Movie Dictator Club: The Betrayal – Nerakhoon (2008)

My dictation in the Movie Dictator Club for the month of January, 2010 kicks off a new year of dictations, and possibly me upsetting people!

Written By: Ellen Kuras & Thavisouk Phrasavath
Directed By: Ellen Kuras & Thavisouk Phrasavath

I have never held back the fact that I don’t like documentaries, at all. I’m not going to launch into a diatribe about them, please stay in your seats and don’t exit the auditorium because that well has been tapped one too many times before. I am, however, a very willing subject when it comes to these dictations. The idea of the club is to get people to see movies they haven’t seen already and even moreso films that they most likely wouldn’t see otherwise, at least that’s how I look at the club. That’s why despite my dislike of documentary film making I had no qualms taking on the task of watching The Betrayal – Nerakhoon for my January, 2010 dictation.

Right off the bat I’m prepared to let my dictator, THATguy, down a fair amount by letting you, and him, know that on the whole The Betrayal – Nerakhoon didn’t work for me. It’s harder for me to put my thoughts on documentaries into any sort of coherent form, so bear with me here people, this will most likely be a bit of a rambling and all over the place review. Of course the usual documentary tropes that I am not a fan of still failed to win me over in this film, but as I said earlier I’m not going to go into any great detail in that area because it would be another beating of a horse that has been dead for many, many years.

I was surprised though by one aspect of The Betrayal – Nerakhoon that really inhibited my engagement with the film. I’m not quite sure what the filmmakers hoped to show with The Betrayal – Nerakhoon, but I was left with the impression of an incomplete film. It was a very scattered work, with incomplete thoughts and ideas strewn about like so much dirty laundry on the floor of my bedroom. This became a major sticking point for me because I wanted to become involved with the story or the characters but the moment I felt that was about to take place the film would shift its focus somewhere else and I was left adrift, struggling to find something else in the film to hold onto.

Another area where The Betrayal – Nerakhoon left me a bit stymied was in its pacing, and this also ties into the incomplete feeling the film left me with. To call the pacing of The Betrayal – Nerakhoon glacial would be an understatement, I struggled at numerous times to maintain interest in what was happening on screen, not because the story wasn’t interesting, but because the film was taking forever in moving that story along. This also bled into the emotional moments of The Betrayal – Nerakhoon, moments that did affect me somewhat but could have affected me so much more with better pacing and a more complete story.

I’m sorry THATguy, I tried to get into The Betrayal – Nerakhoon, but documentaries still don’t do anything for me. I’m sure that many others will love this film, and my bias against documentaries is why I won’t recommend or uh, unrecommend(?), this movie in any way. There were some moments that I did enjoy and I would have enjoyed a more focused story in a drama form, but the documentary form and the overall style of The Betrayal – Nerakhoon left me very, very cold, and I’m not a fan of the cold. Well, I am, but that was too good of an ending to pass up, except for now it’s not the ending, oh, darn.

Rating:

**1/2

Cheers,
Bill

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