Baan Muay Thai is quite a famous name in the world of Thai boxing gyms. The unique and lethal boxing technique involving elbows and knees has fans all over the world. And thus a movie with this name will have to cater to the responsibility that comes with it. Ong Bak: Muay Thai warrior, in which Tony Jaa played the lead is quite an act to follow. But there are other ways of telling the story as this film explores.
Ailing Muay Thai teacher Chan wants to revive his boxing gym and his plan involves an old English student Max. As soon as he gets the message, Max comes to his teacher in Thailand, leaving his life in London behind. The gym itself is in a state of total ruin and needs money and effort to be brought back to basic standards. On top of this, Max is expected to win a boxing match representing the gym, which will in turn bring fame and thereby students. The problem here is that Max is not young anymore and the trainer Kai is not convinced that his fitness levels and dedication are quite enough to fight a decent match, let alone win it for the gym. Whether Max is able to make his teachers dream come true or if his age and lifestyle get the better of him is what the rest of the story deals with.
The cinematography has portrayed the stark differences between the fast life of London and the serenity of the village in Thailand
beautifully. But when it comes to the shots with actors, there are some patchy scenes which could have been avoided. Editing also would have made it a lot crispier than what it is now. And still the sincerity of this work is its strong suit. Director Charles Garrett has made sure that the tedious training regiment and the human emotions are all given their dues in making this happen.
The restoration of the boxing ring is shown quite extensively. Fairtex brand will surely be happy about all the publicity. Thai country music and reggae music in the background bring depth to the scenes.
Muay Thai is a beautiful martial art and a movie sans the slow motion, helps to get the real sense of how the art form is taught and what the boxers and their support system go through before the bell rings. Real people with real dreams and a lot of hard work make sure that every fight counts.