Starring: Cris Horwang, Theeradej Wongpuapan, Ungsumalynn Sirapatsakmetha
Director: Adisorn Tresirikasem
Running Time: 125 mins
Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story is a Thai film about a woman who, becoming increasingly concerned about being single after the rest of her friends get married, attempts to beat her romantic struggles, and meets a handsome railway engineer along the way.
A classic chick flick for the modern day, Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story may not offer anything particularly interesting or impressive when it comes to a good story, but it makes up for that to a degree with a cute sense of quirkiness, going further with a self-aware sense of humour and real likability than the vast majority of overly serious chick flicks.
Now, no matter how bad the genre’s reputation may be, the chick flick is perhaps even better than the good old romantic comedy when it’s at its best. All-time classics like Dirty Dancing and Ghost prove the case, with real emotional passion that justifies the more dramatic, serious approach to romance, along with the odd bit of comedy and light-hearted antics to lighten the mood throughout.
Bangkok Traffic Love Story, on the other hand, sits in a rather awkward position between being a full-blown chick flick with its more earnest look at the struggles of a woman entering her thirties and a throwaway rom-com with its more light-hearted, offbeat quirks.
One thing’s for sure, that this is a very cute film. It may not be a deeply passionate romance as the best chick flicks are, but there’s an extreme likability to some of the purely innocent romance and true love that this film throws up, all centred around a main character who may not be the most fascinating nor strong-willed, but is entirely captivated by her new love, something that helps you to engage with her to the same degree.
However, as pleasant as it may be at times, just being cute isn’t really enough to carry this film for its two hour-plus runtime. In terms of a likable romance, the film does better than melodramatic or bickering love stories that the genre often throws up, but there really isn’t that much dramatic depth beyond the main character to actually captivate you in the story.
With the odd chance meeting with a man on the Bangkok transport system sending her into a frenzy, the majority of the movie’s romance is fairly shallow, dull and haphazard. It’s cute when it comes along, but that’s about, and the film doesn’t manage to make those chance meetings memorable enough to stay at the front of your mind right the way through, making this a rather underwhelming romantic movie.
The focus on our main character is somewhat more interesting, with her struggles to settle down with a man by the age of thirty leaving her feeling deeply frustrated, while the pressure of those around her all getting married only worsens her feelings. At times, when we double down on the main character and forget about everything else that’s going on, that story can be rather touching and sweet, as well as carrying a degree of dramatic intrigue through the film as a whole.
However, even that isn’t the most in-depth analysis of the struggles of the modern woman – as the film puts it. I felt that this movie was too distracted with its cute, offbeat quirks and those few fleeting moments of romance to really look around and turn this film into more of a character-driven drama, which I think would have suited it far better than simply being a chick flick.
Overall, then, I wasn’t overly impressed by Bangkok Traffic (Love) Story. There are things about it that made me smile, with its quirky, offbeat humour and style often making it a pleasant and likable watch. However, with a frustratingly muddled position between a more serious, dramatic position and something a bit more cheesy and romantic, it’s rather difficult to engross yourself in the film, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.6.