Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Pop Aye' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
The Korean Film Festival in Australia is underway - make sure you click here to check out our reviews from this year's line-up!x
review, Pop Aye, Pop, Aye, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Thaneth Warakulnukroh, Penpak Sirikul, Bong, Kirsten Tan, Drama film rating

POP AYE

★★★

NOT YOUR NORMAL ROAD TRIP MOVIE

SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Charlie David Page
4th June 2017

Elephants have always played an important part in Thai culture. Intricately woven into the fabric of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, they have long been considered as sacred animals. At one time, they were widely used for logging, and more recently, as entertainment for tourists. Even to this day, these gentle giants remain a revered symbol of Thailand, as animal rights catch up with the country. The question now remains: what is the future for these massive creatures as Thailand continues to advance?

Thana's (Thaneth Warakulnukroh) life seems to be disintegrating around him. His work as an esteemed architect is being disregarded by his new bosses, and his marriage is on the rocks. By chance, he stumbles across a street elephant, and realises it is the same animal he rescued as a child. He buys the elephant and decides to make the long trek from Bangkok back to his home town.

'POP AYE' TRAILER

What appears to be an uneventful story really has so much more going on below the surface. The film's theme of no longer having a place in the world as it changes around you is true of both Thana and his elephant, as well as many of the characters they meet on their travels. The journey may not necessarily provide the answer to this conundrum, but it does allow them to fit a little better into the lives they have been given.

While not the most breathtaking film to watch, the cinematography does an adequate job of showing off Thailand's countryside, as well as details of everyday local life. Writer/director Kirsten Tan has delivered a drama scattered with a unique sense of humour largely derived from life's misfortunes. Making her feature film debut, what the story lacks in even pacing is truly made up for with the characters she has crafted, and her work with Warakulnukroh to make Thana a believable custodian of this elephant. Their relationship is remarkably truthful and endearing, as Warakulnukroh interacts intimately with the giant creature that could easily crush him without an afterthought.

The film's theme of no longer having a place in the world is true of both Thana and his elephant.

While Tan has put together a charming feature, the story could easily have been improved by trimming 10 to 15 minutes off its running time. Nonetheless, it offers a glimpse inside the true Thailand and looks at a cultural reverence which dates back thousands of years. Inevitably, 'Pop Aye' is an endearing story about a man and his elephant trying to find their place in the world.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 05/04/2018
RUN TIME: 1h 42m
CAST: Thaneth Warakulnukroh
Penpak Sirikul
Bong
WRITER/DIRECTOR: Kirsten Tan
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
Looking for more Sydney Film Festival reviews? Click here to check out our collection of this year's highlights.
Ride Like a Girl - Michelle Payne's Melbourne Cup win rides onto the big screen
TRENDINGWIN RIDE LIKE A GIRLMichelle Payne's Melbourne Cup win rides onto the big screen
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - Terrifying tales come to life
TRENDINGWIN SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARKTerrifying tales come to life
Ad Astra - A luscious and meticulous space drama
TRENDINGAD ASTRAA luscious and meticulous space drama
Ride Like a Girl - Melbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
TRENDINGRIDE LIKE A GIRLMelbourne Cup biopic plagued by race's questionable history
And Then We Danced - A passionate and remarkable classic in the making
TRENDINGAND THEN WE DANCEDA passionate and remarkable classic in the making
2040 - A hopeful look into our environmental future
TRENDING2040A hopeful look into our environmental future
Gallipoli - A powerful and important film remembered
TRENDINGGALLIPOLIA powerful and important film remembered
Braid - A dark and unhinged fairytale
TRENDINGBRAIDA dark and unhinged fairytale
Good Boys - More than just a young 'Superbad'
TRENDINGGOOD BOYSMore than just a young 'Superbad'
Dreamland - Surrealist noir
TRENDINGDREAMLANDSurrealist noir
Inseparable Bros - A heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
TRENDINGINSEPARABLE BROSA heartwarming tale about disability and the power of friendship
Portrait of a Lady on Fire - A perfect film on the language of desire
TRENDINGPORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIREA perfect film on the language of desire
The Keeper - The true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
TRENDINGTHE KEEPERThe true story of the Nazi goalkeeper and the English girl
Parasite - A bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
TRENDINGPARASITEA bloodthirsty and very funny look at class warfare
The Wandering Chef - A delicious tale of human connection
TRENDINGTHE WANDERING CHEFA delicious tale of human connection
Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story - A sympathetic portrait of the ultimate Hollywood outsider
TRENDINGFUCK YOU ALL: THE UWE BOLL STORYA sympathetic portrait of the ultimate Hollywood outsider
Sydney Underground Film Festival 2019 - The reviews
TRENDINGSYDNEY UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 2019The reviews
Dora and the Lost City of Gold - Dora meets Indiana Jones (and a song about poop)
TRENDINGDORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLDDora meets Indiana Jones (and a song about poop)
Ladyworld - Experimental thriller not so thrilling
TRENDINGLADYWORLDExperimental thriller not so thrilling
Judy & Punch - A dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
TRENDINGJUDY & PUNCHA dark fairytale from a fresh Australian voice
© 2011 - 2019 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us