By Tracy Yap
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fashion and tacky outfits could never take centre stage in a modern
movie if not for Iron
Ladies. The reality-based Thai flick rocked the world 2
years ago with its focus on overt transvestite and transsexual issues
in a volleyball team made up of katoeys (lady boys). This
time round, the Satree Lek (Iron Ladies) team is torn apart
after a victorious triumph and as the players pick up the pieces,
they find true friendship that was lost in the midst of blind jealousy.
Maiocchi) feels left out of the limelight when the
volleyball team propels to new-found fame after defeating an arch
rival team. Seeing Jung (Chaicharn
Nimpoonsawas) as an obstacle to his individual popularity,
Nong dumps the Satree Lek with the 3 reserves when offered
a star position by a Satree Lek wannabe team. The once bosom
friends soon clash on opposite sides of the net, each relentlessly
refusing to forgive and forget.
reunite the players after several fruitless attempts to defeat their
rival team, Satree Lek's captain Chai (Jessadaporn
Pholdee), also the only heterosexual male in the group,
sets off with Jung to Talor, China in search of their old coach,
Bee. In their absence, Nong discovers his team's plot to stamp out
Satree Lek by using him as a firestarter and is utterly shattered
by the deception. Full of regret and betrayal, he kneels tearfully
before the team's striker, Mon (Sahaphab
Virakamin), to seek forgiveness. Jung and Nong soon
meet up in Talor where they discover that Pia (Gokgorn
Benjathikul) , now a carberet performer in China, had
been the peacemaker between this dispute all along.
confession, Jung and Nong kiss and make up. The team then returns
to Lampang to fight it out with the rival team, competing for the
Even if you
missed the original, part II revisits how the members of Satree
Lek met and conquered the doubts and fears over their sexuality.
The film fills the audience in on the personal triumphs and failures
each player goes through and how they stood up and lived life for
themselves and not for the people around them. And sadly, those
trips down memory lane are about the only good parts of the movie.
II satisfies the stereotype of mediocrity that people attach
to sequels. The storyline is tasteless and the [translated] dialogue
predictable. Unlike the previous, there is little effort put in
to spice up the conversations with colourful and bone-tickling verse.
There is also less action and the final showdown against the opposition
was too short and had too few surprising volleyball tactics to be
memorable. Instead, a large part of the show emphasises on the Iron
Ladies's lives before their resounding fame. If the director Yongyoot
Thongkongtoon, who also directed Iron Ladies, is suggesting
to produce Iron Ladies III, I recommend he work doubly hard to win
its fans back.
film may overdose on cross dressing and male prancing, the improvement
in some actors' performances has given audiences a reason to watch
the otherwise dull show. The 2 leads, Giorgio Maiocchi and Chaicharn
Nimpoonsawas, were sensational, bringing in the laughs with their
hilarious zero-point jumping and nymphomaniacal sexual desires.
They also charm the audience whenever they engage in verbal cat
fighting. The 2 characters often quarrel about the dumbest things
like who is prettier or who a certain guy they fancy prefers. This
is especially a great leap for Chaicharn, who only had his first
movie experience in the previous Iron Ladies. My favourite
scene is when Chaicharn's Jung was wrapped in a pink Hello
Kitty towel up to his chest, complete with a bright
pink shower cap after a bath. He tries hard to edge closer to the
heterosexual Chai while maintaining his demure and innocent composure,
making the audience laugh uncontrollably.
But if you missed
the movie's predecessor in 2001, I'd say stay home and watch it
on VCD. It's better than wasting $8.50 watching a couple of boys
in micro-shorts and thick makeup dancing to the beat of "I Will
Survive" in the theatres. This is strictly a fans-only movie.