Saturday, October 2, 2010

Meat Grinder (2009)

Thailand continues to be one of the most interesting movie countries in the world. They suffer corrupt politics, strong religion, censorship and hypocrisy – but great pain also creates great art, just look at Spain and Italy, with an ever present catholic church and a lot of political turbulence. Meat Grinder was initially banned because the government thought it would bring bad light on the beloved noodle shops – personally I think it was more the scenes of Thai military brutally beating and killing innocent people. In the UK it is out completely uncut, and wow… what a movie!

Mai Charoenpura plays a noodle vendor who had some rough times in her life. She lives alone together with her daughter and barely survives. Some sleazy gangsters want the money her late husband owns them, so life is shit generally. Until she starts killing people and serve their meat has a delicious ingredient in her soups. One day a clerk at the local drug store, played by sad-looking Rattanaballang Tohssawat, becomes interested in her – and starts helping her with her noodle shop. At the same time he’s also looking for his best friends who disappeared in the Bangkok riots, not knowing that he’s already been eaten by hungry customers…

First of all, it’s important to realize that Meat Grinder isn’t your normal gore-slasher flick. It’s a helluva lot more accomplished than that, with several layers that deals with politics, child abuse, mental problems and just a good old love story. The story is told slow, and sometimes arty. There’s flashbacks, which can be confusing at first – but slowly becoming more understandable the further the movie goes.

I don’t want to tell too much about the story, because it’s a lot more complex than you can believe. The love story is treated so realistic and gentle that if you took away the gore this could have been an excellent drama instead, now it’s a drama for people with a strong stomach. The gore and blood is graphic and very realistic, but sometimes goes over to black comedy with blood spraying everywhere. This woman knows how to handle herself after meeting so much fucked-up men! It’s easily the goriest Thai movie I’ve seen, even surpassing Slice and Art of the Devil 2 when it comes to graphic bloodshed.

Meat Grinder is a masterpiece of drama, black comedy, gore and splatter. It’s hardly a typical popcorn movie, but a very well acted and written drama about cannibalism and noodles.

No comments: