The story is a complicated one dealing with three princesses who run Langkasuka. Langkasuka is constantly under attack by pirates and the Black Raven, a warrior trained in Du-lum. Du-lum is a mystical art of being in sync with the water and its inhabitants. One way to stop the pirates is to get this big ‘ole cannon from the bottom of the sea and the only way to get that is through Du-lum.
A lot of the actions scenes are fun and inventive, especially some of the sword fights. The film slips when dealing with the emotional weight of the film. There are too many characters and Nimibutr can’t balance them all properly. He clearly seems more interested in the visual aspects of this movie. A lot of the shots are done with a clear artistic style. The special effects aren’t revolutionary but they are never poor enough to be distracting.
The really interesting thing is how Nimibutr tries to balance the reality aspects of the story with the fairy tale ones. It’s not a perfect gelling, but it is a different take than films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. There is a scene when a character gets shot in the head and another when a character learns how to “read the minds” of fish.
All of this is really just leading up to the big final battle which is entertaining, but would have been more effective with a stronger focus on its characters.
The DVD extras are pretty slim. There are only two featurettes. One Nimibutr and a few other cast members talking about the film. They keep saying the story isn’t complicated, but then it takes them several minutes to explain the plot. Hmm. The other is fly-on-the-wall look at some of the filmmaking through a mediocre camera. This DVD did an annoying thing of starting the movie immediately with the English dubbing. At least for me, I always like watching the movie in its original language.
Film: 2.5 Yaps
Extras: 2 Yaps