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Film Review: Mekong Hotel
by Rose Finlay

A confusing and inconsistent film, it apparently has something to do with a young couple among the backdrop of the Mekong River which separates Thailand from Laos. Curiously included is the supernatural creature the “Pob spirit” who takes the form of the mother of the woman in the relationship. Long takes of the river, political discussions, unfathomable conversations in uninspired bedrooms, confusingly emotionless dialogues on the veranda are interspersed with shots of the various characters eating entrails while being possessed by the Pob spirit.

It seems as if the director Apichatpong Weerasethakul was simply trying out different ideas that had very little cohesiveness. The work may be attractive to those who are more interested in experimental film work, or those who have experience with Weerasethakul’s previous work. Despite this, it still feels clunky and uninspired, and perhaps would have been better off being kept private instead of being released to public viewing. For the normal viewer, Mekong Hotel is a nonsensical hour which ends in about a 15-minute-long shot of jet skis speeding in circles on the Mekong River. In other words, unless you are a fan of Weerasethakul, you should probably give it a miss.