Ter Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit’s Movies

In the Thai contemporary film industry, there is no way the name of Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit will go unnoticed. Since his first film “36” came out in 2012 he has been an active director who has already directed 7 films in his career. On top of that, he is also the king of making his work go viral. He always has a way to engage with the audience on social media while promoting his new movie. We would like to celebrate the groundbreaking and fresh ideas he brought into the mainstream audience. So here we are, ranking every Ter Nawapol film. But before getting into the list we have a huge disclaimer to make, every ranking here is based on our opinion. There is no right or wrong here because remember, Art is subjective. If you disagree with this list and have a list of your own, please feel free to leave in it the comment section. We would love to see how you would rank Ter Nawapol’s filmography.

7. 36 (2012)

Min Sangkrai: 36 is a movie about memory and reminiscence. The reason this film’s name is 36 is simple, 36 is the number of photos you could get out of 35mm film but not all of those photos will come out accurately. With just an hour-long it leaves us with the strange lonely feeling. The movie revolves around Sai the protagonist and Um’s conversation and connection. Sai is a locator for the movie production crew and that is where both of them met and formed a meaningful somewhat romantic memory.

When her job is done, Sai stored the photos and memories in the Hard Disk. When her Hard Disk broke, she felt like those events never happened at all. For those memories to come back she has to find the photos and recover the Hard Disk. Not only just that but she also went to places where those memories were made. The sadness in Nawapol film is not loud, but rather quiet. For me, it is the sadness of missing something or connection with a person. The overall tone of this movie is obviously loneliness. 36 also reminds me of Lost In Translation. If you are a fan of these kinds of movies you should definitely not miss this one.

The reason 36 is in the last place in our ranking is not that the movie is not good, it is just not for everyone and the mass audience to enjoy. This movie is excellent in its own way with a lot of meaningful dialogues and beautiful cinematography.

6. The Master (2014)

Tonkaow Chayuth: “Coming of age documentary”, there is no doubt that The Master is suitable for this worthy statement. There is storytelling in a sense of documentary film, besides narrating Van’s Video store in 1997. Looking in the film, illustrating the beginning of copy video in our country until the endpoint of a remarkable journey. The film discusses several elements that allowed audience access to the core value of the movie including independent or indy films, infringing the copyright, the advent of DVD.

From my point of view, The Master is able to narrate the contents interestingly deriving from based on a true story and also mention breaking the copyright, so this is one of the important factors leading to Thais taking oversea film into account. Moreover, there are special guests and their interviews in order to complete a documentary film. As can be seen, the storytelling of the film is likely to be a talkative movie, because several scenes in the film are interviewing and talking to others. However, ease to understand and access the content from the first part of the film. 

5. BNK48: Girls Don’t Cry (2018)

Miu Sivakoses: It is a documentary film that Thai director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit takes a look behind the scenes with a Girl band called BNK48. Every teenager and twenty-something in the band has her own character, personality, and social media followers. To get the most from BNK48, the girls have to compete against their best friends, and only the most popular members are admitted to the core team: the 16 Senbatsus who actually record the songs.

This movie is like living in a society. In our society, sometimes we say that we are friends with this person. In front of many others, but actually, can we say with a full mouth? Because behind the scenes we sometimes have to compete against each other, like a group BNK48 as well. Being together until feeling like friends and family, but in the deep, they must compete because being in the song release project does not have a place for everyone. In the movie, you can see that sometimes it depends on many elements, such as your own trends, followers, or if in real life we ​​can say that “No matter how hard you try, sometimes you cannot be a number one”. The movie also shows about not being yourself or being yourself depending on the voices of others. Each person is trying to find their own selling point in which it makes each person feel like others who are not herself, and sometimes it causes bad feedback and breaks down your mental health.

4. Die Tomorrow (2018)

Navapol Polsamuk: Death is ordinary to everyone. People died every day and it could happen at any time. The movie tries to show us the new perspective and concepts of the dead. If you like to think and keep catching up with the movie at the same time, this film is definitely made for you. However as the movie does not have the main lead character and main storyline, it can be pretty boring. Most people who did not enjoy it will find it very boring instead, no halfway for this movie.

For the actor part, everyone did a really good job as most of the actors usually have already worked with Ter. Ter is great at casting as many new faces receive many comments. The actor is contained with various age ranges make the movie really more interesting as more perspective and more acting skills from different groups of people, for instance, V Violet(singer) and Na Khom(Comedian).

For the visual image, it’s 4:3 like Ter Style with the idea that 4:3 is better on seeing facial impressions easier. These environments make the movie have one straight plotline that is clear and unique.

Die Tomorrow is definitely worth to watch as the concept of the movie is a reminder to us how not only dead but life is also not certain. However as the movie is very slow and languid, it can be sleepy sometimes. One more problem is death is not so abstract and hard to describe. One last thing is to do what you want before you die and watch the movie.

3. Mary is happy, Mary is happy (2013)

Pipe Thanathat: One of the most unique movies that I ever seen, create from 410 tweets by some anonymous twitter users named ‘@marylony’ which was the follower of the director who selected this account after randomly explore his follower and found out that ‘@marylony’ is the only one who didn’t mention or retweet but only tweet text. Ter Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit, the director didn’t even meet with the twitter account owner.

The movie is unpredictable, the story itself would make the audience know that the movie was different but the important factors that develop this movie to another level are tempo. The director and editor provide the audience a super special tempo, they cut, they skip and do anything that other movies don’t but it was very good.

These 410 tweets were events in the last semester of high school. The director has arranged 410 tweets. The storytelling was very good, content and speed are messed up but that mess is very good, giving the audience the unique feeling that you probably never felt with other movies. Surprisingly, Dramatic, Comedy and Romantic, the movie has everything. 

So, you will feel like following ‘@marylony’ twitter for almost 2 hours but not only reading text from her tweets but it’s like watching her live stream. The only weak part of the movie is the middle part which was an emotional scene, the actress doesn’t bring out the best to connect with the audience but after that, the movie is good and ends with the surprising result that is worthy to remember.

2. Happy Old Year / ฮาวทูทิ้ง (2019)

Ta napatr: The story tells us about Gene’s life which she would like to renovate her house. So, she decided to get rid of everything that she doesn’t want to keep anymore. During her process, she found some stuff that belonged to M, her ex-boyfriend. The memory that she has with all these things makes her realize that it is not easy to throw these stuff away from her life because she feels “spark joy” and this spark joy feelings brings so many conflicts to her life. Even some objects don’t have any benefits anymore but the story always lasts long in our memory. She decided to take some action with all of this stuff to make the perfect clearance.

This movie is one of the most indie and hard to understand movies that I ever watched, so I had to concentrate a lot in the cinema. But since I pay much attention to this movie, that makes me get into the movie more and fascinated in the narrative way of the director. “ It would be nice if things could disappear with the snap”, this is my favorite quotation of this movie. Since I’m a bit perfectionist and see the mess in Gene’s house and that makes me think that it will be easier to make things go away with just the snap. I fell in love with all of the elements of this movie because Gene wants her home to be minimal and the director uses the location, costume, dialogue, and the music that refer to the word “minimal”. Not only the Boyfriend and Girlfriend relationship that has been told in the movie but also the relationship between Gene and her mom which impacted a lot to me in this kind of relationship. This movie is really good to me with all the visuals, sounds, and the way that the director narrates to us which makes Happy Old Year the 2nd rank of our ranking.

1. Heart Attack / Freelance (2015)

Min Sangkrai: Freelance hits us hard with the reality of freelancers working in Thai society. As our protagonist Yhun went through an insane amount of work and sleep deprivation, he has to go to the hospital because of rashes on his skin due to bad body condition. Yun has even set himself up to challenge Guinness World Records for the longest time without sleep. 

The sad joke here is, he is a freelancer, he does not have social security, and most importantly private hospital is too expensive than what he could afford. So he ended up moving to a public hospital where he meets Doctor Im. This sets a clear line of private and public hospitals in Thai society and a good satirical way to showcase the on-going real life. What I love about this film is the realness and seriousness of the protagonist’s issue in contrast with his dead-face humor and funny thoughts he has back in his head. If you want to try Ter Nawapol’s movie for the first time, this movie is the one to try. It is both mass appealing like what you would expect from GDH, but still keeping the indieness of Nawapol’s filmography for the smaller group of audience. I would say that this movie is a perfect combination. That is why Heart Attack / Freelance claims the highest rank on this list.