NYAFF 2021: Our Review Of ‘The Con-Heartist’

NYAFF 2021: Our Review Of ‘The Con-Heartist’

The Con-Heartist‘s protagonist Ina (Pimchanok Luevisadpaibul) is a YouTuber making videos about how broke she is. Films about YouTubers are expectedly brash and therefore not for everyone. But a few repeat viewing reveal how subversive it is that she’s an anti-influencer, showing her real self instead of pretending to be rich. Other characters make that assumption about her, that there’s nothing beyond the surface. This makes her a surprising member of an amateur group of con artists. Jumping forward, a lone wolf scam caller, Tower (Nadech Kugimiya) calls Ina, who immediately smells a stunt. Most people would just hang up and never think of the scammer again, but she instead blackmails him into conning her ex, Petch (Thiti Mahayotaruk). Petch is the reason why she’s broke. He conned her out of thousands of baht, the currency in Thailand, and she’s going to get back that money from him.

Other than its brashness, there’s a flashiness here, a quality that viewers expect in heist films. There’s also the fact that it goes through some of the beats of the films under these genres. That’s especially true when straight people are conning others together. Of course, Ina and Tower are attractive people who are going to fall in love, he betrays her but the con artist has a change of heart. I’ve seen general versions of the love and betrayal arc this week, and this is one of the better examples of that arc unfolding. It argues that it’s less relevant how Tower gets to change and that it’s more relevant to sell that change instantaneously. What also elevates this from other popcorn fare is that Luevisadpaibul really shows the ugly emotions of a woman who men burn enough times. Both make for convincing, winsome leads in a fun film.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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