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Bad Genius
神精妙算

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
Opening Date
08 Jun 2017
Rating
PG
Runtime
130 mins
Language
Thai - subtitles to be advised
Genre
Drama, Suspense
Director
Nattawut Poonpiriya
Cast
Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Chanon Santinatornkul, Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Eisaya Hosuwan
Synopsis
Welcome to an exam-cheating business run by ‘Lynn’ (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), a straight-A student who gets the idea for her business after helping ‘Grace’ (Eisaya Hosuwan) and ‘Pat’ (Teeradon Supapunpinyo). Grace is a prominent school activist who can’t get the grades she needs and Pat is a filthy-rich boy who believes money can buy anything. Lynn’s business skyrockets and the money starts to flood in as scores of students offer her cold hard cash in exchange for exam answers. One day, Lynn is offered the opportunity to make millions of Baht. It is Pat and Grace who devise a plan for her to take the STIC test, an international standardised test for students wanting to enrol in the world’s leading universities. The test is scheduled to take place on the same date and same time at locations all over the world.

Although it will be extremely difficult to pull off, their plan is for Lynn to fly to a country in a time zone that’s ahead of Thailand and then send the answers back to her customers. The only setback is that they need another genius scholar to help them pass on the answers in Thailand and the only person that fits the profile is ‘Bank’ (Chanon Santinatornkul), Lynn’s scholarship-student rival who staunchly detests cheating of any kind.
What will Lynn do to convince Bank to overcome his moral dilemma and help them?
 
Reviews
By Darren Ng  14 Jun 2017
Considering how exams are everyday scenarios in one’s teenage years, the film essentially steals pages off the chapters in a typical school year, easily invoking empathy and that all-common hair-raising hesitation in the audience from start to finish.
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It is a surprise why Thai films are yet to be considered ‘high-brow’ enough for vindictive debates or analysis just like how we did when ‘Get Out’ came to local shores. It certainly doesn’t help that the two most common genres of Thai films released in Singapore are either of the horror or martial arts variant. So when the Nattawut Poonpriya-directed comedy thriller ‘Bad Genius was set to be distributed by Golden Village, there was something to be excited about.
 
In ‘Bad Genius’, the premise of the film was simple - School is no longer a place just for studying, it is a place for making money. The protagonist Lynn (Chutimon Cheungcharoensukying) finds herself on a scholarship in a private school surrounded by students with rich backgrounds. After befriending Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan), Lynn helps her best friend ace a mathematics paper in which failure would mean being kicked off the school’s play. As soon as Grace received the grades she needed to stay on the play, word soon got around after Grace’s suave and well-heeled boyfriend Pat (Teeradon Supapunpinyo) confronts her for help. In return, Lynn would receive 3000THB for each of the 13 subjects in the semester.
 
Lynn’s big break comes when she receives an offer by Grace to help her once more in the international standardised test, a benchmark for students wanting to enrol into leading universities worldwide. After hatching a plan with her fellow scholar-rival Bank (Chanon Santinatornkul) with a photographic memory, they travel ahead of their time zone to Sydney to convey back the answers.
 
What makes Bad Genius such a perfectly immortalised thriller film is in the heart-pounding action delivered through the accessible plot and convincing performances. Throughout the show, the four main characters of Lynn, Bank, Grace and Pat prove on more than a dozen occasions that their age does not define them and instead an opportunity to sharpen their knives for larger Thai blockbusters.
 
Newcomer Chutimon Cheungcharoensukying does not have the allure of a glamour model off the magazine racks, but her girl-next-door charm and her straight-faced and unreadable disposition allows her to capture a variety of emotions which has her earmarked for success including the Screen International Rising Star Asia Award at the New York Asian Film Festival.
 
Considering how exams are everyday scenarios in one’s teenage years, the film essentially steals pages off the chapters in a typical school year, easily invoking empathy and that all-common hair-raising hesitation in the audience from start to finish. Throughout the entire film, one will endure the full range of emotions from bewilderment to disgust, from shock to anxiety, completing the full cycle of human experience to create an Oceans Eleven-esque thriller of the high school variant.
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