Syndromes and a Century (2006) Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

Syndromes and a Century is a indy Thai drama film that was band due to the inadequate activity of monks breaking principles of religion. Firstly, the name of the movie is already distinct. It is not the type of movie that we go to see in theatres as it is really confusing and complicated. This is what makes the movie so interesting and symbolic. When i watched this film for the first time, I had many questions that could not be answered.

The movie is divided into two parts, first taking place at a rural hospital and second taking place at a more civilised environment. Surprisingly, the two parts both have similar dialogue. The different locations motivates to characters to react differently. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey, the movie carries many symbolic elements that foreshadows the society today. In the first scene, the movie is clearly trying to suggest that people in the countryside are more affectionate that the people in the city. This is shown by the dentist and monk scene when the monk encourages the dentist to carry on his dreams on being a singer. Another scene is when the monk is not asking for prescription for himself, but for the others too. He also later offers an old chinese medicine to the doctor. We can also see at the scene when everybody was sitting outside enjoying nature and somebody was playing the guitar. No poisonous pollution for disturbance and everybody enjoying life and happy with the things they have.

The city hospital however, takes in these actions in totally different way. The lack of trust is clearly seen in this part. The monk is also trying to connect and make friends with the dentist, but however the dentist does not share his personal life with his clients. The dentist then tries to cover up the monk’s face with a safety cloth but then the monk immediately removes it from his face. It is clear that the monk does not trust the dentist. Sometimes getting to know about someone’s life or background is a contribute to trust. Also another scene, when the monk ask prescription for himself and his other friends at the temple, the doctor immediately confirms. He clearly does not care about others but to make a profit.

I guess this movies has many other ways to react to the symbolism. It is also a out the failure of relationships between the characters. There are no relationships in this movie that succeeds. There are also many use of empty spaces and the use of windows that make the atmosphere feel like its connected to nature.

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