Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The Believers

We have seen Christian and Jewish hypocrites, but most of us are unconscious of Buddhist hypocrites.  Still if there wasn't something strong at the core hypocrites would need to find another cover.

In "The Believers" three teenagers (Game, Win and Dear) fail at a gaming business venture and find themselves in very deep debt. They try to find an alternative to get out of debt and stumble on the idea of taking advantage of the Buddhist temples that seem to generate large income with little accountability.

They are very clever at how they manipulate those who run a small temple.  But they do attract attention.  They are basically laundering money, but others see temples as a great way to deal drugs.  Some of the monks are corrupt, but we also learn that many had been forced into monasteries by poor parents. 

The plot revolves around the schemes to pay off their debt and to deal with accusations of drug dealing.  They get involved with religious and miraculous symbols.  

There are a few sincerly religious people and one character is very good at articulating his beliefs.

Along the way you get a view of Thailand from moderately well off to poorer sections.from natural wild settings to modern cities and of course beautiful temples.   But it is really people who make this film so memorable.

Wattanapong Wongwan is the director in only his second feature. 

Aummmarapora Phandintong is the creator and a key writer for this series.  She has 13 credits for writing and 2 credits for the Script and Continuity Department.  She also was creator for "Analog Squad" (2023), one of my top favorites from last year,  Check http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2023/12/analog-squad.html

R.J. Khanijaon provided the music.

Kittiwat Semerat was a cinematographer with 5 film credits.

Paradorn Vesurai was an editor with 6 editor, 2 editorial department and 2 composing credits.

Teeradon Supapunpinyo plays Win.  He speaks English and worked with Ron Howard directing  in "Thirteen Lives" (2022).    He played in a rock band.  He has 27 film credits including "Bad Genius" (2017) and "In Family We Trust" (2018).http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2021/09/in-family-we-trust.html and http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2018/06/bad-genius-out-of-thailand.html

Pachara Chirathivat played Game.  Was a band member including writing music, singing, keyboard and guitar.  He has 16 actnig, 1 composing and 1 soundtrack credit.Achiraya Nitibhon played Dear, sister to Game.  She took an online course with the Berklee College of Music.  As a singer she once had the number one hit in Thailand.  She has 2 film credits.

Channarong Khuntee-tao played Tang, one of the manipulators.  He has 11 acting and 1 directing credit.

Pramod Sangsorn played Yod, a detective who went against his superior.  He has 2 acting credits.

Will make you more conscius Available on Netflix dubbed or subtitled.

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