The fantastic and the familiar; where what’s normal becomes extraordinary – forget about trying to pin things down in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Just let the magic envelope you, says Critic After Dark Noel Vera.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s latest, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Lung Bunmi Raluek Chat, 2010), is ostensibly about an old man undergoing renal failure, and his final days – but don’t let that synopsis fool you.

It’s steeped deep in the beauty of Northern Thailand’s countryside and jungle – but no, this is not your usual ‘beauty-of-nature’ flick. It’s filled with spirits and strange creatures and even stranger occurrences – but don’t let those elements waylay you either. The film is not quite as fabulist as it sounds, and not easy to engage with (for one, it moves at a pace a snail would find leisurely) but it can be ultimately fulfilling, if you manage to cotton on to what the director is trying to do.

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