Tropical Malady (2004)

Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul

The passionate relationship between two men with unusual consequences. The film is divided in two parts. The first half charts the modest attraction between two men in the sunny, relaxing countryside and the second half charts the confusion and terror of an unknown menace lurking deep within the jungle shadows.

The film mirrors the yin of Keng’s pursuit of Tong throughout the first half of the film to the yang of Keng’s spiritual journey through the second half. Though the film’s two parts seem as if they could work independently of one another, the first half clearly anticipates the second, or, more precisely, the second half seems to reimagine the more conventional first part as a primitive tribal dance. Both parts seem to tell the same story—only one says it with considerably less words.

Ed Gonzalez (Slant Magazine)