A scene from HEADSHOT, a film by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. Picture courtesy Kino Lorber. All rights reserved.
- Nopachai "Peter" Jayanama
- Sirin "Cris" Horwang
- Chanokporn "Dream" Sayoungkul
- Apisit "Joey Boy" Opasaimlikit
- Krerkkeiat Punpiputt
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Opened: 09/28/2012 Limited
|Cinema Village...||09/28/2012 - 10/04/2012||7 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Genre: Thai Crime Thriller (Thai w/English subtitles)
Present day Thailand is rife with corruption. Tul, a straight-laced cop, is blackmailed by a powerful politician and framed for a crime he did not commit. Disillusioned and vengeful, he is soon recruited to become a hitman for a shadowy group aimed at eliminating those who are above the law.
But one day, Tul is shot in the head during an assignment. He wakes up after a three-month coma to find that he sees everything upside-down, literally. Unaware of whether the condition is medical or a result of karmic retribution, Tul begins to have second thoughts about his profession.
But when he tries to quit, roles are reversed, and the hunter becomes the hunted. Then he meets a girl who turns his world even more upside down. Can Tul find redemption from the violence that continues to haunt him?
Although the film Headshot is based on a novel written a long time ago, the political aspect of it is still true of our country today, if not truer. Politicians, military generals and wealthy businessmen, with their wealth, education and power, still write the laws and live above them. And common people like us must get used to it. Corruption, when exercised by this ruling class, is accepted as the norm in this democratic society. So instead of education, intelligence and humanity, we use tricks, threats, blackmailing and weapons to build our kind of democracy. Come electon time, a hitman can make a better living than a salaryman. And it doesn't look like change is going to happen anytime soon.
As for the upside-down vision as experienced by our protagonist, his story can be interpreted as the inevitability of karmic retribution. How can one find redemption in such a situation? I believe that it's not be being a good Buddhist, but by accepting the consequences of our actions.
Human beings are all sinners. Innocent or not we are sinners one way or another. Sin is a natural part of our karma. And our karma is what makes us who we are.
-- Pen-ek Ratanaruang, June 2011
Pen-ek was born in Bangkok in 1962. He spent eight formative years in his late teens and early twenties in New York City, where he studied at the Pratt Institute, majoring in Art History. He went on to work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. Back in Thailand, he was appointed Head of Art at the Leo Burnett agency and spent five years as an art director before directing TV commercials.
He made his debut as a feature film director in 1997 with a movie that broke the mold of Thai cinema, and has since produced a stream of innovative films. He is one of the handful of directors who have helped to reinvent the Thai film industry since its slump in the 1990s, and has pioneered both the trend of looking back at retro Thai pop culture for inspiration and the expansion of Thai cinema into the realms of international casting and coproduction.
His films have been screened in festivals around the world, and he has picked up numerous festival prizes.