By now you would know I am an avid consumer of all things ‘K’, Korean dramas, movies, music etc, I however don’t have restrictions to just ‘K’. I like to dabble in products from other Asian countries, Japan, China, and The Philippines to name a few. This time around I went a little south of the Asian continent to Thailand. I’ve watched Thai series before, which go by the term “Lakorn” and have enjoyed myself. There are so different from Kdramas and have their own charm, plus it’s always nice looking at eye candy from another country.
Browsing through YouTube a recommendation for a movie trailer popped up and the thumbnail caught my interest, it was titled “Bad genius”. Can I say that the trailer REALLY piqued my interest, it was hooking and gave you just enough taste to make you want more and I sought out more.
Marketed as a heist thriller Bad genius is a 2017 Thai film inspired by true events , starring young rising talents Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Chanon Santinatornkul and Teeradon Supapunpinyo. It follows a genius high school student who takes a literal meaning to “Knowledge is power” and pawns off her knowledge to help the less academically privileged offering her “assistance” during exams in exchange for a little Baht. In time small school exams don’t seem satisfactory and she gets tasked with pulling off her biggest job yet; head to Australia, take and ace the international STIC (SAT) exam and then deliver the answers back to her clients in Thailand before the exams takes place there. With millions of baht at stake it takes an elaborate plan which requires extra reinforcements to execute.
The two hours spent were riveting considering I’m not a huge thriller fan. However this particular storyline was very different from what’s out there. Who would expect that a movie about high school cheating could be so intense! There were moments I had to press pause and take a breather because I couldn’t handle the stress. No fancy action scenes or elaborate IT backup it was just a bunch of kids finding a way with whatever means they had to getting them As, albeit through cheating.
There were a lot of unexpected character developments which surprised me and yet were very realistic given the turn of things. That’s the element I loved about the movie, it felt plausible. What drove the characters weren’t just selfish desires; there was the pressure of performing well and getting into good schools, the financial pressure some were faced with and pressure from parents themselves. From the imperfect characters, the very relatable plot and the execution of the whole plan, I bought it. These were kids utilizing things like WhatsApp groups and local motorcyclists to perform a heist; in my mind it made perfect sense.
So if you fancy something different from your regular (overdone) bank heist movies, check “Bad Genius” out now. It will have you emotionally invested more than any other heist film…and that makes the stakes higher.
*This movie lead me down a rabbit hole of other great Thai films