The Love of Siam is a Thai romantic film that centers on two high school boys who’ve developed quite a bond with one another. Released in 2007, it was a critical and commercial success, so much so that the movie eventually ended up in our shores via the Internet (I don’t think it was released in the theaters here.); and one of its stars, Mario Maurer, became an endorser of local clothing brand, Penshoppe.
I’ve heard of this movie, often haphazardly mentioned by friends, Internet forums and blogs. Personally, I’m wary of ‘gay’ films because it normally means having lead characters suffering from so much sexual tension in the first half of the movie that in the other half, they do nothing else but mate like rabbits (often, with even more rabbits). Hence, I never bothered watching the movie until yesterday.
What do you know, I bawled like a baby as the end credits rolled.
It’s funny because practically throughout the entire film, I kept criticizing the story for having too many plots and side stories. Each character—there must have been a total of 10—was well-developed, too much in fact, that each had their own little dramas and conflicts to deal with. I thought the story could have done with more editing and focused on one theme instead. (In the film’s Wikipedia page, the movie is criticized for not having been marketed as a ‘gay’ film. My theory is that the many story arcs in the movie, which cover marital problems, alcoholism, obsessions, music, friendship, puppy love, death, and family, AMONG OTHERS, was an attempt to diffuse the attention from the evolving romance between the two lead actors if indeed, there was an attempt from the producer/director to tone down the gay theme to ensure commercial success. Also, I’m not sure how accepted gays are in Bangkok, but based on the movie, it seems the same as in Manila—generally tolerated.)
The film ends up branching off course the main theme several times in order to (unnecessarily) develop the characters’ sub-plots. This means that while I’m more interested in seeing the romance between the two leads bloom, I am disrupted by stories that are brewing elsewhere in the timeline. It is frustrating because they muddle a beautiful love story.
Oh, but how beautiful it was: young love that is unhurried—there’s a virtue for you. [Spoiler: highlight to view] There was such pureness in the tension between the two leads that the consummation of their desires amounted to nothing more than the pressing of their lips. Indeed, it required nothing more.[Spoiler ends.]
I cried because it pained me to think how society makes it so hard for such beautiful love to be possible.
You may watch the movie in its entirety here: