The happy housemaid
The much-loved Thai comic strip character Noo Hin makes her big-screen debut
Local comic book heroine Noo Hin arrives at theatres today in a big budget movie that has four major companies keeping their collective fingers crossed.
Based on the popular "Noo Hin Inter" comic, "Noo Hin The Movie" is directed by the talented Komkrit Treevimol, who moved temporarily from his GTH base to work with Sahamongkol Films under the supervision of Cinemasia's Nonzee Nimibutr.
Nonzee approached Komkrit last year after agreement was reached on the project by the four investors - Sahamongkol, Cinemasia, Me Motion and Noo Hin publishers Vithita Animation Company.
Komkrit agreed to take on the project out of respect for Nonzee, with whom he worked as assistant director on "Nang Nak".
"I was also interested in the story. Although the main thrust of the plot is Noo Hin's clumsiness, I prefer to focus on her relationship with her bosses. Even though they have a very different social status, they really care for each other," says Komkrit.
The film centres on Noo Hin (Roonglawan Tona-hongsa) - a young Isaan maid - and her bosses, sexy sisters Milk (Kotchakorn Supakarnkijkul) and Som-o (Panisa Buajarern).
Noo Hin is a naive but sincere country girl whose behaviour amuses her bosses. Determined to prove just how gorgeous Milk and Som-o really are, Noo Hin secretly sends them to a modelling contest. But her plan goes awry and the three girls become entangled in a hilarious adventure.
"It's a kind of a cat and mouse story," says Komkrit.
The project brings together three of the Thai contemporary film world's top talents - producer Nonzee, director Komkrit and Kongdet Jaturanrasami, director of the awarded romantic drama "Cherm" ("Midnight My Love"), who's the scriptwriter.
"It's gone smoothly because each of us knows our obligations. But it is far more complicated dealing with three companies than being in a one-stop set up like GTH," says Komkrit.
The script has undergone several dramatic changes as each of the partners has had their say. The comic's creator Phadoong Kraisri has also been around giving direction to the characters and story.
"We've worked hard to respond to what fans of the comic strip expect while trying to make it work on screen and that's not easy," explains the director.
He keeps pace with the story by exaggerating the acting and ups the comical aspects by introducing live animated characters similar to the Hollywood flick "Who Framed the Roger Rabbit?"
"I want to keep the sense of the comic in the film," he says.
Unlike with his debut "Puean Sanit" ("Dear Dakanda"), the director was not involved in the casting.
He was busy at the time on the set of his own film.
"It's better to be involved [with the casting] because then I can see how their personalities fit into the story. But as the actors had already been chosen, I changed my way of working and adapted the script to fit their personalities instead."
Komkrit believes in letting his actors play naturally rather than forcing them to recite their lines.
It's an approach that worked successfully with "Fan Chan" ("My Girl") and "Puean Sanit" and giving the cast free rein to improvise often brings surprise emotions to the final cut.
"It's an approach that works well with comedy," he says.
Of the six directors of the 2003 blockbuster "Fan Chan", Komkrit is the busiest and certainly the most in demand. He's already started preparing for his next movie "Sakod Roi Choo", which will see him return home to GTH.
"I was approached by Jira [Malikool] and he pointed out that the project was right up my street - you know, sex, intrigue, infidelity," says Komkrit with a laugh.
After that, he says, he wants to return to making movies of stories that inspire him, just like he did with "Puean Sanit".
"It's a great experience to work on projects that have been started by others like 'Noo-Hin' and 'Sakod Roi Choo' but I still love making films from stories that interest me," he says.
"Noo Hin The Movie" opens today in theatres nationwide.