Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul is best known for his beautiful, strange, but patience-testing films – Cemetery of Splendour is mainly just one of these, and unfortunately it’s the last one.
Never quite as imaginatively shot or directed as its bizarre premise deserves or warrants, Weerasethakul wastefully settles for framing his interesting (and excellently performed) characters and stunning settings with a series of pleasant but bland static shots.
Cemetery of Splendour’s deadpan humour and oddball sensibilities will amuse to a point, but this will be tested to its limits in a lengthy and inconsequential ending sequence. Here, patience is the key to enjoyment.
An interesting, well-established world and its characters are frustratingly under-served by the placid direction and drab framing. Sadly not up to the high standard of Uncle Boonmee.
CAST: Banlop Lomnoi, Jenjira Pongpas, Jarinpattra Rueangram
DIRECTOR: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
WRITER: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
SYNOPSIS: A mysterious sleeping illness afflicts the patients at a hospital for soldiers. A friendly local woman Jenjira (Pongpas) begins to tend for Itt (Lomnoi), a handsome soldier who receives no visitors.
Cemetery of Splendour was screened in Official Competition at the 2015 London Film Festival.