Uncle Boonmee review

A dying man strikes a contemplative mood, talks to a bunch of ghosts and has sex with a fish.

The catchily titled Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has garnered considerable acclaim, most notably in winning the mega-prestigious Palme d’Or. I was fully aware of this going in to the film but left more than a little confused as to how such a bewildering and stupendously dull film can tickle anyone’s fancy.

It tells a very slow moving, deeply philosophical tale steeped in mysticism and it is likely a greater knowledge of Thai and Buddhist culture would aid its understanding. But, taken on face value, I found the film to be almost impenetrable, waiting and waiting for something of discernable substance to happen and, when nothing did, I was waiting and waiting for it to end. It possibly needs more than one viewing to fully appreciate it but I’m not that keen on self harm and will be left with a memory of a not-too-enjoyable viewing experience from which I struggle to find anything to admire even close to the extent some “hypnotised” others have.

2 out of 5

21st Nov 2010 | On IMDb