Cinemas recently reopened their doors to the public after three months of nonactivity. Despite that, the summer blockbuster season as we know it is cancelled as many major releases are still biding their time, waiting for the pandemic to subside in order to gain the trust of the public.
I knew I had to watch something on the big screen. It had been far too long. Was it going to be the new Digimon feature? Or The Bridge Curse? It didn’t really matter as I was just happy to be back in the chill and comfort of a cinema. I eventually settled on a screening of Low Season, which was one of the film releases that was put on hold due to the Movement Control Order back in March.
Low Season tells the story of Lin (Ploypailin Thangprapaporn), a young lady who is just tired of it all. She is tired of the bustle and high pace of city life. She’s also attempting to seal fresh wounds due to her recent break-up with her superstar boyfriend. As such, she escapes to the quiet and calm of Thailand’s north to clear her thoughts and recuperate.
However, Lin harbours a spooky secret. She has the ability to see ghosts, something that has haunted her since the day she was born. She primarily keeps this secret to herself, preferring not to tell anyone else in fear of being branded as a lunatic. The only other human who knows of Lin’s sixth sense is her trusty and supportive best friend, Get (Morakot Liu).
Enter Pud (Mario Maurier), a struggling screenwriter who is also reeling from his own version of heartbreak. In order to cope with it, he sets his gaze to the north to find inspiration for his next script treatment, a horror film, which leads to him crossing paths with Lin. Both of them initially start off on the wrong foot due to a series of amusingly eerie events but soon find the solace they had set off to find… in each other.
Maurier and Thangprapaporn both play likeable and flawed personalities well enough to keep the audience engaged. Like the layers of an onion, their motivations are peeled away. You are constantly rooting for them through the various misadventures and ghastly encounters that unfold on the screen right up to the very end. They may be brushing leeches off their ankles, discussing whether to eat unripe or ripe bananas in the jungle, or just running away from ghosts. Both Maurier and Thanprapaporn display adequate romantic chemistry to keep the ants motivated.
The comedy also sticks the landing most times, with the wide-eyed beguile of the performers playing a giant role in nailing the aspect. One particular scene in the middle of the film, I thought was hilarious due to the utter absurdity of a character played by Nakhorn Silachai. It was just insane fun unravelling itself right up to the end of the sequence.
To get critical, I would say that the plot is honestly pretty underwhelming. There is a whole lot of nonsensical and predictable mumbo-jumbo that happens throughout the film. At one point, you will balk as one of the leads reverts back to a toxic life, nullifying any growth and development that had been made prior. The pacing is similarly flawed, with the plot randomly resolving or jumping past threads in choppy bits.
As Low Season is primarily a rom-com, the spiritual component is essentially played off as fun or as a comedic device. Lin will find a jump scare every now and then and the reaction we get from her, or even Pud, is just to garner some laughs from the audience. However, the logical aspect of it remains a blur. While it is established that Lin has been seeing these entities ever since she was born, it doesn’t delve into how it has affected her. The rules are also pretty inconsistent, and while it doesn’t really affect the plot, it did take me out of the movie every once in a while.
One aspect I really dug was the attempt to create a cinematic landscape. Many times, I found that the wide shots were effective in getting the audience to absorb the sheer beauty of Thailand’s lush and green paddy fields, a winding hilltop, or an illuminated galaxy of stars. The camera lingers long enough on the scene to give you time to take everything in.
Despite its glaring flaws, I cannot say that I was not entertained in some form. Low Season is deliberately fun and joyous in its execution that it’s hard not to smile, especially during its comedic bits. Ultimately, Low Season leans in on its flawed characters who decide to wash their pained souls during the literal showers of the ‘low season’, away from their troubles, away from pain, away from toxicity. And this might very well be the clean slate some people need after three long months without entertainment.