Length: 98 minutes
Directors: Sita Likitvanichkul, Jetarin Ratanaserikiat, Apirak Samudkidpisan, Thanabodee Uawithya, Adirek Wattaleela
Cast: Panisara Rikulsurakan, Kay Lertsittichai, Supanaree Sutavijitvong, Krit Jeerapattananuwong
Language: Thai with various subtitles
Streaming on Netflix from 16 July
3 out of 5 stars
SINGAPORE — Deep is a Thai mystery thriller that explores a secret neuroscientific experiment involving four medical students: Jane (Panisara Rikulsurakan), Win (Kay Lertsittichai), Cin (Supanaree Sutavijitvong), and Peach (Krit Jeerapattananuwong). The experiment called Deep requires the four of them, who suffer from chronic insomnia, to stay awake. If they fall asleep for more than 60 seconds, they will die.
Showcasing the young talents of the Thai film industry, Deep is a collaboration between Transformation Films and Bangkok University. Deep features a team of next-gen directors and cast, and is making its debut exclusively on Netflix. In fact, Netflix’s interview with Deep’s directing mentor Adirek Wattaleela revealed that “this project is entirely made by students — from the directors to producers and even editors.”
While it may be a students’ work, Deep has an intriguing concept on skipping sleep: a phase that many of us have gone through at least once in our lives. In the beginning of the film, Deep carefully lays out its premise about sleep deprivation and the possible side effects. It is an important step to help navigate the subsequent events.
However, perhaps due to the lack of experience, courage or budget, the plot takes on a rather mild approach, as opposed to mind-blowing shows like the British sci-fi series Black Mirror and Japanese suspense series Alice In Borderland. Deep has a great potential to offer a hair-raising experience, but regrettably failed to do so. Nonetheless, it is still a notable attempt by budding talents of the Thai film industry, and their upcoming works are worth looking forward to.
One thing that makes Deep different from the usual films is also the fact that it has multiple directors. Although too many cooks spoil the broth, the opposite is true for Deep. The young directors seem to have a common vision, which may have helped the entire team sew everything together.
Panisara Rikulsurakan, who played the role of Jane, said in an interview with Netflix, “I think having more than one director is a good thing because we had more people to bounce off ideas with.”
Supanaree Sutavijitvong, who played the role of Cin, also added, "Having multiple directors is quite different from what I’ve experienced before. At first, they had their own different ways of doing things, but in the end, it all came together quite well. On the flip side, having so many pairs of eyes to look at things ended up helping my performance.”
All in all, Deep is a relatively great attempt for a team of young talents. Quoting Deep’s writing mentor Wisit Sasanatieng, “What Netflix is doing will be a milestone for the young creators since being on Netflix alone is considered success to them. Because of the diversity in its content, streaming platforms might be the place for young talents to showcase their work.” So, if you have the time, why not show some support for Deep?
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