Earlier this month, the multi-genre Thai film “The Undertaker” (Sapparer in Thai) has become one of the highest grossing films of the year—raking in B400 million since its debut and the craze is still going. 
The film follows Cherd (played by Naruepol Yaiim), an eight year law student who returns to his small town to take the local bar exam. In a surprising turn of events, his father falls ill and Cherd must fill his father’s role as undertaker. The other side of the story focuses on Siang (played by Chatchai Chinsi) who is struggling to communicate with the spirit of his ghost girlfriend, Bai Khao (played by Sutida Buatig).
With a film this popular, it might not be for everyone, but there’s certainly something for everyone. Instead of picking a particular niche, “The Undertaker” created its own lane by mashing up drama, romance, horror, fantasy, and comedy. The film shines particularly in the latter.
The run time is filled with slapstick and dark comedy—going to places that you wouldn’t think could pass the Thai media censorship board. The dangerous jokes strike at the holy trinity: death, religion, and, most dangerous of all, the girl group Blackpink. That’d be considered social suicide, but this movie seems to have whizzed by these social faux-pas with flying colors. 
“The Undertaker” is also a spin off from the Thibaan series, a production team that come from humble beginnings, posting a roster of skits and music videos on Facebook before gaining traction and moving on to full-length features, evolving from the boy-meets-girl schtick. 
Thibaan also refers to the identity of villagers, specifically in northeastern Thailand (Isaan). With a crew and script that centers their culture, the film maps out the authentic social and cultural diversity outside the concrete jungle of Bangkok. 
More significantly, “The Undertaker” highlights how we turn to rituals and mysticism in times of grief before finally grounding ourselves in the bonds of friendship. The film is now screening in major cinemas across Thailand. For more information, visit this link.

Photo: The Undertaker / Thiibaan Studio