Wonderful Town, writer-director Aditya Assarat’s “delicate, delightful, and nearly note-perfect debut feature” (Andrew O’Hehir, Salon.com), follows Ton, a young Bangkok architect dispatched to oversee a building site in a seaside Thai resort town. There, he meets and gradually falls for Na, a shy and pretty inn-keeper who is equally drawn to Ton. The couple’s deceptively tranquil romance takes root and grows, but it is in the aftermath of appalling tragedy.
The sleepy tempos and empty streets of Na’s picturesque village are the result of devastation from the 2004 tsunami: a tidal wave that swept away 8,000 people in a single day and left a ghost town in its wake. As the young couple’s relationship flourishes amidst the ruins, the true toll of the catastrophe that brought them together comes to the surface, and Wonderful Town evolves from a “dreamy and oddly disturbing” (Time Out New York) romance to a “touching thriller” (NY Post).
Employing “surpassingly lovely filmmaking”; that lets each emotion, thought and subtle effect flower, then fade away” (Nathan Lee, New York Times), Assarat depicts Ton and Na’s increasingly fragile and ultimately tragic idyll with a graceful acuity and focused subtlety that parallels survival with loss and love with rage.