The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)

R   |    |  Action, Adventure, Drama


The Legend of Suriyothai (2001) Poster

During the 16th century, as Thailand contends with both a civil war and Burmese invasion, a beautiful princess rises up to help protect the glory of the Kingdom of Ayothaya. Based on the life of Queen Suriyothai.


6.5/10
1,804

Photos

  • Chatrichalerm Yukol in The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)
  • Mai Charoenpura and Johnny Anfone in The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)
  • King Tabinshwehti, a Burmese king from the early Toungoo dynasty
  • Wannasa Thongviset in The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)
  • Pimolrat Pisolyabutr as young Queen Suriyothai
  • M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhakdi in The Legend of Suriyothai (2001)

See all photos

Get More From IMDb

For an enhanced browsing experience, get the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Chatrichalerm Yukol

Writers:

Sunait Chutintaranond, Chatrichalerm Yukol (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


11 November 2005 | UberNoodle
8
| A Glorious Epic!
Suriyothai is a stunning film: Spanning 2 DVDs, and full of political intrigue, history, and glorious battle scenes. There are so many main characters, and all of them command a huge amount of weight, and against movie tradition, there isn't really even a traditional Hero character, even Suriyothai herself playing minor roles in much of the drama.

Some have criticized the actress's acting as stiff and wooden, but I thought that Suriyothai was poker-faced intentionally, because she is a Queen after all. Most period pieces from any country have characters like this. I think you have look past her obvious cues and look for the more subtle ones, in order to appreciate her character: passionate about her country and her people, and devoted to her role.

In fact there are many cards that other productions would have played, that this film doesn't, and much to its credit it stays away from many of the obvious manipulative narratives that are the mainstays for this genre of film, especially in the west. The film has a historical and legendary basis, and I am unsure exactly how closely it stays to that, but I found the film had the great level of depth and realism that only the best historical films attain.

Watching hundreds of extras, alongside elephants, charge into battle, clashing swords and dodging cannon fire, is exhilarating. It's hard to see which army has the upper-hand until the final moments. There appears to have been a conscious decision to not fall for the trappings of making each battle into "hero's battle", so the action often stays away from focusing on main characters, and chooses to present to the viewer the sheer chaos of war.

Oh, and it needs to be said: The elephants are awesome.

If you are interested in this film, get at least the the 3 hour long version, as it is the closest to the way the film was intended (reportedly it was originally going to be a mini-series). While this longer edit of the film has a lot more political intrigue and dialogue, it that brings with it much more depth to the characters and situations. If you are not part of the "Attention Deficit Generation" bred by Hollow-wood, you can't go wrong with this REAL version.

I can see why this film was edited down for the USA release. It is very long, and there is a lot of references and content that is probably assumed knowledge for most Thai people. However, while I can see the logic in removing parts of a film because of cultural barriers, isn't one of the reasons for watching foreign film, to find out more about other cultures? Granted, there is much that went over my head while watching this film, but I have to say that I didn't mind, and now I will find out more if I can about Thailand and its history: The Internet is a wonderful invention.

Francis Ford Coppolla has some serious balls to have resold this film BACK to Thailand after he deleted most of it. I doubt he would take a film by Ridley Scott, and slice it to pieces. Faced with that particular situation, I am sure he would be all about "preserving the vision of the artists". It seems to be to be just another example of Hollow-wood being unwilling to let Asian Film compete on its own merits in America, and at least an ingrained xenophobia.

Suriyothai is an amazing film. It is an epic that I have not seen bested by any other, and maybe even the mythical long edit of Tsui Hark's Seven Swords would have an near-impossible mission to dethrone it. The sheer size and quality of this production, together with the unique chance that it gives to see Thai history represented so gloriously and elegantly, are reasons enough to hunt down the Thai DVD.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews


More Like This

Legend of King Naresuan: Hostage of Hongsawadi

Legend of King Naresuan: Hostage of Hongsawadi

The Legend of Naresuan: Part 2

The Legend of Naresuan: Part 2

King Naresuan: Part Three

King Naresuan: Part Three

King Naresuan 4

King Naresuan 4

King Naresuan 6

King Naresuan 6

King Naresuan 5

King Naresuan 5

Dear Dakanda

Dear Dakanda

Dorm

Dorm

Nang Nak

Nang Nak

Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story

Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story

Love of Siam

Love of Siam

Bang Rajan

Bang Rajan

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Action | Adventure | Drama | History | War

O'Shea Jackson Jr.'s Movie and TV Picks

The star of Straight Outta Compton and the new criminal justice drama Just Mercy draws on his film school background to crown the greatest in art and entertainment.

Watch now

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com