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Watch How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) Online with Subtitles - A Heartwarming Story of Two Brothers in Thailand


Download Film How to Win at Checkers (Every Time) Sub Indo: A Review of the Thai Drama




If you are looking for a film that explores the joys and challenges of growing up in contemporary Thailand, with a touch of romance, drama, and social commentary, then you might want to check out How to Win at Checkers (Every Time). This is a 2015 internationally co-produced film directed by Josh Kim, based on the short stories by Rattawut Lapcharoensap. It was screened in the Panorama section of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and was selected as the Thai entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.




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Introduction




What is the film about?




The film follows the life of Oat, a young boy who lives with his older brother Ek and his aunt in a poor neighborhood in Bangkok. Ek is openly gay and has a wealthy boyfriend named Jai, who often helps them financially. Oat admires his brother and wants to protect him from the harsh realities of their society. One of these realities is the military draft, which requires every 21-year-old male to participate in a lottery that determines whether they have to serve in the army or not. Those who draw a black card are exempted, while those who draw a red card have to enlist. Ek's draft day is approaching, and Oat decides to take matters into his own hands to ensure his brother's safety.


Why should you watch it?




The film is a compelling and realistic portrayal of the struggles and aspirations of ordinary people in Thailand, especially those who belong to marginalized groups such as the poor, the gay, and the orphaned. It shows how they cope with discrimination, corruption, violence, and injustice, but also how they find love, friendship, family, and hope. The film also offers a glimpse into the culture and politics of Thailand, such as the role of Buddhism, the influence of money and power, and the impact of the military coup that took place in 2014. The film is not only a social critique, but also a personal story that touches on universal themes such as identity, loyalty, sacrifice, and destiny.


Plot Summary




The main characters




The film has two timelines: one in the present day, where Oat is a grown-up gangster who narrates his memories; and one in the past, where Oat is an 11-year-old boy who experiences a life-changing event. The main characters are:


  • Oat (played by Ingkarat Damrongsakkul as a child and Toni Rakkaen as an adult): He is the protagonist and narrator of the film. He is smart, curious, and loyal to his brother. He learns how to play checkers from Jai, who teaches him some tricks and strategies. He also learns how to steal money from rich people by working for a local gangster named Sia.



  • Ek (played by Thira Chutikul): He is Oat's older brother and guardian. He works as a waiter at a bar where he meets Jai. He is kind, responsible, and protective of O at. He is proud of his sexuality and does not hide it from anyone. He loves Jai and hopes to have a future with him.



  • Jai (played by Arthur Navarat): He is Ek's boyfriend and Oat's mentor. He is rich, handsome, and generous. He comes from a powerful family that owns a construction company. He is unhappy with his father's expectations and wants to pursue his own dreams. He teaches Oat how to win at checkers and how to be confident.



  • Kitty (played by Natarat Lakha): She is Oat's best friend and neighbor. She is a tomboy who likes to play soccer and fight with boys. She has a crush on Oat and often teases him. She supports Oat in his plan to save Ek from the draft.



  • Sia (played by Vatanya Thamdee): She is the leader of a gang of street kids who work for her as pickpockets and robbers. She is ruthless, greedy, and manipulative. She exploits Oat's skills and loyalty for her own benefit. She has a connection with the military and knows how to rig the draft lottery.



The draft day




The draft day is the climax of the film, where everything comes to a head. Oat, Ek, Jai, and Kitty go to the draft center, where hundreds of young men are waiting for their fate. Oat has secretly stolen money from Sia to bribe the officials and get a black card for Ek. However, things do not go as planned, and Oat has to face the consequences of his actions. The draft day also reveals some secrets and surprises that change the lives of the characters forever.


The aftermath




The aftermath of the draft day shows how the characters deal with the outcomes of their choices and circumstances. Some of them find happiness and freedom, while others face tragedy and loss. The film ends with a flash-forward to the present day, where Oat reflects on his past and wonders what could have been different. He also plays a game of checkers with Jai, who gives him a final advice on how to win at life.


Analysis




The themes of the film




The film explores several themes that are relevant to the Thai society and culture, such as:


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  • Class and inequality: The film shows the contrast between the rich and the poor, and how money and power can affect one's opportunities and rights. For example, Jai can easily avoid the draft because of his family's influence, while Ek has to rely on luck or bribery. The film also shows how the poor are exploited and oppressed by the rich, such as Sia's gang and the corrupt officials.



  • Sexuality and identity: The film portrays the diversity and complexity of sexual orientation and gender expression, and how they are accepted or rejected by society. For example, Ek is openly gay and does not care about what others think of him, while Jai is closeted and afraid of his father's reaction. Kitty is a tomboy who does not conform to feminine stereotypes, while Sia is a transgender woman who faces discrimination and violence.



  • Family and loyalty: The film depicts the different forms and meanings of family, and how they shape one's sense of belonging and responsibility. For example, Oat considers Ek as his real family, even though they are not biologically related, and he is willing to do anything for him. Jai sees his family as a source of pressure and conflict, but he also cares for them in his own way. Kitty has a supportive family who encourages her to be herself, while Sia has no family at all.



The cinematography and music




The film uses a simple and realistic style of cinematography, with natural lighting, handheld camera, and long takes. The film also uses a lot of close-ups and medium shots, to emphasize the emotions and expressions of the characters. The film avoids using flashy or dramatic effects, to create a sense of authenticity and intimacy. The film also uses a minimal and subtle soundtrack, composed by Hualampong Riddim. The music consists mostly of ambient sounds, piano melo


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