A successful Bangkok architect in the midst of a midlife crisis is reunited with an elephant he knew growing up. The two embark on a road trip to the man’s childhood home in the idyllic Thai countryside.
Along the way, they meet a colorful cast of characters that includes a pair of nonplussed local police officers, a forlorn transgender sex worker, and a mysteriously wise drifter.
As the encounters mount and the bond between man and elephant deepens, filmmaker Kirsten Tan weaves a strikingly universal tale in this feature debut that won prizes (and hearts) at the Sundance and Rotterdam Film Festivals.
"(The elephant) is not just window dressing, his unpredictable actions help drive the story as much as any of the human actors. In fact, you could say that the way this elephant walks through the film, deliberate but purposeful, with a clear goal in mind, somehow sets the tone for the unhurried but focused way "Pop Aye" unfolds."
"(A) road tale with sparkling character interactions and a delightful variation on the concept of man's best friend."
"...Pop Aye himself, played by the elephant Bong, has such a magnificent charisma that Tan’s film lights up whenever he’s on screen."
"Soft and sweet, Kirsten Tan's bright and airy debut is also quietly eloquent, speaking of a loss and regret which is by nature very specifically Thai but should find wider play."
"This bucolic escape from big-city life is anchored by a solid script filled with characters who, despite reaching the end of the road, find ways to make peace with the world."
DIRECTED BY Kirsten Tan
in Thai with English subtitles
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