Equally influenced by Thai genre films of the 1960s and classic Hollywood westerns, writer-director Wisit Sasanatieng’s tribute film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Or, rather, it is like things I’ve seen many times, but in an entirely new way. The archetypal story centers on Black Tiger (Chartchai Ngamsan), a sharp-shooting bandit who is in love with the governor’s daughter (Stella Malucchi). She, meanwhile, is being forced to marry the police captain (Arawat Ruangvuth) who has vowed to capture Black Tiger.
Like the Bollywood films of India, Tears is a manic mix of melodrama, action, romance, comedy and music. It hops from tone to tone as if it were changing channels. Even more delirious than its structure, though, is its visual scheme. Featuring painted backgrounds and even buildings – including an all-pink downtown area – Tears often resembles a Technicolor picture featuring only bright, hot colors. It’s like Gone With the Wind in DayGlo.