Synopsis by Mark Deming
A master musician defends his talent and his family's reputation against political interference and artistic challenges in this historical drama from Thailand. Sorn (played as a young man by Anuchit Saphanphong and as an older man by Adul Dulyarat) was the younger brother of a musician who was a master of the ranard-ek, a wooden percussion instrument similar to the xylophone. Sorn was eager to follow in his brother's footsteps, but his family discouraged him until his brother was killed in a fistfight with rival musicians, and Sorn took up the instrument to honor his memory. While Sorn displayed an easy talent on the ranard-ek, he was also headstrong and lacked discipline, and after impressing local audiences, he first tasted humiliation when he was outclassed in a competition with master musician Im Krun (Narongrit Tosa-nga). From that point on, Sorn dedicated himself to serious study of the ranard-ek and honing his talent in anticipation of another face-off against Im Khun. However, Sorn's rise to the peak of his form comes as the Thai government introduces a sweeping program of "cultural control," as certain traditional art forms were discouraged in the name of bringing the nation a more modernized lifestyle. Released in North America under the title The Overture, Hoam Rong was inspired by the true-life story of Thai musician Luang Pradit Phairao.
music, musician, pride, rival, Thailand, xylophone