Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. It's more interesting than it sounds. Besides the sheer spectacle, which is notable.
  2. Huge, sprawling, and utterly absorbing.
  3. This lavish and captivating production by veteran Thai director Chatri Chalerm Yukol (Salween) transports us to another world where even the film stock seems imbued with a timeless, classic quality.
  4. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    The frequently confusing story does eventually pull together; but there's still a lack of any strong emotional center, and the character gallery remains over-populated.
  5. Premiere
    Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Fun, fun, fun. [July/Aug 2003, p.26]
  6. It's the equivalent of our "Gone With the Wind," Russia's "War and Peace" or, to take a more modest example, South Korea's "Chunhyang." Sheer ambition and grandiose make the film interesting -- up to a point.
  7. What's singular is that it was funded by the current Thai royal family and directed by a royal prince, Chatrichalerm Yukol.
  8. Although the story and imagery are absorbing to watch, the details of the plot are sometimes hard to follow and fully digest. But enough of it survives to make this extravagant production a delightful experience for Westerners to watch.
  9. 75
    Though stilted and emotionally vacant at times, it's still an entertaining and absorbing experience.
  10. After a rough orientation, it kicks in to be a visually enthralling, viscerally rousing, politically fascinating epic of the old school that evokes the pleasures of the great spectaculars of the Hollywood past.
  11. Not the place to go look for nuanced, deeply emotional performances. The acting is inevitably on the formal side, suitable for the pageant this film is. But don't let that dissuade you. They won't be making another film like this any time soon, and the chance to see all those elephants is not one you get every day.
  12. 70
    Comes closer to deification than dramatization--a shame, since the film offers some powerful set pieces and jaw-dropping spectacle.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. KlausV
    Nov 27, 2003
    A rich and stunning movie that succeeds well in recreating the past. It is a true epic, including romance, treason, murder, battles, and A rich and stunning movie that succeeds well in recreating the past. It is a true epic, including romance, treason, murder, battles, and sacrifice. Especially the elephants are a delight to watch. Unfortunately, at least to western viewers, the dialogue and the actor's expressions at times just seem too formulaic to be believable. Also, as the review by Robert C. shows, the audience can easily get confused, maybe because the two main female roles look too much alike in our eyes? So let me set Robert C.'s confusion straight: It was Srisudachan, High Consort of King Chai Raja (the one who previously had the child regent killed), who poisoned her husband in order to install her lover of U-Thang blood on the throne. She is the anti-heroine of the movie. Our real heroine, Suriyothai, who married the Prince of Tien, died with a clear conscience. Full Review »