Rent Cemetery of Splendour (2015)

3.4 of 5 from 92 ratings
2h 2min
Rent Cemetery of Splendour (aka Rak ti Khon Kaen) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
In the latest film from the director of the Cannes Palme d'Or winning 'Uncle Boonmee who can Recall his Past Lines', soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness are transferred to a temporary clinic in a former school.The memory-filled space becomes a revelatory world for volunteer Jenjira, as she watches over Itt, a handsome soldier with no family visitors. Jen befriends Keng who uses her psychic powers to help loved ones communicate with the comatose men. Doctors explore ways, including coloured light therapy, to ease the mens' troubled dreams.There may be a connection between the soldiers' enigmatic syndrome and the mythic ancient site that lies beneath the clinic.
Magic, healing, romance and dreams are all part of Jen's tender path to a deeper awareness of herself and the world around her.
Actors:
, , Jarinpattra Rueangram, Petcharat Chaiburi, Tawatchai Buawat, Sujittraporn Wongsrikeaw, Bhattaratorn Senkraigul, , Pongsadhorn Lertsukon, Sasipim Piwansenee, Apinya Unphanlam, Richard Abramson, Kammanit Sansuklerd, Boonyarak Bodlakorn, Wacharee Nagvichien, Arsevi Özkurt
Directors:
Producers:
Charles de Meaux, Simon Field, Hans W. Geissendörfer
Writers:
Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Aka:
Rak ti Khon Kaen
Studio:
New Wave Films
Genres:
Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Countries:
Thailand, Drama, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
BBFC:
Release Date:
21/11/2016
Run Time:
122 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Thai
Subtitles:
English
Bonus:
  • Making of Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes
BBFC:
Release Date:
21/11/2016
Run Time:
122 minutes
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
Languages:
Thai
Subtitles:
English
Bonus:
  • Making of Featurette
  • Deleted Scenes

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Reviews (4) of Cemetery of Splendour

Spoilers follow ... - Cemetery of Splendour review by NP

Spoiler Alert

I love it when a film comes along that changes the perceptions of how a story should be told. Apart from being entertaining in its own right, it shakes up (to a limited extent) the tired, tried and tested mainstream diet of CGI, diluted scares and catwalk model actors with identi-kit personalities. ‘Cemetery of Splendor’ couldn’t be further than that style of blandness. And yet in rejecting everything stale about traditional storytelling, it sadly creates a blandness all its own.

A school in Northern Thailand has been turned into a makeshift hospital to house soldiers who have been afflicted by an unexplained sleeping sickness, which renders them comatose for vast periods of time, punctuated by periods of awakening.

Volunteer Jenjira (Jenjira Pongpas) strikes up a friendship with patient Itt (Banlob Lomnoi) during his few hours of wakefulness. There is speculation that the school was built over a cemetery and the dead are feeding off the minds of the sleeping soldiers. Jenjira also becomes friendly with Keng (Jarinpattra Rueangram), who claims to have some rapport with the sleepers.

That is about all as far as a story is concerned, and it is stretched far, far beyond interest to fill the 2 hour running time. The frustration I felt watching is that anything else dramatic was not likely to occur grew the further in I ventured. There’s no need for scenes of so little happening to last so long, one after the other. All these elongated moments are deliberate artistic decisions, and so cannot be brushed away by budgetary or lack-of-time reasons. And the film has attracted a mass of critical acclaim – so clearly, I just didn’t ‘get’ it.

The camera is primarily static. People wander in and out of shot just as they would in a fly-on-the-wall documentary. Sometimes you only see the back of a character’s head throughout the scene. In true documentary style, the acting is very naturalistic and the characters very believable. While I would commend director/writer Apichatpong Weerasethakul for refusing to utilise anything traditional about this project, and am glad his work has attracted the commendations of critics, this is so uncommercial, it is sadly deeply un-enthralling.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Disappointing to say the least - Cemetery of Splendour review by GJ

Spoiler Alert

Film doesn't match it's imaginative title. As other reviewer noted long scenes with nothing happening. Near the beginning was a lengthy scene of elderly lady walking along a hospital verandah. I guessed then this was going to be a bad choice. Watched the first 20 minutes, fast forwarded, watched some more and finally gave up. Waste of time

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

zzzzzzzzzz - Cemetery of Splendour review by CSF

Spoiler Alert

The soldiers of the film are not the only one to have a long sleep, I had as well. I don't know what more I could say to make the 100 words. The story is like a never ending documentary on the fact that these soldiers have to sleep all the time and nobody knows why so they start to invent fairy tales to explain it: a classic.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Cemetery of Splendour (aka Rak ti Khon Kaen) review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso

Eerily perplexing and mesmerizingly beautiful, Cemetery of Splendor from director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is that rare meditative non-American gem that pushes cinema forward to a direction that most will not dare to follow. It’s a journey, a surreal and a tragic one, suffused with groundbreaking valor of honesty and terror. It’s a non-verbal tale of faith, culture and everything that makes us human. In the most fundamental level - Cemetery of Splendor is just human.

As you probably deducted from the opening paragraph, this little Thai feature dubbed Cemetery of Splendor is not for everyone. Not for most, to be exact. Its contemplative nature and slow pace will either ascend you to achieving Nirvana, or would rather put you to eternal 2 hour sleep. Either or.

The film revolves around a facility in Thailand which nurtures soldiers suffering from narcolepsy – a condition that plagues its carrier with the constant desire to sleep. Since the patients can do nothing about it, this home is their only place in which proper care can be administered for them. However, underneath the physical world, it seems that larger, probably supernatural forces loom in and around the people, plaguing both the staff and the always dreamy soldiers.

Camera movement in Cemetery of Splendor is almost non-existent – meticulously reminiscing the works of such genius Tarkovsky, as well as his Polish counterpart Bela Tarr. Mr. Weerasethakul knows his craft very well, and executes it with perfection so that every scene is there for a larger purpose.

Furthermore, one cannot expect to understand Cemetery of Splendor without at least a basic understanding of Thai culture. As kings of old get awoken in the middle of the day and queens come to life via ceramic statuettes in order to discuss mundane, everyday things – one starts to understand that evoking such entities doesn’t necessary require big budget CGI chaosfests and particle effects in the billions. Rather, Apichatpong Weerasethakul shows us that indeed, the mundane and banal can also be exciting and mystical.

In continuity with its tradition, Cemetery of Splendor chooses to follow two seemingly-ordinary women named Keng and Jen – both whom we later find out wield borderline magical abilities in the form of channeling communication during a state of sleep; this proves very productive since most of the patients are almost always asleep, and their efforts come to fruition as paradigms shift and ordinary stuff transmutes into extraordinary sighting.

Cemetery of Splendor will alter one’s perceptions to no recognition. As daydreaming and mental window shopping (for ideas) extend throughout Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s feature – one can almost feel one with the Cosmos, as cheesy as it may sound. Ultimately, the film may feel like its story is thrown away in favor of visual achievements, which of course gets proven wrong when the penultimate and final shot starts creeping into the visual fields of all who are watching.

For your daily escapade into the netherworlds - Cemetery of Splendor is your go-to flick.

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