Tears of the Black Tiger

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"How the west was won… in the east!"
  • NR
  • 2000
  • 1 hr 50 min
  • 6.9  (2,897)
  • 69

Tears of the Black Tiger is a Thai western film released in 2000 directed by Wisit Sasanatieng. The movie is a romantic tragedy that tells the tale of two lovers from different worlds, set against the backdrop of a classic Western. The story follows the life of a young man named Dum, played by Chartchai Ngamsan, who is kind, brave, and a skilled shooter. He grew up poor, but his charm and good looks have won the hearts of many women, including Rumpoey, a wealthy woman played by Stella Malucchi, whom he falls in love with at first sight. But their love is not meant to be as Rumpoey's parents disapprove of their relationship, forcing them to keep their love hidden.

At the same time, a ruthless gang of bandits led by Fai, played by Supakorn Kitsuwon, set their sights on Rumpoey's father's land, hoping to take control of it. Dum intervenes to save Rumpoey's family, but they are all murdered except for Rumpoey and her younger sister. The two sisters flee, but they are separated in the chaos, and Rumpoey believes Dum to be dead, leading her to move on and start a new life, where she gets engaged to a wealthy man.

The movie then takes a time-jump of several years, where Dum's character evolves from a humble and sympathetic young man to a hardened and vengeful outlaw, taking on the name of 'Black Tiger.' He returns to the small town that he grew up in, seeking revenge against the people who killed Rumpoey's family and separated them. His sole aim is to see Rumpoey once more and rekindle their love.

Tears of the Black Tiger is a movie that stands out for its stunning visuals that imitate old Hollywood movies, the colorful clothes, and the bright pastel colors that transport the viewers back in time. The film is shot entirely on a sound-stage, and every setting is painted in vigorous, radiant colors. Its style has been dubbed as a "Thai Technicolor western," and it draws inspiration from the Westerns of the 1960s and 70s.

The film is known for its unusual style, which combines stylized visuals, melodramatic performances, and hyper-violent sequences that often occur with music backing. Right from the opening shot where the camera moves in with an extreme wide-angle and Rothrock's vibrantly colorful and artwork lets everyone know that this movie is something different. Even the sound of the gunshots is exaggerated and over-the-top, adding to the surreal nature of the film.

Despite the film being a western, the director has added several Thai influences to give it a unique flavor. One of the most striking Thai touches is the soundtrack that features a mix of Western and Thai music. It may be unusual for western audiences who are used to hearing Western classical tunes, but it complements the visual tone of the movie.

The cast of the Tears of the Black Tiger is as diverse as the film's unique style. Chartchai Ngamsan, who plays Dum/Black Tiger, gives an impressive performance, capturing his character's evolution from an innocent young man to a hardened outlaw. He also manages to elicit sympathy and affection from the viewers, thanks to his humble and likable personality.

Stella Malucchi's portrayal of Rumpoey is one of the film's highlights. She captures the innocence, pain, and heartbreak of her character in a convincing and nuanced way. Her performance is the perfect foil to Chartchai's character, and together, they create a lovable on-screen couple that deserves to be together.

Supakorn Kitsuwon is the film's big bad, Fai. Even though he has limited screen time, he manages to create an impact with his cold and violent persona. His character might come off as one-dimensional, but it is his evil antics that make him an effective antagonist.

In conclusion, Tears of the Black Tiger is a beautiful and unique movie that the audience will either love or dislike. It's an exploration of the western genre through the lens of Thai cinema, and its beautiful visuals, colorful tune and absurd nature are bound to leave a lasting impression. The film managed to garner critical acclaim, winning several awards, and it remains one of the most cherished Thai movies of all time.

Tears of the Black Tiger
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 50 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (2,897)
  • Metascore