In The Blue Hour (อนธการ), Tam (played by Atthaphan Poonsawas) is a gay teen who is frequently bullied at his school. Often bloodied and left abandoned to tend his own wounds on the school yard, Tam suffers from emotional scars when he returns home at the end of each day. His mother (played by Duangjai Hirunsui) is unable to accept Tam’s homosexual tendencies, and takes them as a personal attack on herself. After dabbling with online dating, Tam agrees to meet up with Phum (played by Oabnithi Wiwattanawarang) at an abandoned local swimming pool. A haunting location, the abandoned pool actually provides the boys with the privacy they need as they get to know each other. Nervous at first, Tam jumps into some sexual activity with Phum.
Phum eventually comes to Tam’s home, narrowly evading Tam’s mother by climbing up on the roof to speak with Tam. A relationship develops between Tam and Phum, although it must clearly remain a secret to Tam’s family. Phum eventually brings Tam to a garbage dump, which lies upon land onced owned by Phum’s family. Perhaps metaphorical in nature, Phum suggests that there are ghosts in this dump, mirroring something he said while they were at the abandoned pool. Tam’s imagination runs wild with this idea.
“Rather than settling for yet another goo-goo eyed story of puppy-dog romance featuring two young men of hairless exquisiteness, the talented writer-director gradually introduces much darker genre elements that suggest something of the state-of-mind of the protagonist, whose peers and parents aren’t exactly on board with his same-sex proclivities.”
— The Hollywood Reporter
“It reminds us that while films in the West usually present sexual pleasure as primarily a bodily function and a (temporary) flight from death, in Asian cinema the same phenomenon often has a spiritual dimension that connects with, rather than flees, mortality.”
— Roger Ebert
“What Boonyawatana does is by the end make us question if the ghosts and spirits are trying to hurt Tam and Phum or help them.”
— The M Report
Did You Know?
While The Blue Hour (อนธการ) served as a bold directorial debut for writer and director Anucha Boonyawatana, the story actually enjoyed a second life outside of the theatre. Following its cinematic release, the storyline was adapted to fill an episode of the popular Thai series ThirTEEN Terrors, a dramatic series revolving around a group of school-age teens who are uncovering their school’s dark and violent past. Review our Gay Themed Films Here