Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Patrick Z. McGavin
    90
    A spellbinding, beautiful, enigmatic film with a mysterious, allusive two-part structure.
  2. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    50
    Extremely slow--unbearably so at certain points. And even when there's no action, there's very little dialogue, and we're asked to follow the disjointed and dreamlike story line without the help of anything resembling a narrative.
  3. Weerasethakul's latest has received mixed responses on the film-festival circuit, yet while it's anything but commercial, it's also anything but unadventurous.
  4. It took me two viewings to enjoy the landscape of Weerasethakul's mysterious jungle -- so very thick, steamy, and foreign -- without wishing for clearer trail markers.
  5. This challenging, inventive movie from Thailand is not for everyone.
  6. 88
    If you enjoy intelligent, challenging filmmaking, Tropical Malady is for you.
  7. 70
    It's a haunted picture, one that feels inhabited not just by actors and scenery but by spirits, too.
  8. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    An entirely unconventional, hypnotic, meandering film.
  9. A film more textural than narrative, it's for viewers willing to lose themselves in a truly sensual jungle experience.
  10. 80
    In light of Apichatpong Weerasethakul's young career, it's fitting that his beguiling, transfixing romantic fable Tropical Malady splits down the middle into two radically different halves.
  11. Certainly for most audiences the viewing experience will prove not only tedious but bewildering.
  12. Shows a young filmmaker pushing at the limits of cinematic narrative with grace and a certain amount of puckish willfulness.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    80
    "All of us are by nature wild beasts. We must be like animal trainers and teach ourselves tricks alien to our bestiality." Cutting-edge Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul uses this quote from the novelist Ton Nakajima to introduce his entrancing third feature.
  14. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    60
    Takes the viewer on a mysterious and sporadically fascinating trip into the darkness of the human heart and Thai legend.
  15. 80
    Like "Blissfully Yours" and Apichatpong's first feature, the exquisite-corpse road movie "Mysterious Object at Noon" (2000), Tropical Malady promotes new ways of seeing.
User Score
7.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. VinceH.
    Aug 30, 2005
    10
    To paraphrase David B., this is truly a "bending experience" in every sense of the word. From the mysterious and glazy opening scenes of To paraphrase David B., this is truly a "bending experience" in every sense of the word. From the mysterious and glazy opening scenes of soldiers and families in a rural farm eating, to the languid would-be love affair that constitutes the first half of the film are both perfect. The opening credits coming in about 30 minutes in, the gorgeous use of Thai pop music that Weerasethakul uses so lyrically, the amateurish acting and dialogue. It is all just magic. There is no way to describe it. None of this even comes close to the experience of the last 45-50 minutes of the film or so, when Keng explores the vast jungle searching for a ghost-tiger. This is easily the most pure and beautiful cinema I have seen in the theaters since "Spirited Away". The use of natural sound and the dark and disquieting texture that Weerasethakul creates is just mindboggling. As Dennis Lim says, it "promotes new ways of seeing". This is the kind of film that when you walk outside after, EVERYTHING will look different. There are really no words I can think of to describe the evocative state-of-mind and euphoria that this part of the movie put into me. I wanted to sit and watch it all over again, but unfortunately I caught the last screening in my town. IT comes to this: you need to see this film. Your life will be better for it (and no, that is not an overstatement). Full Review »
  2. roberth.
    Aug 24, 2005
    6
    After reading all the glowing reviews this movie received it turns out to be a major disappointment. the first half of the movie while After reading all the glowing reviews this movie received it turns out to be a major disappointment. the first half of the movie while sloppily put together is still engaging. the allegory half is so unoriginal it's irritating. while the photography is professional the narrative is strictly student film project and again very thoughtlessly put together. very forgettable. Full Review »
  3. ChadS.
    Aug 24, 2005
    4
    The structure of "Tropical Malady" bares a passing resemblance to John Sayles' "Limbo". The first half takes place in a community, and The structure of "Tropical Malady" bares a passing resemblance to John Sayles' "Limbo". The first half takes place in a community, and in the second half, the action shifts to a desolate location, void of people. This is the nicest thing I can say about this very, very, very demanding movie. The enchanted action in Apichatpong Weerasethakul's forest has its visually arresting moments, but it's too little, too late, after long periods of a static camera being pointed at a darkly lit soldier. The ghostly imagery of forest creatures is the creative domain of Hayao Miyazaki, who applies it to admirable pop culture entertainments like "Princess Mononoke" and "Spirited Away". The second half of "Tropical Malady" has the unintended effect of being like a Miyazaki film for adults. Full Review »