Thai film productions of late have been dabbling with horror and romantic-comedy, thus it's interesting to see one that fuses horror and romance in the form of Monthon Arayangkoon's I Miss You. Despite a number of technical qualities, the film isn't salvaged by its distinct lack of storyline, lacklustre cast performance, and an uncomfortable pacing with its lengthy running time drag.
Bee, a young and beautiful training doctor at the Hospital’s Surgical department meets Dr.Tana, a senior doctor who is also her supervisor during her internship. She got to know of the tragic story of Tana and his fiancée, Nok, who was also a doctor at the Hospital before she was killed in an accidental just before their wedding. Tana has been living in grief and sorrow since Nok’s death, yearning for his lost love. Tana’s devotion attracts Bee and she attempts to relieve him from his misery. As she got to know Tana better, she realized that it is Tana’s grasping and attachment that are haunting him, keeping Nok’s spirit by his side…While Bee’s feeling for Tana grows, her fear and insecurity are creeping in too: having to face the ghost of Tana’s dead fiancée; Tana’s grasping of his past and most importantly, being the substitute and living in the shadow of Nok.
When this horror genre film gets a title like I Miss You, one should probably be aware of potential marketing ploys. Yes, the film is indeed a horror romance, and a bad one too.
Opening with a bemusing highway car accident before turning up the volume of a melodramatic ballad track, the film doesn't instill any form of expectation within its audience. With the lack of implored imagination and curiosity, it self indulges in itself to allow its good-looking yet dull-performing cast members to path the way for a series of irrational narrative plot scenes.
Bantering between genre plays, Arayangkoon switches relentlessly from horror to romance and vice versa. While toying with the audience's emotions might be a mean of engagement, it lacks a purpose in doing so. Plot ends are not tied up well enough, resulting in jarring plot transitions that are not constructive towards narration. Scenes often feel like they are devised for specific deliverables, such as an intentional set-up of a frightening situation in a dark laboratory or a claustrophobic lift car.
Horror is served relatively well to the audience, thanks to its well-composed visuals and sound design. Photography composition caters for apt space (or sometimes the lack of it) that visually entices imagination of the unknown. In short, visuals appear to be well-planned with optical depth and pleasantly mindful of mise-en-scène. One can also aurally envisage directional sound during creepy sequences, thus heightening the audience's sensory anticipation of fear and slight dread. There is an instance where someone falls from height and without depicting it visually, we are able to feel and re-enact the implied incident within our minds.
However, not all technical aspects positively contributed towards the film.
The pacing (editing) often got lazy and allows the film to drag on infinitely during multiple occasions. Just when one expects a film to conclude a shot/scene and move on, it persists with extended panning to evoke melodrama with countless playback of its Thai ballad track. I must say, the artiste of the ballad got lucky with multiple aural exposure (thus, marketing) of his track single. Understandably, melodramatic scenes require such techniques.
But the filmmakers abuse it with an extreme degree of irksomeness.
Sadly, without a credible script and cast performance, technical values can only enhance a production with a certain limitation. Consider this one of Thailand contemporary cinema's failed experiments.