Here’s a quick review on Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
I have always appreciated the hypnotic pace of Apichatpong Weerasethakul films. He directs with a different set of rules that is inexplicable. His Tropical Malady, Syndromes and a Century and now Uncle Boonmee all exist in their own pensive realms where everything and nothing happens.
As the title suggests, Uncle Boonmee deals with the subject of death and transcendence but not in the way you would expect. Rather, what we get is a bizarre mixture of folklore and the supernatural. A tranquil evening for the dying Uncle Boonmee is interrupted when two people from his past suddenly resurface. There’s his dead wife who returns as a spectre and his son, who long ago vanished into the jungle pursuing spooky monkey ghosts. To further complicate matters, Boonmee no longer recognizes his son, who now has become a monkey ghost himself. As if all of this wasn’t baffling enough, Boonmee’s story temporary stops to make way for a fable about a talking catfish who rids an aging princess of her melancholy by copulating with her. And then there’s a mini-story with a sci-fi twist told entirely in photographs.
Trying to decipher the meaning of the film is impossible because of its esoteric nature. It is best to give into the bewildering narrative and breathtaking beauty of the imagery and allow the film to bring you to an intoxicating place that’s unlike any other cinematic world you have seen before.