Review: A Thai series worth ‘Believing’ in

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Thailand’s film industry generally plays it safe. When we export movies and series to the world, they generally fall into one of two categories – romantic comedies or horror.

And who can blame the studios and the producers, those genres are relatively risk free and have been proven and tested. But that is why it is so refreshing when creatives try something unique.

Believers, a new series from Netflix not only tries something unique but also touches upon a subject that older industry veterans in Thailand have avoided because it is too ‘taboo.’ Thais who have previously shunned watching homegrown movies/series might want to give this one a try.

For those that haven’t seen the trailer (at this point becoming difficult because of the huge marketing campaign behind it) Believers tells the story of three friends who take over a Buddhist Temple and manipulate it for personal gain.

Roughly, the plot follows Win, Dear, and Game—who launch an NFT startup only to find themselves ensnared in financial ruin when their venture collapses. Facing immense debt due to a sudden drop in the NFT market, and desperate to escape the clutches of loan sharks with exorbitant interest rates, the trio devises a daring plan. They decide to capitalize on the one commodity they see untapped potential in: faith. By taking over a struggling Buddhist temple, they embark on a journey to exploit religious beliefs for profit, venturing into the business of selling religious paraphernalia and modernizing traditional practices to attract a broader, more contemporary audience.

The series explores the very relavant theme of religion as a commercial strategy, something that is all too familiar for Thais who have followed the news in the past twenty years. That this series is doing so well and is striking such a chord, one has to wonder why it took so long for film creatives to touch such a pervasive issue and why it took a foreign studio (and their awesome Thai team) to be the one to do it.

The universal themes the series brings into question, including the integrity of organized religion and its susceptibility to being wielded as a tool for financial gain, is also so universal that one can’t help but feel that this is a series that will travel well.

The performances of James Teeradon Supapunpinyo, Peach Pachara Chirathivat, and Ally Achiraya Nitibhon should also be praised, especially Teeradon who puts in a compelling performance as the ringleader and modern anti-hero. Pachara continues his unique brand of lovable asshole perfectly, while newcomer Ally Achiraya proves to be one to watch out for in the future.

With every new venture, there are some teething pains and for Believers it is to do with the English-language dub. The voice acting isn’t on par with the Thai performances and even more surprisingly the dubbed lines don’t match the English subtitles. Netflix will want to to look into this as it tries to push Thai content worldwide.

But for the main target audience, namely Thais, Believers is a refreshing, fast paced thrill ride that is willing to tackle a hitherto taboo subject while offering compelling criticisms of organized religion, capitalism, and modern Thai society. It is backed by excellent performances across the board and solid direction.


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