So exactly, why am I reviewing a Thai movie? Let alone a movie about transvestites playing volleyball. Well, I got a hold of this movie this past summer because of the rave reviews of it in HK. The only version I could get my hands on was a copy of the dubbed Cantonese version. The dubbing was an all-star cast, consisting of Ekin Cheng, Eric Kok, Sandra Ng, Wyman Wong, etc. So I assumed it would be as funny as the reviews had said. Boy, was I wrong.
First a bit of a synopsis of the movie - Its basically about this team of drag queens trying to win the regional Mens volleyball championships in their part of Thailand. The team is full of colourful personalities. One of the girls is from the army, another is a full-fledged transsexual (voiced by Sandra Ng) called Pia who performs at a nightclub and has a boyfriend, and there were the triplets. Another player keeps his preferences a secret from his parents and as his parents arrange for his marriage to a girl, he runs away to join the team. And like in any sports movie, the team faces obstacles along their quest. Firstly, the team captain (voiced by Ekin Cheng), who is the only non-transvestite on the squad, is very opposed to his teammates and their attitudes. Secondly, the head of the volleyball association is out to get them. And then there is the whole tournament full of men who underestimate their talents and discriminate against their lifestyles.
I didnt really find anything special about this movie. In fact, I thought it was long and draggy. I sat in front of the TV just thinking when this was going to be over? It was just an ordinary old sports movie, with the same old storyline. The only thing that was unique about it was that it has drag queens. The punchlines in the movie were not funny (or at least I didnt get the point). There was also the part when the dubbing artists tried to speak in Thai. What was the point of that? Were they trying to make fun of the language? One thing for sure, I didnt find it particularly amusing. The stars who dubbed this movie should really stick to their day jobs. I admire virtually everyone of them, but dubbing is not really their thing. The Cantonese dub to this movie was really terrible.
Also, this movie played on a lot of the typical stereotypes of transexuals. The actors all do not look like women, but they all "act" like (or at least try to) act like women. Supposedly, I think the director was trying to produce a comedic effect out of it. But it was just so overacted and unnatural that it was amazingly uncomfortable and quite unbearable to watch. I think the relatively more enjoyable parts of the movie was when they actually played volleyball. Since this movie was based on the 1996 national champs, I wonder if they actually used film footage from that tournament in the film.
Overall, I found this movie to be very dull and not enjoyable at all. One person to commend is the actor who played Pia, Gokgorn Benjathikul, at least he was the only who tried to act during this whole thing. There is a sequel, but I doubt I would be rushing to the video store to rent my copy.