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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Action > Rape > Sexual Assault > Law > Court > Thailand > At The Gate Of The Ghost (2011/aka The Outrage/MagNet/Magnolia Blu-ray)

At The Gate Of The Ghost (2011/aka The Outrage/Magnet/Magnolia Blu-ray)


Picture: A     Sound: B     Extras: C     Film: C+



A young monk is disillusioned after a murder trial in front of the King and in this, a story of murder is told by three witnesses: Singh Khan the bandit, the wife of a deceased warlord, and a shaman who is possessed by the ghost of the warlord.  Each one tells a different version of the warlord's murder, but who is telling the truth?  As the monk takes shelter in cave with another man and a crazy old man, they talk about the witnesses and who was telling the truth among all the lies in M. L. Pundhevanop Dhewakul’s At The Gate Of The Ghost (2011).


Obviously inspired by Kurosawa’s Rashomon, this has some good moments, but can only do so much new (outside of the new setting) to distinguish itself from that classic (reviewed elsewhere on this site) and its many imitators, including the 1960 Hollywood film The Outrage (1964) with Paul Newman and Laurence Harvey.  As for those separate accounts of events, the bandit paints a story of a glorious battle with the warlord.  The widow tells the story of faithful wife being raped and her husband demanded her kill herself afterwards to redeem his honor.  The shaman (arguably a witness) tells the story from the warlord's perspective on how the wife gave in lustily to the bandit, then left him for dead and he committed suicide.  However, in reality, the bandit wanted to be remembered as a feared infamous man, the wife wanted to be the tragic heroine, and the shaman wanted have his reputation as a necromancer increased and there was a 4th witness who saw both the bandit and warlord being goaded by a seductress wife, and they fought each other cowardly, and the warlord only died because he accidentally tripped.  Oddly the monks faith was restored after showing everyone were liars. 


This story was not as much a trial, but entertainment for the king (you can hardly call it a trial if there were no evidence and only testimonies), whom ever told the best story wins.  While all the character claimed they were telling the truth and had nothing to lose, the all still had something, their reputation.  Each time a new version of the story was told, the background/setting changed.  In the end the moral of the story seems to be it is in human nature to lie.


You may want to give this one a look just to see how they did it, but those who feel this has been played out will want to skip it.  It is at least an interesting attempt to do it again, if not always successful.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer can looks very impressive throughout, making it one of the best-looking productions from Thailand we have ever seen.  Color, definition, depth and detail are fine throughout, even when the imaged is styled.  The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is towards the front speakers and a mixed recording that I was not as happy with.  Too bad, because it looks so good.  Extras include making of the film, behind the scenes and trailers.



-   Ricky Chiang


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