“A heavily-armed version of The First Wives’ Club.”
According to the film’s introductory narration, Thailand now has about three women for every man. This has led to many men both having an “official” wife, while also keeping a mistress, and not exactly being secretive about it – when the wife dies, the mistress gets “promoted” to replace her, which has obvious implications for both parties. In order to protect their rights, the eives form an association, the FCWI, which stands for First Class Wives International. Not to be outdone, the mistresses do the same thing, with the ECWI (Economy Class Wives International). After two members of the former are gunned down on a stretch of highway, the two groups seem set for a fiery and murderous collision between the wives and mistresses.
Except, it doesn’t really happen until the very end. Even at a brisk 77 minutes, there are way too many scenes of the two groups sitting around chatting, getting information from a guy who is selling to both sides, and deciding not to attack each other quite yet. Some of the technical aspects are also remarkably awful, given what appears to be a professional production in other ways – the audio, in particular, appears to have been recorded on a cellphone [which reminded me of another weird aspect; the informant’s cellphone appears to be right out of the 1980’s, the size of a brick, while everyone else has modern ones]. And since it appears the cast are almost entirely models, rather than even model/actresses, the performances are largely uninspiring, though Punnakan as first wives’ leader Jittra, does hold the viewer’s attention nicely when on-screen.
What also worked for me, surprisingly well, were the action choreography and cinematography. However, for that to happen, you must accept that the former is clearly intended to by hyper-stylized rather than in any way realistic. Once I understood and accepted that, I was able to enjoy those for what they are, and the camerawork is nicely fluid and, occasionally, truly beautiful, as when there’s a slow zoom out with the camera going up, over a bathtub containing a dead body. It’s moments like that which will keep you watching, through the severely tedious sitting around and feminine bickering.
Dir: Kittikorn Liasirikun
Star: Metinee Kingpayom, Nussaba Punnakan, Manassavee Krittanukoon, Naowarat Yuktanan