Sundance 2021: 'One For The Road'

Feb 4, 2021

Credit Sundance Film Festival

  One For the Road was chosen as an opening night film at this year’s festival. Barb Bretz has this review.

The co-writer and director Baz Poonpiriya, is an up-and-coming Thai director whose 2017 film Bad Genius, won a record-breaking 12 categories at the 27th Suphannahong National Film Awards in Thailand.

This film is special in so many ways. The young actors are wonderful and the chemistry between the main actors, Aood and Boss is remarkable. The cinematography, both in New York City and throughout Thailand was lovely. It has a wonderful soundtrack courtesy of Aood’s late father, a famous Thai DJ who passed along two things to his son, a love of music and cancer.

Sort of a buddy/roadtrip/romance/drama, set in both New York City and various places throughout Thailand, this story unwinds backwards and forwards in flashbacks which explain the relationship between Aood and his former best friend, Boss. We ride along with the guys as Aood pays one last final visit to several ex-girlfriends to say goodbye and return something to them.

Aood, has an ulterior motive for requesting Boss accompany him on the trek as he has a very special ‘return’ to make to Boss as well.

The relationship between the characters are complicated and intense; heartfelt and heartbreaking. The film is long, but I would be hard-pressed to decide on what to cut. I enjoyed every minute of the journey.

At one point in the road trip, Aood only dreams he is able to say a last goodbye to one of his past loves. Close attention must be paid at the very end to determine if that too, is Aood’s dream or a happily ever after for Boss. One For the Road runs 2 hours and 16 memorable minutes.

For KPCW this is Barb Bretz.