Headshot

2011 [THAI]

Crime / Drama / Thriller

2
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71% · 14 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 48% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 6.1/10 10 1852 1.9K

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
970.69 MB
1280*640
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
Seeds 9
1.76 GB
1920*960
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 45 min
Seeds 9

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Amari-Sali 6 / 10

A cop turned assassins tries to right the wrongs the justice system lets through the cracks

At the first Tribeca Film Festival I ever went to this was playing, but due to time restraints I missed it. Now, being like most films I've reviewed, I didn't see the trailer and only read a synopsis and saw the poster, I was expecting an Asian based action movie. What you end up getting though is a noir styled film which has a slightly intriguing story which may lose you at times.

Characters & Story

Tul (played by Nopachai Chaiyanam) is a cop who discovers, during an investigation, a government official's brother has criminal ties. So, said government official tries to bribe Tul to keep his mouth shut. This doesn't work so they use a young girl named Tiwa (played by Chanokporn Sayoungkul) to seduce him, and pretend to be dead, and with this they try to blackmail him into submission, but all that ends up happening is he assaults their middle man negotiator, and ends up in jail for a few years.

Thus leading to him meeting a man offering him the opportunity to work as a vigilante of sorts. In such a position, rather than enforce the rules and prosecute in the inadequate way, he would instead take out the scum who slip through the cracks. At first he isn't for this idea but, upon Tiwa's death and the cops' ambivalence to it, he decides to take the position. From there, we are lead on a journey, partly, fueled by revenge and also partly fueled by a sense that the current system doesn't work and he (Tul) is fixing the wrongs of the world. Thing is, when you kill one person you effect many others, and with one man's death he becomes the hunted leading us to watch him on the other side of the gun and running for his life.

Praise

For me, the overall story was quite intriguing and though the action scenes were often a bit too dark, what could be seen seemed to be good. Outside of that, there isn't really much to praise.

Criticism

One technique I will always dislike is when a film jumps from past to present, back to past, and then to present again. And while Headshot does note when it does go back in time, I did feel sometimes it wasn't consistent with this, so at times I was left wondering when in Tul's life we were. Also, as noted, probably the big draw for the film are the action sequences, of which there isn't anything over the top done, so they are often run of the mil. But, to me, what was perhaps the biggest issue is that the story may have good moments, but often times characters come and leave Tul's life to the point where it is hard to pin a face and name down to somebody before they end up dying or just disappearing for anywhere from 20-30 minutes.

Overall: Skip It

It took me awhile to finish Headshot and that was solely due to me losing interest in the film multiple times. For, with the movie being nearly 2 hours long, there just isn't a strong enough story, nor entrancing enough action, to really keep you interested. And mind you, no one is a bad actor in the film, but at the same time, being that this is a noir, you do begin to feel like the standard of acting should be better, and it never reaches that point. Hence why I say to skip it. For though it does have an interesting poster and trailer, somewhere down the line the film just becomes another action film which tries to be deep at times, but ends up lost in translation.

Reviewed by alshwenbear1 6 / 10

A cop turned into a hit-man, gets shot in the head and sees the world upside down.

As soon as I learn about this movie, immediately I remembered "Memento" (2000), a movie I never could figure out if I like or dislike. This time with "Headshot", a cop turned into a hit man, I got that old feeling, when a crime movie doesn't need to move at fast pace, or big arguments, but a real comprehension of his characters, and that is what this movie offers, it builds up little by little to the point that I felt as if I knew "Tul" in real life. Unfortunately I predicted two of the most important elements of the movie. I could complain about the ending, but I won't, because it doesn't matter who did the final deed, we are just told that when you are good but play for the bad, there's no redemption, sometimes just a place to hide. On this review you won't find any spoiler watched and judge yourself, I give it six out of ten because the ending fill on the inadequacies of the film, as always, this is a film just for cinephiles.

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 7 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Headshot

Pen-Ek Ratanaruang's critically acclaimed film Headshot may be a surprise selection for this year's edition of THIS Buddhist Film Festival, as this crime noir is drenched in murder and blood, revolving around the life of a cop turned hired gun, if not for one of its more obvious themes dealing with karma, where what goes around will eventually come around, and those who live by the sword would know what eventualities lie ahead in a life that's based on vengeance and hatred. It's not difficult to see why Headshot had garnered some major film awards in Thailand, and may just be Pen-Ek's more accessible film in recent years.

Based on a novel written by Win Lyovarin, Headshot has an interesting if not easily overlooked premise that deals with the corruption of society, applicable not only in Thailand, but may be typical of anywhere around the world, where the rich and powerful often find ways to circumvent social and moral norms. Businessmen and politicians find power through their spheres of influence, where money can buy a man's integrity and honesty, and any resistance swiftly met through the destruction of one's credibility, or in an extreme case, the ending of one's life. And this cannot be more pronounced in the life of Tul (Nopporn Chaiyanam), an honest cop framed for a crime he did not commit, and find it almost therapeutic in seeking revenge by crossing the line and becoming a hit-man for a shadow organization meting its own vigilante justice on the corrupt.

But things get complicated when a routine hit turned nightmarish where Tul gets shot in the head, become comatose for months, and wakes up with his literal view of the world turned upside down, metaphoric for the topsy turvy spin his life would now take, possibly trapped in the winds of change he cannot avoid, contemplate, or fix for the better. The cogs are in motion for a life most extraordinary in his seeking of the truth, after we slowly learn how his life has become manipulated by parties taking their own selfish interests, and in a way, feel pity for the character who cannot change the fate he had chosen. And in some ways this also had to do with the women in his life, who come so fleetingly, such as the callgirl Joy (Chanokporn Sayoungkul) and Rin (Cris Horwang), who becomes his pseudo-getaway car driver, but is actually more than meets the eye.

Ratanaruang presented the film in a fractured narrative form, as if to mirror the confused state that Tul is in, becoming the hunter then the prey, hunted by those whose lives he had changed from the hits carried out, with his pursuers adamant in wanting to discover the top of his food chain. It's told in a non-chronological order that segregates the significant portions in Tul's life, from his pre-hit-man days to his cop moments, and that of the present where his attempts to lead a monk's life gets threatened by his earlier life of violence that come back to haunt him. And credit to the director for being able to hold your attention despite shifts in timeline presented, being probably more effective when told in this fashion, forcing the audience to adapt with change as Tul spirals toward a finale filled with enough gun battle to excite the casual action seeker.

The camera angles and cinematography by Chankit Chamnivikaipong also deserves mention, for its inventiveness, and vivid bringing out of the mood throughout the film, often dark, and drenched in rain, running parallel to Ratanaruang's dialogues and monologues that accentuates the inner thoughts of the various characters here, caught in their bleak world based on choices they have made, good or bad.

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