Phi chai
(Thailand, 2014)

English title: My Bromance
Directed by Nitchapoom Chaianun

I’m not sure what to rate this weepy soap-operatic GTM from Thailand since its commitment to its own melodramatic conventions — I mean, there’s a gay pop star, brothers falling in love, angst-ridden confrontations with parents, a car accident, a brain tumor, a beard, promise rings and a teary goodbye at graveside — all those and also its gay-positive message seem sincere. I wasn’t unmoved, either, despite some fast-forwarding, by the central conflict. It’s impressive for the young actors to retain their innocent look, chaste demeanor and their dignity despite being over-directed and put into absurd and sometimes borderline lurid situations. I haven’t seen enough Thai movies like this to know if they constitute a genre, although it’s clear the film aspires for the sensitive quintessence of the almost-an-art-film The Love of Siam, a sprawling, popular and also sincere gay-teen melodrama covering similar territory. For fans of these films and of boys like these, I’d say this is a must-see but don’t expect any revelations. Or any sex, either. But it’s aimed at teens anyway. This is as close as it gets.

Bank and Golf on the couch

Bank and Golf on the couch

Golf Kisses Bank while Bank is sleeping

Golf Kisses Bank while Bank is sleeping

Bank sleeping

Bank sleeping

Bank doing the finger dance, because he's the prettiest boy in class

Bank doing the finger dance, because he’s the prettiest boy in class

Golf after a flirty moment

Golf after a flirty moment