days of fruitless searching, but cannot move on with her life. She realizes now that it could be too late that it is Nop she wants, not her boss. But by this time, Nop has left her for a tree. He’s not really missing, he’s just decided to literally become one with nature.

It must be said that Nymph is never less than beautifully well photographed, and perhaps had I been in a different frame of mind, I could have gotten into this nearly wordless, almost plotless movie, but it came at the very end of my Toronto Film Festival experience, and I was simply out of patience with the movies’ leaden pacing. Even the beautiful and talented Termthanaporn was not enough to keep me involved in the movie, although she is quite good here.

I find I don’t have much more to say about Nymph. At this point, I think I’ve done all I can to describe the movie, and I think by now you probably know whether or not Nymph is the type of movie you’ll enjoy seeing. For me, on the day I saw it anyway, it certainly wasn’t. But I understand why some love it.

Note: Not, as mentioned in the review, I saw this film at TIFF - all the way in 2009 (and that is when I wrote this review). It's one of only a few movies I have seen at TIFF that never came out in anyway in North America after I saw them, which is post these reviews. However, oddly, I saw this film in the "New Releases" section of iTunes (Canada - I have no idea if it's there in America as well), so figured I would post my review, written all those years ago. Take it for what it's worth.

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