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Fast, Not Furious

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Fast, Not Furious

Niche filmmaker Nawapol ‘Ter’ Thamrongrattanarit nods to Hollywood blockbusters while staying grounded in everyday life

Nat Kitcharit as a veteran sports stacker in Fast And Feel Love. GDH 559

Niche filmmaker Nawapol “Ter” Thamrongrattanarit has a knack for turning small, simple stories into big ones. Most of Nawapol’s films revolve around the daily life of the inhabitants of the big city. In 2015, Nawapol defined his first major studio film Heart Attack as “a routine life of a freelance graphic designer“. Or Happy Old Year, a 2019 drama film in which he simply answered in an interview: “A story of reorganizing the house.” But most Nawapol fans know that these movies go deeper than just the director’s definition.

And again with his last film Quick and feel the love, which premiered in Thai cinemas last week, Nawapol described as his “first-ever action film”, and is based on the daily life of people over the age of 30. It’s clearly a comedy. Even the title and its font obviously poke fun at a Hollywood blockbuster: Quick and feel the love (Fast and FuriousYou understand?).

Quick and feel the love is a mix of romance, comedy and sports film. It also introduces viewers to sport stacking, a popular cup game that involves stacking cups in predetermined sequences as quickly as possible. The premise follows Gao (Nat Kitcharit), a 30-year-old sports stacking champion who is challenged by the younger generation while preparing for an international competition. He also finds himself distracted by daily banalities and a fallout with his girlfriend Jay (Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund).

Director Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit. GDH 559

Film studio GDH 559 recently held a press conference and the premiere of Quick and feel the love on April 6 at CentralWorld where Nawapol appeared alongside Nat, Urassaya and the cast team including Anusara Korsamphan, Wipawee Patnasiri, Keetapat Pongruea and Kanokwan Butrachart. Life caught up with Nawapol during a panel discussion where the director told us about the ideas behind his new film and how his art mimics life.

Can you explain why you describe your new film as action?

Well, at first I really wanted to make a “superhero” movie. But I want to tell a superhero story that doesn’t need superpower abilities. I want it to be the story of a normal person living day to day, but with special skills that can intrigue people. So I started to take an interest in the life of athletes. Until I discovered this sport called sport stacking or speed stacks, and it fascinated me enough to write a story about it.

Nat Kitcharit and Urassaya ‘Yaya’ Sperbund in Fast And Feel Love. GDH 559


What do you particularly like about sport stacking?

In fact, at first we had a lot of different sports in mind, but sport stacking made me feel like a superpower. The competition is won at high speed. They win or lose in a split second. The sports stacking record is 4.753 seconds. While these people were participating in a stacking contest, the video footage was sometimes blurry. He was so fast he couldn’t catch the actual picture. So I thought that was pretty cool. And the more I studied, the more I felt it fit the script I was writing.

Is it true that some parts of the film were inspired by personal experience?

Yes, and most of my films too. When I’m writing screenplays, it’s easier for me to look for material and stories in the lives around me. And like in this story, it tells a story about the lives of people in their thirties. I’m 38 this year. This is the time when we begin to feel that as we age, the responsibilities in life also increase. People start to have no time to pursue their own dreams as there are problems in daily life and many other tasks that need to be held accountable. I brought up this story because I thought it might be interesting. And I’ve never seen anyone think of making a movie like this before.

GDH 559

There are a few scenes in Quick and feel the love which are mocking or intended to resemble scenes from some of the great Hollywood movies. Was it your intention to make a parody film?

People often ask me if I intended to make a comedy parody film in the style of horror movie [2000], but it’s not like that at all. I would rather say that it is a tribute to all the films that I love. Actually, these scenes look more like cool additions, but Quick and feel the love definitely has its own story.

Apart from the movies that have been made so far, fans know that you have also done many commercial projects. With Quick and feel the lovehow much does it cost to work in the advertising industry?

Maybe it can look like an ad that’s stretched into a feature film presentation. But above all, Quick and feel the love is a film where I tried to think outside the box. Although they usually include fun bits, the movies I’ve done so far are mostly heavy drama. And I think I’ve been doing this for a decade already. As a creative worker, I wanted to try something new and completely different from what I’ve done in the past. I also believe that artists, whether they’re filmmakers, songwriters, or musicians, have their own moods and angles, whether it’s drama, comedy, or action.