Netflix Takes Audiences on a Nostalgic Journey to Thailand’s Cinematic Heyday with “Once Upon A Star”

Reviving a Bygone Era

Once Upon A Star takes viewers on a captivating journey through the charming and bygone world of the traveling pharma-cinema troupe, an iconic symbol of Thailand’s golden era of cinema. These dedicated individuals hit the road, bringing the joy of live-dubbed movies to remote villages and small towns. During some of the most exciting moments of the show, they have to become salespeople who promote their employer’s pharmaceutical products before the movie can resume. This unique style of entertainment, which was long forgotten, is revived in all its glory on Netflix.

Once Upon A Star

The Art of Live-Dubbing

One of the distinctive features of this form of entertainment is live-dubbing, where the audience comes to know each character solely through the talent and performance of the dubbers. Originally, a single dubber would voice every male and female character in the movie. However, as the art form evolved, audiences preferred each character’s voice to be dubbed by the correct gender. The film’s protagonist, Boss Manit, the troupe’s leader and the only original dubber, hires the gifted Ruangkhae to join the team and dub the female characters, leading to an adventure filled with love, friendship, and the spirit of the era.

Once Upon A Star

Director Nonzee Nimibutr’s Tribute

Director Nonzee Nimibutr, speaking about his inspiration for the film, shared: “This movie is inspired by interviews with dubbers who worked during that era. The more I heard about their joyful and memorable experiences, the more I wanted to portray these stories in a film as a tribute to the Thai film industry.”

Once Upon A Star

Remembering a Legendary Superstar

What sets Once Upon A Star apart is its setting in 1970, during the peak of Mitr Chaibancha’s fame, the legendary Thai actor whose movies from that era continue to be celebrated today. Director Nonzee Nimibutr pays tribute to the iconic actor, referring to him as the “forever superstar.” In the film, pivotal decisions made by the traveling pharma-cinema troupe are influenced by a member seeking guidance from Mitr Chaibancha’s photograph. His sudden passing deeply impacts both the Thai film industry and the members of the traveling pharma-cinema unit.

Once Upon A Star

Once Upon A Star Cast:

The ensemble cast of Once Upon A Star features Weir Sukollawat as Manit, Noona Nuengthida as Ruangkhae, Kao Jirayu as Kao, and Samart Payakaroon as Uncle Man.

Weir-Sukollawat Kanaros, who plays Manit, expressed his admiration for Mitr Chaibancha: “Even though I wasn’t around during his era, I have always heard people talk about him since I started working in the film industry. I am impressed by his life’s work and on-screen performances. While filming the movie, it felt like I was meeting him every day as I had to dub his voice. I felt a genuine connection to him through my character. There was one scene where I met him face to face. That was the proudest moment of this character.”

Once Upon A Star

Once Upon A Star Synopsis:

Set in the 60’s, this road trip movie follows the crew of a Traveling Pharma-Cinema Unit who hit the road to bring the joy of live-dubbed 16mm movies to villages and small towns across Thailand. The crew of four main characters use their microphones to provide a live dubbed soundtrack to locals eager for entertainment. At critical moments in the shows, the action is paused and the crew must take on their other role as sales people to sell their quotas of pharmaceutical products before the movies can continue. On the road they encounter difficulties and deceit as they attempt to follow their dreams. Thai legendary star Mitr Chaibancha who tragically died in a filming accident in 1970 serves as the inspiration for both the characters and the director who take us back to this nostalgic era of Thai cinema. Meet Weir Sukollawat, Noona Nuengthida, Kao Jirayu, and Samart Payakaroon in Once Upon A Star, directed by the award-winning director, Nonzee Nimibutr.

Once Upon A Star

Once Upon A Star Release Date:

The movie “Once Upon A Star” is set to release on October 11, 2023. With its heartwarming storyline, talented cast, and a director’s dedication to paying homage to a long-gone era, Once Upon a Star is a must-watch for cinephiles and anyone who wants to get a glimpse of the past. Netflix is here to transport you to a bygone era.

Once Upon A Star Trailer:

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