Thai drama ‘One for the Road’ Reignites the Buddy Road Trip Movie

Thai Filmmaker Baz Poonpiriya shakes a delicious buddy road trip drama with ‘One for the Road’

Thai drama ‘One for the Road’ reignites the buddy road trip movie. Photo courtesy of Sundance Institute.

Thai Filmmaker Baz Poonpiriya delivers a true Sundance breakout with his buddy road drama ‘One for the Road,’ making its premiere at the reimagined 2021 Sundance Film Festival.

The New York City to Bangkok road trip begins when a Manhattan bar owner named Boss (Thanapob Leeratanakajorn) receives an unexpected phone call from his old friend Aood (Natara Nopparatayapon) in Thailand. Aood is battling cancer and he wants to travel across Thailand to visit ex-girlfriends for closure. Boss and Aood hit the road in a vintage BMW with a box of cassettes of old radio DJ shows featuring Aood’s late father. Surprise visits with Aood’s old girlfriends provide the movie’s standout moments. Aood also has unfinished business with Boss, and a pretty bartender named Prim (Violette Wautier), that delivers the film’s most heartfelt surprise.

Poonpiriya and co-writers Puangsoi Aksornsawang and Nottapon Boonprakob mix the perfect amounts of heartache and comedy for a fresh spin on the popular buddy road trip genre. A soundtrack of seventies pop classics from Elton John (‘Tiny Dancer’) and Three Dog Night (‘One’) brings an extra bounce to storytelling. An ensemble of fresh costars lifts the English-and-Thai-language ‘One for the Road’ beyond familiar genre formula. When you’re close to guessing the next line of dialogue, co-leads Thanapob Leeratanakajorn, Natara Nopparatayapon, and Violette Wautier deliver an emotional surprise.

Poonpiriya and cinematographer Phaklao Jiraungkoonkun draw creative inspiration from the master filmmaker and producer Wong Kar-wai. ‘One for the Road’ is as beautiful to watch as any of Wong’s classic melodramas with multiple camera shots that would make Wong’s longtime DP Christopher Doyle smile. More importantly, Poonpiriya wraps ‘One for the Road’ with a final camera pan and a moment of magical loveliness that’s truly his own.

DirectorBaz Poonpiriya

Production Company: Block 2 Pictures and Jet Tone Productions

Distributor: TBD 

Unrated

Air Date: TBD

Behind the Curtain Master Filmmaker, Wong Kar-wai is the producer of ‘One for the Road.’ You feel and see Wong’s melancholy beauty throughout the movie.

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