1 an opening remark intended to secure an advantage for the speaker [syn: gambit]
- Rhymes with: -ɔɪ
- Dutch: truc, strategie
Ploy () is a 2007 Thai film written and directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang. The film premiered during the Directors' Fortnight at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival.
The drama film stars Thai actress Lalita Panyopas in a story of a middle-aged married couple who question their relationship after seven years. Ananda Everingham is featured in a supporting role as a bartender.
The film contained sex scenes that were shown at Cannes, but due to censorship concerns had to be re-edited by the director so the film could be shown in cinemas in Thailand when it opened there on June 7 2007. The uncensored version of the film was shown in Thailand at the 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival.
PlotThe death of a relative brings a Thai-American couple, Wit and Dang, back to Bangkok for the first time in many years. Arriving at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport at around 5 a.m., they check in to a hotel in the city. Suffering from jet lag, Dang wants to sleep, but her husband Wit is restless and heads down to the hotel bar to buy some cigarettes. While unpacking their luggage, Dang finds a small paper with a phone number of a woman named Noy, and she is immediately suspicious.
In the hotel bar, Wit meets Ploy, a young woman who says she is waiting for her mother to arrive from Stockholm. The two bond over coffee and cigarettes, and Wit then invites Ploy to come up to the hotel room, where she can take a shower and rest while she awaits her mother. Up at the room, Dang opens the door and sees Ploy. To the girl, Dang is pleasant and friendly, but to her husband, she is seething with anger and jealousy. Fitfully, the three people try to sleep. Dang and Wit discuss their seven-year marriage, and wonder why the love has gone out of it.
Meanwhile, a hotel maid, Tum, has stolen a guest's suit from the hotel's dry cleaners. She takes it up to room 609 and hangs it in the closet. Nut, the silent, weary bartender, enters the room and puts on the suit. He then finds Tum hiding in the shower, and proceeds to kiss her and caress her, and the couple starts having sex.
Back in Wit and Dang's room, Dang becomes more upset, and decides to leave. Wit wakes up to find Dang gone, and then he and Ploy sit and smoke cigarettes and talk about love and relationships.
Dang finds a coffee shop, where she takes a seat with a cup of coffee and pours some vodka in it from a small bottle she took from her hotel room's mini-bar. She is noticed by Moo, who is using his laptop computer. He recognizes Dang from her days as a famous television soap opera actress and invites her back to his home for some more drinks, where he attacks and rapes Dang.
Cast and characters
- Lalita Panyopas as Dang: A former actress, still recognized and well-known in Thailand, she has been married for seven years to Wit.
- Pornwut Sarasin as Wit: A Thai restaurateur who's lived in the United States for a number of years, and was widowed when he met Dang.
- Apinya Sakuljaroensuk as Ploy: A teenage woman with an Afro, she says she is 19 years old and is waiting for her mother to arrive from Stockholm. She has a black eye. Wit first spots her in the hotel bar with a young man who's passed out at a table, whom Wit assumes is Ploy's boyfriend.
- Porntip Papanai as Tum: A hotel maid who steals a customer's suit from the hotel dry cleaners.
- Ananda Everingham as Nut: The weary, silent bartender, he meets Tum in room 609, and puts on the suit she stole, and engages in some erotic role-playing with Tum.
- Thaksakorn Pradabpongsa as Moo: An antiques dealer who meets Dang in a coffee shop and invites her to his apartment for drinks.
OriginsDirector Pen-Ek Ratanaruang said he was inspired to write the screenplay after talking with a relative who had returned to Bangkok after some years in the United States. “My cousin had a restaurant in the U.S. and one day she came back to Thailand for a funeral,” Pen-Ek said. “But she didn't have a home here, so she had to stay in a hotel. I met her at the funeral and it struck me as rather odd that this Thai person had to stay in a hotel room when she came to Thailand. It inspired me to start writing a script about a Thai couple in a hotel room."
The film's proposal was submitted in 2006 to the Pusan Promotion Plan at the Pusan International Film Festival. Budgeted at around US$2 million,
From the start, producers sought to make Ploy a smaller-scale film than Pen-Ek's previous two films, Last Life in the Universe and Invisible Waves, which "were high-budget productions with international collaboration," said executive producer Chareon Iamphungporn. Critical reaction was mixed. Russell Edwards, writing for the film industry trade publication Variety, was negative, criticizing the film for its "glacial pace" and saying it was "too flimsy and false to truly engage."
Lee Marshall, writing for another trade journal, Screen Daily, was positive, mentioning The Seven Year Itch and calling Ploy "a tasty slice of cinema, by turns oneiric, erotic, funny and emotionally perceptive."
"Ploy imposes its own unhurried rhythm but then rewards its viewers for their indulgence, and within the arthouse niche that it will inevitably inhabit this could turn out to be a strong seller," Marshall wrote.
Kong Rithdee, critic for the Bangkok Post, said "Ploy is a finely tuned, mature piece of filmmaking that discusses adult themes with honesty and amused attention to the tiny details that define the shifting phases of a marriage. Ploy takes us closer to the characters than the director did in his last two outings ... and despite its dreamy episodes of hot-breath lovemaking, the movie is anchored in the sense of social realities more than his non-fans might care to observe."
Festivals and awards
- 2007 Cannes Film Festival, Directors' Fortnight, world premiere
- 2007 Bangkok International Film Festival, Golden Kinneree nominee for best international film
- 2007 Osian's Cinefan Festival of Asian and Arab Cinema, FIPRESCI award winner
- 2007 Toronto International Film Festival
- 2007 San Sebastián International Film Festival
- 2008 Deauville Asian Film Festival
- 2008 Silk Screen Asian American Film Festival
- Official site
- Synopsis at Fortissimo Films
- Ploy trailer download at Five Star Production
- Ploy music video download at Five Star Production
ploy in Thai: พลอย (ภาพยนตร์)
Byzantine intrigues, art, artful dodge, artifice, backstairs influence, bag of tricks, bat, bender, binge, blind, bluff, bosey, bout, bust, carousal, carouse, catch, celebration, chicanery, chouse, connections, conspiracy, contrivance, coup, craft, curve, curve-ball, cute trick, deals, debauch, deceit, design, device, dirty deal, dirty trick, dodge, drinking bout, escapade, expedient, fakement, fast deal, feint, fetch, ficelle, fling, gambit, game, games, gimmick, googly, grift, hocus-pocus, influence peddling, intrigue, intrigues, joker, juggle, jugglery, knavery, lark, little game, lobbying, lobbyism, maneuver, move, orgy, pass, play, plot, ploys, racket, randan, randy, red herring, revel, ropes, ruse, scheme, schemes, scurvy trick, shift, sleight, sleight of hand, sleight-of-hand trick, spree, stratagem, strategy, strings, subterfuge, tactic, tear, toot, trick, trickery, wile, wily device, wingding, wire-pulling, wires