Chocolate (Prachya Pinkaew)
Maybe Prachya Pinkaew isn’t best known for his movie titles, or at least the English titles. What Pinkaew is known for is his Muay Thai movies “Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior” (who’s title is misleading because Ong-Bak was an idol, the warrior was Ting) and Tom yum goong, which in the U.S. was released as “The Protector.”
His newest film, “Chocolate,” has nothing to do with, well, chocolate. If you’re looking for a movie about the confection then you’ve come to the wrong place.
Aside from the absurd story, this movie is all action. Pinkaew is known for his amazing cinematic muay thai, his over-the-top stories, and his clever choreography. In the traditional Pinkaew way, all stunts in “Chocolate” are self-performed with no wires.
Zin (Ammara Siripong) is an autistic girl who finds interest in Muay Thai when her mother moves her next to a Muay Thai school. Her autistic mind absorbs the motions like a sponge, and even more so, the martial arts movies she watches thereafter. When her mother, Zen, is diagnosed with cancer and begins a treatment for which she cannot afford, Zin sets out to collect the debts her mother never received. Zin quickly finds herself entangled with the Thai mob.
Not to give the story line away, but there is something about an autistic girl fighting an epileptic boxer that is undeniably intriguing and inventive. Ammara Siripong trained in Muay Thai for five years to make this film. It paid off. She graces the screen with a fluidity and elegance that is engaging and larger-than-life.
As further proof that that these actors performed all the stunts themselves, all the outtakes roll during the credits so you can see all the falls, never-pulled punches, and torture these actors put themselves through in the name of film.
As an action film, this movie is top-notch, filled with suspense, grace, and on occasion, comical moments.