BANGKOK – Thai cinema certainly has come a long way, as production values have soared considerably over the years. As a result, quite a few Thai movies have earned kudos and accolades on the international film festival circuit, not to mention a slew of prestigious prizes. But hardly any other local feature film before it has been more impatiently anticipated.
The last executioner, Chavoret Jaruboon agreed with Director Tom Waller and Michael Pritchett to come out with an International feature film named â€“ The Last Executioner.
The film tells the story of Chavoret Jaruboon, who over the course of his 19 years as Thailandâ€™s official executioner dispatched 55 condemned inmates by machine-gun shots through their hearts before the country changed its execution method to lethal injection in 2003.
Chavoret Jaruboon was deeply emotionally torn over his position, because it clashed with his Buddhist beliefs. He always wanted to be a musician and in fact played clubs with his guitar. But this didnâ€™t earn him enough money to raise his three children, so when the previous executioner suddenly retired, he very reluctantly accepted the position to replace him. After all, he would be paid 2,000 baht per execution, which was a considerable amount of money at the time.
It is this inner conflictâ€”leading a double life as a devoted family man on one side and carrying out state killings on the otherâ€”which the film depicts in stark, often harrowing visuals. He could coolly pull the trigger on the same day he plays with his granddaughter, whom he absolutely adores.
Yet it becomes clear to the audience that deep inside Chavoret was a troubled man, whose music often was his saving grace and tried through his Buddhist faith to reconcile his torn conscience by making merit whenever he could.
A very emotional movie, well worth watching.