Thai teen flick Bad Genius wows critics in China

Bad Genius has become the highest-grossing Thailand film in China of all time.
PHOTO: China Daily/Asia News Network

With its box office mounting to 170 million yuan (S$34.9 million) in its opening week, Bad Genius has just risen to become the highest-grossing Thai movie in China of all time.

Directed by the 1981-born filmmaker Nattawut Poonpiriya, the movie revolves around two straight-A students, who plan to cheat in an international exam to make money and find their lives altered immeasurably by the mistakes they make.

The movie opened on the Chinese mainland on Oct 13 and has so far been awarded 8.3 out of 10 by film review site, a barometer of popularity.

As well as proving a hit with Chinese netizens, local movie critics also lavished praise on the Thai production.

Zhang Boqing of Beijing-based research group Online Film Market, and honorary chairman of the China Film Critics Association, says the movie also explored social concerns as well as entertaining viewers.

He says the movie reflected the growing imbalance between rich and poor, and the unfair allocation of educational resources.

Rao Shuguang, secretary-general of the China Film Association, says the most alluring aspect of the film for him was the twisting storyline, which elevates the coming-of-age tale into a stylish crime thriller.

"The characters are also very impressive. Chinese filmmakers could learn a thing or two from their foreign counterparts," says Rao.

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