REVIEW: Bad Genius (2017)

 

(With SPOILERS!) Bad Genius is an exciting Thai Ocean’s 11-esque film directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya.

Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying as the main character Lynn reminded me of strong-headed Iwaya Sumire, played by Japanese actress and model Koyuki in the famous Japanese manga and TV series, Kimi Wa Petto (2003). She gave justice to Lynn’s motives and glided smoothly in the screen with Chanon Santinatornkul’s timid but sly Bank.

There’s nothing much to say about the brilliance of bad genius. It’s straightforward in its message—young people will do anything to get what they want! Yes, even pay wads of cash at the expense of their dignity. BUT in the end, crime still pays.

Also, there is no perfect and likable main character—and that’s what I like about it! Everybody is shitty in their own way and paid their own price in the end. Well, except for Pat and Grace. They’re still rich idiots, even though you could say that they didn’t learn anything in the end.

I love how the patron saint cutie pie Bank turned out to be a complete asshole, even to the point of blackmailing Mentor Lynn. Aw. While Lynn, who was introduced as the sensible but morally ambiguous genius from the beginning, turned out to be the remorseful daddy’s girl in the end.

However, from her manipulative “Even if you don’t cheat, life cheats on you anyway” to her morally “You’re right—everything’s up to me”—hers and Bank’s character shifts moved way too fast for me.

But even though her transition from cheating manipulator to the morally upright heroine was lightning-fast, the producers made the right direction of gearing Lynn towards that path. To the audience, it sends a clear shoutout: taking a shortcut to a success isn’t always going to be a win-win situation for everyone.

Bad Genius is a treat for those who want a “butt-on-the-edge-of-the-seat” thriller and a warning to those youngsters who are planning to break bad.

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