The Legend of Suriyothai

The Legend of Suriyothai ★★★½

Thailand's great legend you never knew about, in spectacular glory, is nearly impossible to follow but also completely mesmerizing. Tip: don't get attached to any king. There is always another one. I eventually gave in and watched it with commentary on, which did help somewhat, including an appreciation for the film-making -- elephants, concubines, beheadings, and all. There are a lot of cribnotes inserted for Western audiences, but I don't know if they really helped. What really helped was learning that at the time of these events, Siam's capital housed a million people, while London (also rife with beheadings and conniving queens) was about 200,000.