Hello Stranger (กวน มึน โฮ)
Wednesday, January 30th, 2013 @ 6:30 PM
Center for Korean Studies Building, UHM
Thailand (2010, 130 mins)
Thai & Korean w/English subtitles
Director: Banjong Pisanthanakun
Producer: Jira Maligool
Cast: Chantavit Dhanasevi, Nuengthida Sophon
Two Thai tourists meet cute in Korea in Hello Stranger, an adorable romantic comedy that salutes, pokes fun at and deftly tinkers with the conventions of its own genre.
During Thailand’s Songkran Festival, a man (Chantavit Dhanasevi, who co-wrote the screenplay) joins a package tour to Korea but is stranded in Seoul when he is accidentally misses out on a mountain trip. Abroad for the first time and speaking little English, he latches on to a Thai girl (Nuengthida Sophon) he meets by chance to explore the city together. When she breaks up with her control freak boyfriend over the phone, they head to the countryside to attend her friend Min Ah’s wedding.
The film gets its spontaneous, happy-go-lucky vibe from emphasizing how the protagonists reveal more of themselves to strangers as one tends to lose one’s inhibitions abroad.
The screenplay deftly light-foots around scenarios that would have turned schmaltzy, the best example being a candle-lit dinner that becomes a gag that turns on May’s idolizing of Korean heartthrob Bae Yong-jun.
Hello Stranger makes wry observations on the Thais’ infatuation with Korean TV drama, all the while giving them what they want by shooting in all the touristy locations with K-drama references – even Min Ah’s house looks like the set of a Joseon Dynasty costume epic.
The film was Thailand’s box office top earner in 2010. Addiction to Korean TV drama is not necessary for getting the ubiquitous references to the subject, but it helps.
-Maggie Lee, The Hollywood Reporter
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Distributor: UNKNOWN. If you have any information about where to buy this film, let us know!
Distributor: GMM Tai Hub (GTH)
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Reminder…dress warmly, the auditorium is heavily air-conditioned.