Langkasuka: A Historical Epic with Malay Subtitles
Langkasuka is a 2008 Thai historical fantasy film directed by Nonzee Nimibutr and starring Jarunee Suksawat, Ananda Everingham, Jesdaporn Pholdee and Winai Kraibutr. The film is loosely based on the legend of Queen Suriyothai and the ancient Malay kingdom of Langkasuka that existed in the Malay Peninsula from the 2nd to the 15th century.
The film follows the adventures of a young fisherman named Pari who becomes involved in a war between Langkasuka and its enemies, led by the ruthless pirate Black Raven. Pari teams up with a group of sea gypsies and a mysterious mermaid to protect Langkasuka's secret weapon: a powerful cannon that can sink any ship. Along the way, he also falls in love with Princess Ungu, the youngest sister of Queen Hijau of Langkasuka.
Langkasuka is a visually stunning film that showcases the rich culture and history of the Malay people. The film features elaborate costumes, sets, and special effects that create a realistic and immersive world. The film also incorporates elements of Malay folklore, such as mermaids, sea monsters, and magic. The film was shot in various locations in Thailand and Malaysia, including Phuket, Krabi, Langkawi, and Penang.
The film was released in Thailand on August 12, 2008 and received mixed reviews from critics and audiences. Some praised the film for its epic scope, action scenes, and cinematography, while others criticized the film for its weak plot, poor editing, and lack of historical accuracy. The film was also criticized for its portrayal of the Malay characters as villains or secondary roles. The film was a box office flop in Thailand, earning only à30 million (US$0.9 million) from a budget of à140 million (US$4.2 million).
However, the film was more successful in Malaysia, where it was released on November 20, 2008 with Malay subtitles. The film was renamed as Queens of Langkasuka (Malay: Ratu-Ratu Langkasuka) to appeal to the Malaysian audience. The film received positive reviews from Malaysian critics and audiences, who praised the film for its cultural relevance, historical references, and entertainment value. The film was also nominated for several awards at the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound Effects.
Langkasuka is a film that celebrates the heritage and identity of the Malay people. It is a film that showcases the beauty and diversity of the Malay Peninsula and its surrounding seas. It is a film that tells a story of courage, loyalty, love, and sacrifice. It is a film that can be enjoyed by anyone who loves history, fantasy, and adventure.
The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the film's production values, action scenes, and cultural references, but criticized the film's length, plot, editing, and historical accuracy. Derek Elley of Variety said the film lacked focus and at 133 minutes was too long. Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporter was more upbeat, praising the sumptuous costume design and action sequences, but also said the film was too long. [^1^] [^2^]
The film also faced some controversy for its depiction of the Malay characters and history. Some Malay nationalists and historians claimed that the film distorted the facts and portrayed the Malay kingdom of Langkasuka as a vassal state of Thailand. They also objected to the use of Thai actors and language for the Malay roles. The film's director, Nonzee Nimibutr, defended his artistic choices and said that he did not intend to offend anyone. He said that he wanted to create a fantasy film based on legends and myths, not a historical documentary. [^3^]
The film was a commercial failure in Thailand, where it grossed only à30 million (US$0.9 million) from a budget of à140 million (US$4.2 million). However, the film was a success in Malaysia, where it grossed RM5.5 million (US$1.6 million) and became one of the highest-grossing Thai films in Malaysia. The film was also screened at several international film festivals, such as the Cannes Film Market, the Pusan International Film Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. [^1^] [^3^] 061ffe29dd