ManSuang (2023)

ManSuang (2023)

PG-13

netflix

A stunning, but disappointing historical espionage drama that has such a confusing story

5.4

Movie

Thailand
Thai
Drama, Mystery
2023
BHANBHASSA DHUBTHIEN, CHARTCHAI KETNUST
Asavapatr Ponpiboon, Chartchai Ketnust, Duangjai Hiransri
128 min

TLDR

Apo Nattawin Wattanagitiphat is so handsome, though…

What it's about

Siam, 1850. After being falsely accused of murder, theater actors Khem and Wan have a chance at an official pardon if they manage to infiltrate Man Suang, the mysterious Siamese entertainment club that secretly hosts various political negotiations during the end of King Rama III’s reign.

The take

With its celebration of Thai dances, excellent costumes, and two male theater actor leads, ManSuang seemed like it would be something akin to a Thai Farewell My Concubine, especially as it starts off with what could have been sex scene interrupted by a murder. The addition of the espionage storyline, as well as the dynamics between the Chinese and the mainland Thai, seemed like the film would be subtle social commentary through historical drama. However, the story feels haphazardly assembled, with characters acting contrary to their goals, and sadly, the film doesn’t showcase as much of Thai culture as we would like. Instead, the film spends more time establishing an overly complicated mystery that gets too hard to follow with its multiple plotlines. ManSuang has beautiful set design, costumes, and a handsome cast, but the writing wastes the potential the story had.

What stands out

ManSuang’s premise is interesting, but the way the story flowed feels boring and overly complicated because it never establishes what’s emotionally at stake for the characters. The film also shies away from depicting the emotional side of the relationships between Khem, Wan, and Chatra, even in a platonic way. Because of this, every move they make feels random, even when the choices they make could mean the end of their lives.

Comments

Add a comment

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

UP NEXT 

Miss Shampoo (2023)

Mobster drama meets quirky romance in this unique, though uneven, Taiwanese comedy

6.7

Doi Boy (2023)

Nontawat Numbenchapol dives into feature film in this stunning, thrilling debut

7.8

RedLife (2023)

Two lives collide in tragedy in this grim, though aimless, melodrama

6.5

The Official Story (1985)

A heartbreaking family drama that reveals the human cost of Argentina’s political unrest in the 20th century

7.7

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020)

A star-studded and riveting legal drama with a blockbuster feel.

8.1

Forgotten Love (2023)

The stunning third take of the classic Polish pre-war melodrama

7.7

The Guilty (2018)

A minimalist, razor-sharp thriller that will have you gasping for air.

9.0

Falling in Love Like in Movies (2023)

A contemplative Indonesian romance film that rewrites and re-examines the genre’s conventions

8.4

Bray Wyatt: Becoming Immortal (2024)

WWE’s best effort to pay tribute to Windham “Bray Wyatt” Rotunda

8.5

System Crasher (2019)

A tale of trauma and one of the most talked about movies on Netflix in 2020.

9.0

Curated by humans, not algorithms.

agmtw logo

© 2024 agoodmovietowatch, all rights reserved.