Cemetery of Splendour
IN A small Thai town, a troop of soldiers comes down with a strange case of sleeping sickness. An abandoned elementary school is converted to accommodate them.
Jenjira Widner (Jenjira) is a middle-age Thai woman married to a retired US soldier. She volunteers to tend to the sleeping soldiers, and takes a special interest in Itta (Banlop) who has no visiting relatives.
She also befriends Nui (Petcharat), a clairvoyant who claims to be able to read the sleepers’ minds.
Jenjira then meets two goddesses who tell her about the resting place of an ancient king underneath the school.
The king is using the sleeping soldiers to fight his war. As a result, the soldiers feel tired all the time and need to rest.
Jenjira is alarmed and feels protective towards Itta. Even though he only wakes up a few hours per day, Itta makes her heart flutter.
This film is not everyone’s cup of tea. The pacing is terribly slow. You need patience to enjoy it.
Some might even doze off halfway through, very much like the soldiers themselves!
You will also experience how certain characters are going through loneliness and isolation.
The more you delve into the film, the more you realise that the director used symbols to show how the past does not have a place in a society that is moving ahead at fast speed.
The first scene begins with the school being slowly demolished, and by the end of the film, the demolition proceeds at full speed.
That is enough to tell you that time waits for no one, and the future has arrived without showing any mercy. – Bissme S.