The Red Cotton Silk Flower (Let Pan)
There are certain films that are so bad that they are good. The Red Cotton Silk Flower, a 2012 Burmese drama film falls under this category. A man discards his lover when he learns that she is pregnant. Years later his daughter comes to live next door. She has been brought up with intense hatred for her father and has taken a vow to kill him if she ever meets him.
Pyay Ti Oo plays the protagonist Yar Zar Kyaw and Phway Phway plays his daughter Let Pan after whom the movie is named. Everything about the movie is too loud. The dialogues, the background score, the acting are all eccentric. The story is a clichéd one and the performances are abysmal. This makes the movie an endurance test and you stick around to see how far it will go. The ending is particularly laughable. In fact most of the scenes provide unintentional laughter.
Let Pan was the most grossing film of 2012 in Myanmar and it also won the Academy award there. Such accolades can be deceiving and the film lacks any cinematic merit. There is very little to like about this film and you are sure to develop a headache by the time it ends. The subtitles were even worse and the English language was also murdered along with the audience’s patience. The film tries to touch upon the issue of women empowerment halfway through. The female lead is an iron-willed independent woman. How she was brought up to become like that is shown in great detail, maybe as a marker for the society. But the amateurish making and flimsy script discourage the audience from taking notes. The film could have been bearable even with such a storyline if the exaggerations have been toned down. Let Pan is one movie that you should ‘Let go’. Doing anything else is time well spent.