Saturday, January 9, 2010

In short: My Ex (2009)

Warning: I'm going to spoil the mid-film surprise here, but without explaining it, the plot synopsis wouldn't make a lick of sense. Also, the surprise is only surprising if you have never heard of ghosts before.

Male starlet Ken (Chakrit Yamnam) has the emotional attention span of an hyperactive puppy, and therefore flits from one woman to the next, although he seems to prefer having three girlfriends at once to that old-fashioned monogamy. He has some idiotic spiel about "finding his one true love" to justify himself, but really, he's just a douche. If you need more proof for that than the three girlfriends at the same time business, just watch what happens when Meena, one of the three, makes the most of his sperm and gets pregnant. Of course, sentences like "Are you crazy?" and "Are you sure it's mine?" are spoken.

After their nice little talk, Meena commits extra special suicide by first cutting the foetus from her body and smearing it all over her mirror, then drinking a cleaning agent and then, obviously not satisfied with the melodramatics, cutting her wrists.

Afterwards, she proceeds to act as Ken's ghost-girlfriend (whom he thinks for quite some time to be still alive, although she does things like teleporting and has dream sex with him - he's none too bright, is our Ken). She also proceeds to kill her rivals, a friendly paparazzi and Ken's idiotic manager, avenging things that will only be explained in flashback after the fact.

My Ex is quite a mess. It's one of those films whose writers think that by making the structure of their paper-thin plots needlessly complicated they somehow elevate them into a the realm of artful spookiness. The opposite is the truth here. My Ex's tendency to explain character motivation a long way after the act these motivations are supposed to motivate have already happened, just makes a simple story seem bloated and less believable than it already is.

It's certainly not helpful that director Piyapan Choopetch is neither all that good at delivering the scary set pieces nor the rather silly lifestyle of the rich and famous melodramatics. The expected spookiness happens in the expected way, and I can't say that I cared about it even a bit.

The acting isn't all that hot either, but I wouldn't blame the actors for that one too much. The script just provides them either with nothing much to work with or explodes in the strenuous melodramatics of the suicide scene. It is a bit as if the film had been made by aliens who only know humanity from soap operas.

Another problematic factor is the way the film treats its douchy protagonist. More than once, I couldn't help but think that the film wants us to see Ken as some sort of tragic figure and not as the self-centred arsehole it actually presents him as, leaving me unable to care about what happens to him. Well, unless it would have been a violent death, but My Ex isn't even solid enough to provide that sort of satisfaction.


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