Pee Mak Phra Khanong is the latest Thai movie to tell the story of Thailand’s most famous ghost, Mae Nak. What’s a little different about Pee Mak Phra Khanong, however, is that this Thai movie is an absolutely massive hit. Not surprising really as, not only does it star current Thai-German heartthrob, Mario Maurer, as Mak, it’s also quite funny.
Pee Mak Phra Khanong, in fact, has already earned over 200 million baht ($7 million) in just the first ten days it has been released which, for a Thai movie, is huge.
Of course, if you’ve spent any time in Thailand or, if you are Thai, you already know the story. Mak, who is married to his childhood sweetheart Nak has to go to war, leaving his young wife pregnant with their first child. While he’s gone, both Nak and the baby die during childbirth but Nak loves her husband so much she cannot leave him.
When Mak returns, Nak is still there. In the house they’ve always lived in, waiting for him. Oddly, he has no idea his beloved Nak is now a ghost, although the terrified villagers try to warn him at every opportunity.
In this new version of the famous story, however, the comedy is just as important as the horror. Four of Mak’s friends come back with him from the war (a new element in this version) and also try to get him to understand his wife is not ‘normal’. How they do, at times, it is pretty darned hilarious.
Pee Mak Phra Khanong is showing at movie theaters all over Thailand but, be warned, on the weekends or in the evenings it will be crowded. Most cinemas also have at least one theater showing the movie in Thai with English subtitles; perfect if you don’t understand Thai.
Pee Mak Phra Khanong stars Mario Maurer, Davika Hoorne as Mae Nak, Nattapong Chadpong, Wiwat Kongrasri, Kantapat Seeda and Pongsathorn Jongwilas. The movie was directed by Banjong Pisunthanaku.
I saw it over the weekend, as the 1999 movie, ‘Nang Nak‘, is one of my favorite Thai movies and I wanted to see what the new version was like. Surprisingly, even though there was a lot more humor in this latest version, I enjoyed it just as much and highly recommend it.
‘Pee Mak‘, by the way, means something similar to ‘Brother Mark’ in Thai, and Phra Khanong is an area of Bangkok. So the movie title literally means “Brother Mark of Phra Khanong”.