Screened as part of NZIFF 2004
Tropical Malady, a strange, languorous movie from the director of last year’s Blissfully Yours, is a love-it or don’t-get-it experience. This year’s Cannes jury got it, and gave it their Special Jury Prize.
“A remarkable experiment in vision and narrative. It begins innocuously enough in the familiar affectless manner of modern Asian cinema. Keng and Tong are, respectively, a farmer and an army reservist, who begin an intense friendship that deepens into love. Then the movie flips on to a higher level as one gets lost in the jungle and is pursued by a ghost before finally confronting a spirit in the form of a tiger. The final sequence, semi-dark and all but silent, recalls Apocalypse Now, but with a dark and hallucinatory twist. A beautiful and strange film.” — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Hauntingly beautiful… a gay romance which uses myth and metaphor in its second half to elevate its pleasant but mundane love story to a level of animalistic mystery and awe that ultimately makes for transcendent viewing.” — Stephen Garrett, indieWIRE