The Overture (2004)

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The Overture (2004)

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Name:The Overture (2004)

Total Size: 1.00 GB

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Torrent description

The Overture

Time: 104 minutes
Spoken Language: Thai
Subtitles: English

Based on the life of Luang Pradit Pairoh (Sorn Silapabanleng) the most revered traditional Thai music master who lived during the reigns of Kings Rama V to VIII, the movie traces the life of Sorn, who picked up the ra-nad ek (Thai xylophone) mallets as a small child and played all his life. The backdrop to Sorn's life tale is the story of Thailand's classical music from its golden age during the reign of King Rama V to near extinction after the end of the absolute monarchy when the government banned it as uncivilised in the 1930s -- a time when Field Marshall Plaek Pibulsongkram tried to push the Kingdom into the modern era. The film shifts back and forth from the time when Sorn was a young man, playing in a xylophone duel with the intense Kun In, to the 1940s, when Thailand was under Japanese occupation and Sorn's playing would provide some inspiration to the oppressed citizenry of the time.


The Overture (from Wikipedia)

Directed by
Ittisoontorn Vichailak
Produced by
Ittisoontorn Vichailak
Chatrichalerm Yukol
Nonzee Nimibutr
Duangkamol Limcharoen
Pisamai Laodara
Written by
Peerasak Saksiri
Dolkamol Sattatip
Ittisoontorn Vichailak
Anuchit Sapanpong
Adul Dulyarat
Narongrit Tosa-nga
Somlek Sakdikul
Music by
Nick Chaiyapak
Nattawut Kittikhun
Editing by
Ittisoontorn Vichailak
Distributed by
Sahamongkol Film International
Release date(s)
Flag of Thailand February 6, 2004
Running time
104 min.

The Overture (Thai: Hom rong) is a 2004 Thai musical-drama film. A fictionalized account based on the life story of Thai palace musician Luang Pradit Phairao, it follows the life of a Thai classical musician from the late 1800s to the 1940s. The film was the winner of several awards in Thailand and was the country's official selection for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It was directed by Ittisoontorn Vichailak and producers included Nonzee Nimibutr and Chatrichalerm Yukol. The film was also credited with a revival in the popularity of piphat – Thai classical music.


Starting out in the 1940s, the story finds the elder Sorn bed-ridden. To an old friend, he recalls his childhood growing up in 1880s Siam, during the reign of King Chulalongkorn and the action flashes back to that time.

Sorn's brother was a gifted classical musician, so gifted in fact that it caused a rivalry with other musicians that ended in Sorn's brother's death. Because of that, Sorn's father bars the boy from taking up the ranad-ek (Thai xylophone). However, Sorn, who has shown a talent for the instrument since an early age, defies his father and sneaks off to practice playing in an abandoned temple in the jungle.

Eventually, he becomes so skilled at the instrument that his father has no choice but to let him play. One day, in a local village, Sorn and his ensemble are set up to perform in a courtyard. Across the courtyard is another ensemble, led by a fierce-looking bearded ranad-ek player dressed in black. As the rival player starts to perform, a storm whips up adding to the ominous mood of the setting.

But Sorn's talent does not go unnoticed and he is soon chosen to play for a local nobleman and is sent to the palace for more formal music training. There he meets an older man that he thinks is a palace caretaker, or some type of lowly person that does not know about music. However, later, when Sorn is to meet his new teacher, Master Tian, it is revealed to be the old man he met earlier. Tian turns out to be a strict teacher and instructs Sorn on all the instruments of the Thai classical music ensemble. At one point, Sorn is punished for being too flashy a player and is made to relinquish the ranad-ek to an inferior player, much to the dismay of other members in his ensemble, as well as a high palace official watching the performance.

So when it comes time for the kingdom's musical competition, it is Sorn who is again the lead player. However, Sorn must overcome his fear at the competition, because he must again face the fierce, bearded ranad-ek performer who played so furiously that one day to whip up a storm in the courtyard.

The story flashes back forward to present day, showing Sorn as a respected teacher. One day Sorn's son has a piano moved into his father's studio. The expectation is that his father will be furious at having a newfangled Western instrument brought into his house. But instead of being mad, he instructs his son to play a tune on the piano. The elder Sorn then takes up his ranad-ek mallets and improvises with his son, blending Thai and Western music.

This is during the rule of the dictator, Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsonggram, whose government called for accelerated modernization of Siam. As a result, performances of traditional Thai music, dance and theater were frowned upon. Furthermore, Siamese people were instructed to no longer sit on the floor – they must sit on chairs. In Sorn's neighborhood, the orders are enforced by a furious military officer, Lt Col Veera.

However, Sorn leads a rally of local citizens, and in defiance of Veera's orders, plays his ranad-ek.

* Anuchit Sapanpong as younger Sorn
* Adul Dulyarat as elderly Sorn
* Pongpat Wachirabunjong as Lt Col Veera
* Narongrit Tosa-nga as Khun In
* Phoovarit Phumpuang as Terd
* Somlek Sakdikul as Master Tian


After a poor showing at the box office on opening weekend, The Overture was pulled from many theaters. However, after word of mouth spread and discussions flourished on Internet forums such as Pantip.com, the film was brought back and become a sensation that won numerous awards and sparked renewed interest in Thai classical music. Captivated by the film's nationalistic, historical and cultural themes, the film was embraced by Royal Family and the Thai government, which used it as a promotional tool. It was one of the most popular Thai films of 2004.


In addition to being named as Thailand's official selection for Best Foreign Language Film for the 77th Academy Awards, The Overture collected dozens of awards in Thailand. They include:

* 2004 Thailand National Film Association Awards
o Best Picture
o Best Director
o Best Supporting Actor (Adul Dulyarat)
* 2004 Bangkok Critics Assembly Awards
o Best Picture
o Best Director
o Best Actor in a Leading Role (Pongpat Wachirabanjong)
* 2004 Star Entertainment Award
o Best Picture
o Best Director
o Best Supporting Actor (Adul Dulyarat)

Film festivals

The Overture was screened at many film festivals in 2004 and 2005. They include:

* Toronto International Film Festival
* Vancouver International Film Festival
* Pusan International Film Festival
* London Film Festival
* Seattle International Film Festival


* The actor who portrayed Khun-In, Narongrit Tosa-nga, is a professional musician and a gifted player of the ranad-ek (Thai xylophone) and actually performed all the ranad-ek parts in the film.

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