DVD  |  Drama  |  22 Jan 2020

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Buoyancy | DVD

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In rural Cambodia, spirited 14-year-old Chakra (Sam Heng) works the rice fields with his family. He yearns for independence and seeks out a local broker who can get him paid work in a Thai factory. Without telling his family, Chakra travels to Bangkok to make his fortune. Chakra secretly journeys across the border and finally arrives in Thailand. But there he and his new friend Kea (Mony Ros, Hex) realise the broker has lied to them. Both Chakra and Kea, along with other Cambodians and Burmese, are sold to a fishing captain as slaves. They are trapped at sea indefinitely, trawling fish 22 hours a day, surviving on just a handful of cold rice. Captain Rom Ran (Thanawut Kasro, The Cave) quickly weeds out those slaves weakened by the conditions or trying to escape, and throws them overboard. The trawler sells its catch and restocks its supplies without going to land, making escape impossible. As fellow slaves are tortured and murdered around them, Kea begins to lose his mind. When his only ally is killed, Chakra looks to Rom Ran to understand what it will take to be free. With hope and humanity dwindling, Chakra decides to take control of the trawler.

Review of Buoyancy by Peter Walkden

A 14-year-old boy, Chakra (Sarm Heng), is tired of working hard and receiving only a small amount of money from his family. Chakra believes he is the hardest worker within the family and wants something more. He decides to run away from home and work elsewhere. His goal is to earn more money and return home to his family in due time.

Unfortunately, Chakra is soon sold off to a slave worker who captains a Thai fishing boat. Chakra soon learns the Captain has cruel ways of running his ship. When Chakra and his fellow slaves do not submit to the daily work required or obey the rules, punishment and cruelty is enforced.

Buoyancy as a film is shot wonderfully. The film’s style is rather creative in creating tension, drama and showing incredible landscape and scenery shots. The director appears to enjoy aerial shots which were also effective in critical moments.

Performances were outstanding, particularly from the leading actor played by Sarm Heng. He merely is convincing and believable. Portraying the situation, the character falls into would not have been an easy task, especially considering this is based on real themes and event. Supporting actors, particularly those who are also on the fishing boats, were also outstanding.

Tension is a crucial element. With quality all-around performances there is also a suspenseful element in this film, especially in regard to the film’s audio track. The audio track has a huge part to play. It is somewhat basic but highly effective during tense moments.

Overall, Buoyancy is a tough drama film to watch, but I have no regrets in seeing it. This film was a positive experience filled with solid performances, and I would gladly recommend this film to many others.

Peter has written this review for Sanity. You can see more from Peter here

Title: Buoyancy

Format: DVD

Release Date: 22 Jan 2020

Actor(s): Sarm Heng, Thanawut Kasro, Mony Ros, Saichia Wongwirot, Yothin Udomsanti, Chan Visal, Chheung Vakhim, Terb Sophon, Phouen Nisa, Sareoun Sopheara, Nhim Chhun, Kunthea Sngoun, Phouern Mey Mey, Ros Leang Hong, Sim Lyma

Sku: 2441297

Catalogue No: DAVID4101

Category: Drama

Disc Count: 1

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

OFLC Rating: M

Run Time: 92

Transfer Format: 16:9 Enhanced, Widescreen, Full Height Anamorphic

Video Format: NTSC

Primary Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Language: Thai, Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English

Region Code: ALL

OFLC Advice: Coarse Language, Mature Themes And Violence

Director(s): Rodd Rathjen

Genre: Drama, Australian