Krabi Krabong in the Movies: Legend of Suriyothai

Featured arts: Although the martial aspects of this film are limited appropriately to the battlefield, several major battle scenes provide ample insight into the weapons, armour, techniques and context for Krabi Krabong. There is little hand-to-hand or one-on-one combat.

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Overview: Filmed in Thailand, this period epic from the 16th century relates the tumultuous history of Siam and its ongoing battles within and without the kingdom. Harried by its eternal foe Burma (now Mayanmar), Siam suffers terribly when the death of its beloved king throws its future into question. Infighting and backstabbing eliminate leader after leader as the forces of Burma descend upon Siam’s borders. The film follows the life of the heroine, Suriyothai, who eventually becomes the queen of King Mahachakrapat. from the age of 15, to her tragic death as she sacrifices herself to save her country.

Rating: 8.1 (of 10) – While the story and cinematography are occasionally hard to follow, it is worth watching several times. Partly to catch all the details of the many intrigues, but also to take in the sumptuous costumes and depictions of a rich but unfamiliar historical and cultural landscape.

(Re-produced under fair-use and with credit)

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