Film Blog: A Royal Blackout

the Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther (front row, left) and his wife Ratanawadee Hemniti Winther together with members of the embassy staff before the blackout.

The Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther (front row, left) and his wife Ratanawadee Hemniti Winther together with members of the embassy staff before the blackout. Photo: Danish Embassy

It would have been a perfect Friday evening; getting to the centre of Bangkok that is Siam Square before 4 p.m. and enjoying an exuberant Oscar-nominated Danish film “A Royal Affair,” about the juicy life behind the throne of Danish monarchs – a subject we don’t expect to see portraying here (in Thailand) for another million years, if it wasn’t for the blackout.

Yes, the power broke half way through the film that left a considerate crowd of audience, including  the Danish Ambassador Mikael Hemniti Winther and his wife, to crawl down the stairs of Chulalongkorn University’s Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Building (the event was organised as part of Chula’s International Film Festival 2013), and Pathumwan district’s ever-glowing lights dimmer than usual. We were left to wonder if Beyonce took to the stage at the national stadium nearby and shut it off.

The film, despite an irritating disruption, was well-received throughout its screening time. The audience were treated with jokes and well-crafted story-line depicting the totalitarian rule by an incapable King who later becomes a puppet string-pulled by a royal physician mastermind. Sound familiar? Nah.

The film was cut short (shame) due to the blackout and I’ve haven’t seen the rest – yet. And there will be no replay of the movie due to end-of-term examination at the university. But I have a piece of good news. The Bangkok Post’s film critic told me that the DVD copies of the films are now available – the film was first released in cinemas last year, before the Oscar buzz.

It didn’t win the Oscars, unfortunately, and lost the best foreign language film trophy to french film Amour. Still, I’d highly recommend anyone who want a few hours of lively entertainment to go get a copy and watch it. Oh and make sure Queen Bey is not doing any half-time shows near you.

Chula Film Festival will be screening another Danish movie in August 2013 – we’ll keep you updated.

 

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