Where is Tong?

Where is Tong? is a Thai movie with some intriguing ideas that are barely touched upon, but leave you provoked nonetheless.

The plot is fairly simple: In a small province in rural Thailand, five young children tease a crazy old lady. Their attitude changes when she saves the life of one of the children from an incoming train and ends up in the hospital in a critical condition. To make amends, the children set out to Bangkok to find out the wherabouts of her son Tong who ran away from home after witnessing his father abusing his mother.

The children arrive in Bangkok after having their money stolen on the train by a con artist. Hungry and lost in the city which has been plagued by a serial killer, they team up with two shady characters dealing drugs, as well as clothes taken off of bodies about to be buried/cremated. They pursue several false leads in their search for Tong, but the movie ends in a dramatic confrontation.

There's a psychotic feel to this movie which partly comes from the fact that it's being done using a limited budget and without the facilities that Hollywood studios have access to. The dream sequences are very surreal. For a movie that can ostensibly be considered as being made for children (it's almost Famous Five-like), it touches upon the effects of violence (domestic and otherwise), child abuse, and friendship in a rather disturbing manner.

I liked the messages in the film, but not all the child actors have the calibre to pull off the ambition of the film. A particular stand out is the actress playing the lone girl in the gang of five. As I say above, the movie is thought-provoking and definitely worth checking out, if you get a chance.

Movie ramblings || Ram Samudrala || me@ram.org