Tropical Malady

Tropical Malady

The Thai film poster
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Produced by Charles de Meaux
Axel Moebius
Written by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Starring Sakda Kaewbuadee
Banlop Lomnoi
Sirivech Jareonchon
Udom Promma
Huai Deesom
Cinematography Jarin Pengpanitch
Vichit Tanapanitch
Jean-Louis Vialard
Edited by Lee Chatametikool
Jacopo Quadrie
Distributed by TIFA
Kick the Machine
Anna Sanders Films
Release dates
  • 17 May 2004 (2004-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 24 June 2004 (2004-06-24) (Thailand)
Running time
125 minutes
Country Thailand
Language Thai

Tropical Malady (Thai: สัตว์ประหลาด or Sud pralad; RTGS: Satpralat; lit. "monster") is a 2004 Thai romantic psychological drama film written and directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. It is a film in two segments – the first part a romance between two men, and the second a mysterious tale about a soldier lost in the woods, bedeviled by the spirit of a shaman.

It won the Jury Prize at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, and was the first Thai film to be in the main competition at Cannes.[1] It is also the first Thai film to win a prize at any of the "A festivals".[2][3]


Keng (played by Banlop Lomnoi), is a soldier assigned to a post in a small city in rural Thailand. The troops' main duties, it seems, is to investigate the mysterious slaying of cattle at local farms. While in the field one day, Keng meets Tong (played by Sakda Kaewbuadee). Later, Keng sees Tong riding in a truck in town. The two men have made a connection and embark on a romance, taking trips in the countryside.

Then one night, the country boy wanders off into the dark. The film's narrative abruptly shifts to a different story, about a soldier (played by Lomnoi again) sent alone into the woods to find a lost villager. In the woods, the soldier encounters the spirit of a tiger shaman (played by Kaewbuadee again), who taunts and bedevils the soldier, causing him to run through the woods and become lost and isolated himself.


In Thailand, the film screened for just 10 days at the Siam Theatre.[4]


At the press screening at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival, several audience members left before the film was over and some of those who stayed until the end booed it. The film received generally poor reviews from such industry journals as Variety and Hollywood Reporter, but then won the Jury Prize from the jury headed by Quentin Tarantino and has been generally met with favorable reviews since then.[5]

Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine ranked Tropical Malady the third best film of 2005; the aggregation site They Shoot Pictures, Don't They has also found the film to be the 13th most acclaimed cinematic work of the 21st century.[6]


See also


  1. "Cannes 2004 > In competition > Sud Pradad". Cannes Film Festival. Archived from the original on 2006-10-12. Retrieved 2007-01-08.
  2. Tropical Malady. Author: Charles Taylor. Publisher: Salon. Published: 1 October 2004. Retrieved: 22 May 2014.
  3. Film review: Beauty doesn't clarify 'Malady'. Author: Jeff Vice. Publisher: Published: 16 Sept 2005. Retrieved: 22 May 2014.
  4. Pfaff, Tim (July 9, 2005). "Out of the jungle and onto the big screen -- cult film from Thailand travels to U.S.", San Francisco Chronicle (retrieved August 4, 2006).
  5. Tropical Malady elicits boos and bewilderment, Rotten Tomatoes journal entry, May 19, 2004, cites Reuters (retrieved July 19, 2006).
  6. "21st Century (Full List)". Retrieved January 10, 2016.
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