Length: 129 minutes
Director: Mez Tharatorn
Cast: Nadech Kugimiya, Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul, Thiti Mahayotaruk, Kathaleeya McIntosh, Pongsatorn Jongwilas
Language: Thai with English and Chinese subtitles
Release date: 21 January 2021 (Singapore)
3.5 out of 5 stars
From the director of I Fine..Thank You..Love You, The Con-heartist is a Thai romcom film about goofy banker Ina (Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul), who is in heavy debt after being swindled by her ex-boyfriend Petch (Thiti Mahayotaruk). In order to repay the debt, Ina comes up with various ingenious ways to scrimp and save, and even resorts to asking for donations through online videos.
Suave con artist Tower (Nadech Kugimiya) sees this as an opportunity to scam Ina, and pretends to be an official from the bank. He tells Ina that he cannot release a donation fund of 55,000 baht unless she pays the donation tax of 10%. Although Ina is quick to believe him at first, she soon finds something is amiss and threatens to report Tower to the police.
However, eager to clear her debt and get back at her ex-boyfriend Petch, Ina makes a deal with Tower, requesting his help to con Petch. Ina intends to trick Petch into forking out 500,000 baht (her debt amount), but Tower, who cons people for a living, increases the mission to 3 million baht, from which he would profit 1 million baht.
Tower then devises a strategic plan, where Ina’s high school teacher Miss Nongnuch (Kathaleeya McIntosh) becomes the bait and pretends to be “a classy rich lady with dazzling charm.” To make the whole setup seem more believable, Tower even enlists the help of his partner in crime, Jone (Pongsatorn Jongwilas), who is an experienced con artist.
While Petch is the “wolf” out to hunt vulnerable “sheep” like Ina, will he foil the plan, or will this flock of “sheep” be able to outwit him? At the same time, Ina’s heart is getting stolen by the charismatic Tower, but can the con artist be trusted?
The runtime of 129 minutes may seem long, but the film makes sure every minute goes into fattening up the plot. In fact, the con job is not as straightforward as you might have expected. It is filled with hurdles, twists and turns, which makes you wonder how they are going to move forward next. The way Petch reacts when asked to take out a big sum is also more realistic, which makes the film stand out.
As this is a romantic comedy, the comedic element largely falls on Jone, whose name literally means a crook in Thai. In one scene where he is supposed to look like he is having a heated discussion with his manager over a phone call, he is actually singing a song with modified beats. The scene was hilariously depicted, alternating between hearing Jone singing ridiculously, and the other side of the glass door, where you can see his mouth moving like in a conversation, but no sound can be heard.
However, if you are looking for the romantic element, it sadly does not play a big role in The Con-heartist. The relationship between Ina and Tower is not thorough, except for some date-like scenes, such as driving in a cabriolet car and a late-night supper. The romantic aspect only takes the limelight towards the end, when Ina passes Tower a letter, hoping he would turn over a new leaf.
Nevertheless, with a good-looking cast and a substantial plot, it’s a light-hearted film and can surely be enjoyed by many.