Thamrongrattanarit’s previous work, “Heart Attack” is one of my favorite films of the latest years, as the director managed to present the lives of the freelancers in the most analytical and realistic fashion, all the while retaining a comic feeling throughout the film. “Die Tomorrow” though, has little to do with that film, as it is a rather experimental production that focuses on death and the way people perceive and accept (?) it.
According to the statistics, two people on earth die each second and the director makes a point of highlighting the fact, both by presenting it with on-screen text and by repeatedly including a kind of clock that counts the number of deaths in “real” time. The movie then proceeds on recreating imaginary episodes of the lives of people who have died on occasions that have made the news, right before their death. At the same time, interviews with people talking about death, which include a young boy whose perception of death comes from searching in Google and an old man who offers profound and philosophical comments on the whole concept, are included.
Through the aforementioned elements, Thamrongrattanari contemplates on death and its consequences, and particularly the thoughts people have on the subject, though a highly experimental production that lingers between the documentary and the feature. This tactic extends to the cinematography, with the framing being drawn from smartphones or Instagram, while black screens with statistics regarding death are presented between the episodes.
Some of the most famous Thai actors have roles in the episodes, including Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying of “Bad Genius” and “Sunny Suwanmethanon” of “Heart Attack”, although they are not given much space to “shine” as their appearances have a distinct “guest star” feel.
My take on the film is that the director has experienced something that has made him think very hard about death and decided to create an audiovisual “essay” on the matter. The result is quite insightful, but as a whole, “Die Tomorrow” is difficult to watch and is definitely not addressed to the mainstream audience. As an essay, though, is quite good and definitely deserves a look, particularly for the information and the contemplation on the matter it offers.