Swede on the run in Phuket
Based on a similar notion to that of Rebecca Gibney’s Wanted on Seven, Farang is a Swedish action thriller set in Phuket, Thailand.
It stars Ola Rapace ( Skyfall, Wallander) as Rickard, a former criminal hiding out in Thailand from people he testified against 10 years earlier. He has been paranoid about his privacy, including never allowing himself to be photographed. But everything is jeopardised when his 15-year-old daughter Thyra (Louise Nyvall) tracks him down; if she can, then so can his enemies. It also stars Thai pop star and actress Yayaying Rhatha Phongam ( Only God Forgives) as Pranee.
From the predators waiting to pounce on the unaccompanied Thyra to the cockfighting, cheap beer and seedy night clubs, the creators haven’t shied away from depicting the unpleasant underbelly of the tourist trade.
Swedish director Erik Leijonborg ( Thicker than Water, also available on SBS On Demand), says Farang they tried to avoid cliches by doing research in Thailand before the shoot, and using a local crew who were familiar with international productions.
“I love character-driven dramas with a tense thriller element,” he told the Nordisk Film & TV Fond earlier this year. “Also, I have a teenage daughter — so the father and teenage daughter angle was very interesting to me.”
The 20-year veteran of TV drama also says formulaic dramas for mass markets were a thing of the past.
“There’s been a new shift, with audiences asking for unique stories and complex characters again. Therefore I’m glad to see that writers and directors now are inspired to create more drama ‘outside the box’,” he says.
Can it be long before we have Nordic noir set in the Australian outback? streaming on SBS On Demand.
Ola Rapace plays a former criminal hiding out in Thailand in