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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thailand's old but new ghost story 'Pee Mak Phra Kanong'

Mario Maurer and Davika Horne play
in "Pee Mak Phra Kanong".

New 'Mae Nak' version is a blockbuster

Pee Mak Phra Kanong, a comedic version of the renowned Thai ghostly tale Mae Nak, has become so popular that acquiring decent seats for the show at cinemas in Bangkok is almost impossible without booking hours ahead.
Pee Mak Phra Khanong is the most popular movie in Thailand since the 2001 "Legend of Suriyothai" - and the second biggest box office success ever.
The film's gross receipts in the Greater Bangkok Area alone has hit a nearly unprecedented 283 million baht, making it the second highest grossing Thai film of all-time, behind only The Legend of Suriyothai which grossed 550 million baht when it was released in 2001.
Many movie critics predicted that Pee Mak will pass the 300 million mark in earnings by the end of Tuesday.
As a result of the success of the new version of the old ghost story, theatres have been packed and fully booked - leaving many Bangkok residents complaining they have been unable to book a cinema seat.
Akkaporn Srisuktaveerat, 32, said, "I took my parents to see the movie on Sunday at a mall on Rama 2 road. At five, both the 7pm and 8pm showings were already almost full.
"I was told that if I want three consecutive seats I would have to wait for the 9pm showing - with the seats available only in the front two rows. My other choice was the 10pm showing."
He added that when he tried to book online, a website sold him tickets for seats that were already bought by someone else, which caused him even more hassle.
Sasidis Sasisakulporn, 27, complained that the online website that he accessed crashed while he was trying to make a reservation.
He said obtaining the ticket was so difficult that he gave up and decided to watch another movie instead.
Pee Mak Phra Kanong, produced by GMM Thai Hub (GTH), is a Thai traditional legend known as Mae Nak - but hilariously interpreted by Banjong Pisanthanakun.
The original folklore is about a man named Mak, played in this version by Thai-German model and actor Mario Maurer, who left his wife Nak, played by actress Thai-Belgian actress Davika "Mai" Horne, to serve in the military. Mak later returned to his home and reunited with his wife who had died during child birth and became a spiteful spirit.
Mr Banjong said his version of the dark tale is "mostly comedy, part romance, and slightly horror".
He made tweaks to the plot and created four new characters, Mak’s friends, who became the main ingredients that account for the movie's surprising success.

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