Why not Thai? Starting tomorrow, I will not be surprised that #ATM movie will be a popular word-of-mouth among movie-goers. Produced by biggest Thai film outfit Gmm Tai Hub Co., Ltd, (GTH) and Suraya Film Production and Distribution Sdn. Bhd, distributed through Star Cinema in the Philippines and starring two of Thailand's well-loved stars Chantavit "Ter" Dhansevi and Preechaya "Ice" Pongthannanikorn, ATM did not earn 152.5 million baht (equivalent to 950,000 tickets sold) in Bangkok alone if it's not worth the world's attention. I was fortunate to have attended the press screening of ATM, the highest grossing film of 2012 and currently number 5 in the list of Thailand's all-time biggest hits.
We were all at awe at the two main characters, the director, the producer and the marketing staff who joined in the press conference before the screening. Although the language barrier was a bit difficulty allowing the stars to answer all questions of the media, Ter and Ice were so friendly sharing their thoughts and excitement about the film.
Ter and Ice were fluent in English and they were both open to opportunities of making films in the Philippines despite their tight schedule in Thailand. At first, I thought the movie was a comedy about one of them getting rich from the ATM machine but I was proven wrong. This movie is about them hiding as a couple in their office where rules of discretion and culture of professionalism applies. For Filipinos, it is a common incident to have two individuals announcing as a couple and getting married but I guess Thailand has a different custom on such issues in the workplace. They keep professionalism to such extent of not breaking the rules or else resign and be terminated.
The struggle to keep the relationship amidst circumstances bound the couple to fight for love which is quite similar to some of our very own local films except that it is completely clean of any suggestive touchy romantic scenes we usually see in Filipino romcoms. Definitely worth every penny, ATM movie is the charades played by the couple on who's going to surrender to fight for love and what twists will keep them together as a couple. I found it so funny I really want to watch it again because of scenes and lines from the characters that kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I loved the parody about the expression "passing watermelon" and those gestures of showing love non-verbally. Admirable and truly outstanding acting performances of the underdog characters, funny facial expression, surprising exchange of lines and effective use of sound effects created a movie that's worth your visit to the cinema.
I've become a fan of ATM movie after the premiere night and I am excited to recommend this movie to all my students, family and friends. It's one movie you should never miss as a fan of romcoms and the Philippine movie industry will definitely learn some of the techniques of what makes Thai movies like ATM truly a hit all over the world.
Would you sacrifice and struggle that much for love? Find out and laugh to your heart's content starting tomorrow, June 6, 2012 at selected theaters nationwide.