Chintanakan (2022 Film)
Theatrical release poster for the Montecara Film Festival
|Directed by||Duazaiginhe Thammavonga|
|Written by||Malena Bortei|
|Screenplay by||Phayvanh Narimangsy|
|Produced by||Aisana Zemhinou |
|Starring||Gladis Saenbouthalath |
|Edited by||Maral Gavagamu|
|Music by||Kale Saysanasy|
|Distributed by||Houa Studio|
|Box office||€100 million|
Chintanakan is a Fantasy film directed and produced by Duazaiginhe Thammavonga. Chintanakan means fantasy in Kachai, and is loosely based on Kachai mythology developed in the 8th century. The film follows the goddess of luck Nanphutin, and her mischievous interactions both for good and bad in the world of mortals, using her powers to affect the plans of her father, the Emperor of the Gods for her own entertainment. Her mischievous actions result in Nanphutin losing her powers and being instead turned into an immortal guide for the souls a Phutiaent, as punishment that she will learn the meaning of life. Instead entering the mortal world. The story is a mixture of Kachai mythological stories.
Nanphutin (Gladis Saenbouthalath) is the goddess of luck and the daughter of the Emperor of the Gods, Cha (Nazar Siyavong). Nanphutin is given near uncontrolled ability to influence world events, causing asteroids, great floods, great empires, and great cities to satisfy whatever amuses her. Her father displeased with the way Nanphutin has used her powers, places restraints on her. He starts getting more involved in the world and its management, as his fellow Gods are displeased at Nanphutins unchecked power and his disinterest in the lives of mortals. Angered by the new restrictions placed on her power, she transforms herself into a Red Great Crane and transverses the mortal world in ways to influence it both positively and negatively. She encounters Manvalat (Dazadiu Guchlug), a general favored by her father to become a great ruler. Angered by her father, she uses her form as a Crane to humiliate Manvalat to her father's displeasure. When Manvalat is tricked by Nanphutin transformed into a beautiful woman to seduce him, Manvalat is killed by his troops who perceive the formerly invincible Manvalat as weak, causing their army to splinter into infighting. Upon hearing of this, Cha punishes Nanphutin to become a Phutiaent a rower of the mortal souls from the world of the living to the world of the dead, who do so through the Great River. Nanphutin is angered by this but is powerless to change her faith.
Nanphutin performs her job in the great river, with great irritation. There she meets the mortal Pasoennaiav (Ambaghai Siharathi) a former warlord cursed for eternity by Cha to ferry the souls across the river. Pasoennaiav becomes quick friends with Nanphutin and shows her how to connect with the souls she's ferrying moments before their death. Nanphutin is able to relieve the final moments of a housewife's life before it abruptly ended when a rock fell on her walking, in another a man bleeds out to death after a battle, and a man dies of old age surrounded by his loving family. Nanphutin discovers that she is ferrying souls from all time periods, allowing her to experience the year 2022 through the eyes of a nurse who tragically dies from a heart attack while attending the wedding of her son. Nanphutin enjoys experiencing the world outside the river and raft, but soon becomes depressed by the number of lives cut short. On one such trip, she discovers a daughter and her mother (Keani Manwilaivong) enjoying a fine meal, before the restaurant catches fire and collapses on everyone, killing them. The incident breaks Nanphutin who promises to never again see into the lives of the dead, she is comforted by Pasoennaiav, and the two develop an intimate relationship through their shared isolation.
3 Years have passed since Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav got together, and they both decide to get married. Upon hearing of this, Cha disproves the idea and banishes Pasoennaiav to the realm of the mortals, where he will live his life and then die only to travel eternally in the world of the dead. Nanphutin is heartbroken and stops her work in ferrying the souls as a result of this. The pile-up of souls allows some of them to get above water and they're able to interact with Nanphutin. She meets a Gaullican Opera singer who proceeds to deliver an incredible performance before she falls back into the river as a light hanging above her falls down and kills her, with the whole scene being a trip through a soul's last moments before death. This discovery forces a heartbroken Nanphutin to continue her work ferrying the souls, to prevent more visions. She meets Pemia (Somphone Fomenkongsy) an alchemist with the face of a Crocodile, that's also a Phutiaent, who was sent to help Nanphutin as the souls were piling up. Pemia tells Nanphutin that she can enter the world of the living through the river of souls, but must swim to the bottom of the river. Nanphutin who is desperate does as indicated but quickly discovers that it is a trick and drowns inside the river.
Nanphutin enters the space between worlds, before exiting on the other side, as she enters 2022 as a 20-year-old woman, Lena. She attempts to find out what happened but discovers she's inside a hospital. She discovers she is the soul of the last person she looked at in the river, the daughter who died when the restaurant she was dining in caught fire and collapsed. Surprised by this she leaves the hospital when she remembers about Pasoennaiav, whose last vision was about a man in 14th century Lavana who has died, saddened by this she wanders the streets of Pers, clueless as to what else to do.
She proceeds to take the life of the dead woman, working in a restaurant as a server. She struggles with adapting to chaotic modern-day life. She decides to join Lena's friend on a trip to the countryside, where she speaks with her father disguised as a snake. Saddened by his daughter's troubles, he informs Nanphutin that Pasoennaiav is in the 21st century, as he saw another vision behind Nanphutins back before he was banished. However, Cha informs Nanphutin that she can return to the world of the gods, but that Pasoennaiav can't as he has a mortal soul. Nanphutin angered by his father's stubbornness, decides to venture back into Pers in search of a mortal Pasoennaiav. Her search proves fruitless as many of the prospective candidates appear to not be Pasoennaiav, as they can't catch subtle references to their unique history. One day while working she accidentally spills Larb over a customer called Taras, Taras is not angered and both Nanphutin and Taras become quick friends following this event. Both of them become close, and soon begin dating, having given up on finding Pasoennaiav Nanphutin grows happy with her newfound love. One day a drunken Taras informs Nanphutin that he had a near-death experience but somehow survived, Nanphutin questions Taras further until she discovers that Taras was Pasoennaiav all this time. The couple decides to get married.
On the day of the wedding, an experiment involving highly genetically modified intelligent vines in Pers University which throughout the film is shown in small clips detailing the experiment. The vines grow uncontrollably one night following the introduction of excess nutrients into their chamber. The vines cant be cut and are threatening the lives of numerous students trapped in a dormitory. Pasoennaiav who works as a firefighter rushes to the scene, where Nanphutin follows him. However, Pasoennaiav is grabbed by the vine attempting to enter the dormitory to let the trapped students out. Killing him instantly. Cha approaches Nanphutin encouraging her to return back to the world of the gods since Pasoennaiav can't be saved as he is a mortal. Nanphutin decides to trade her immortality for Pasoennaiav's soul. Cha informs Nanphutin that they would eternally be bound to each other and that the death of either would result in the death of the other. Something Nanphutin agrees to. Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav who have resurrected decide to convert themselves into Cranes as their beaks are capable of eating the great vine. The couple proceeds to chip away at the great vine, killing it and freeing the students from the dormitory. The film ends as both Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav live in the Kung River, as cranes living in peace and harmony welcoming to the world a flock of eggs.
The film mixes two Kachai folk tales, along with a Dhavoni folk tale. The two Kachai tales are that of Nanphutin and her search of love, and the birth of all people's from Crane eggs. The Dhavoni tradition is a lowland creation of the world story regarding a loving couple who die killing a destructive vine. Although all 3 stories are different from their original or traditional renditions.
Nanphutin the goddess of luck is a mischievous goddess who uses her charms to seduce men and trick them. Following a failed attempt to trick Manvalat the mythical Kachai king in the Kung river, she is banished to the river of the souls to ferry the dead from the world of the living to the world of the dead. There she meets Pasoennaiav a former warlord, who has been sentenced to spend eternity ferrying souls. In the river both Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav fall in love, which causes Cha to kill Pasoennaiav in a bout of revenge between a goddess and a mortal. Nanphutin begs her father, but after he refuses. A heartbroken Nanphutin decides to drown herself, forcing Cha to resurrect both Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav. The couple are said to represent the notion of eternal love in a marriage, to continue in both the world of the living and the dead. A couple will marry marriage, will dance in honor of Nanphutin and Pasoennaiav so as to please them, and have them guide the marriage to be a happy one, guests are invited to join in the dance, to both enhance their relationships, and the one of the marrying couple.
Kachai folk religion believes that the birth of the world is a result of the nesting of a Red crane, from where the world and everything sprouted. Cha and the rest of the gods can transform to any animal, and Cha's primary form is a red crane. Leading to Kachai veneration of the Red Crane, who aside from being the creator of the world (Cha), also led the Kachai in their mythical settling of the Kung River, and the historical Kasi Migrations in the 7th-13th centuries CE.
A Dhavoni creation story, states that the world was in peace and in harmony, until a destructive vine attempted to destroy the world and its harmony. The folk tale refers from region to region, with some versions depicting a pair of Elephants, an old couple, a pair of birds, or a pair of snakes fight and destroy the vine. The destruction of the vine returns peace and harmony to the world, although in some versions the pair of creatures that fight the vine survive but in most die fighting the vine. With their bodies serving as fertilizer for the cultivation of crops.
The story is said to also take influence from Kachai heroic folk tales, which tend to involve heros fighting against insurmountable forces. Numerous stories feature hero's traveling in time to defeat ancient evils.