The Legend of Suriyothai

Rated 3.0 This 142-minute costume epic about romance, betrayal, war, self-sacrifice and archers on elephants spans 20 years of 16th-century Thailand. It is based loosely on the life of the princess of the title (played by M.L. Piyapas Bhirombhakdi), who must choose between consummating an arranged marriage to one prince of the kingdom of Ayutthaya or eloping with another and stirring up a royal maelstrom. Against a backdrop of corruption, civil war and an invasion by Burma, we wallow in royal intrigue, beheadings and the evil plotting of a social-climbing courtesan (Mai Charoenpura) as well as discover Queen Suriyothai’s legendary status in former Siam’s history. The story is hard to follow and lacks a strong emotional hook, but it revels in sumptuous spectacle. The film was directed and co-written by Thai Prince Chatrichalerm Yukol.