For a better experience on MUBI, update your browser.
2,488 Ratings

Tropical Malady

Sud pralad

Thailand, Germany, 2004
Fantasy, Romance, Drama


A romance between a soldier and country boy is ruptured by the boy’s sudden disappearance. Their story turns into a mythical venture based on Thai folklore.

This film is not currently playing on MUBI but 30 other great films are. See what’s now showing
Tropical Malady Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Shot in near darkness, this jungle adventure is exquisite pure cinema: beautiful, mysterious, savage, spontaneous, unforgettable. But it achieves much of its power in relation to the more conventionally affecting details of the first half. Weerasethakul would go on to win the Palme D’Or at Cannes a few years later for Uncle Boonmee,but Tropical Malady remains his most singular achievement—a bold experiment that’s truly bewitching.
July 10, 2014
Read full article
Having almost single-handedly brought Thai film to the eyes of the world, yet working with little support from the once-moribund Thai film industry, and even facing open hostility from Thai authorities and censors, Weerasethakul has assembled an almost unique methodology, bringing together elements of a folky, naturalistic, aleatory cinema with extreme formalist structuring and stylization…
April 25, 2008
Read full article
While Tropical Malady’s heightened sensuality alone makes for a mesmerising film experience, the mysteries of the loose narrative are just as enchanting and turn this winner of the 2004 Cannes Jury Prize into a thoroughly unpretentious narrative experiment.
February 07, 2006
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • caitiello's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    At some point during this movie, I was like "this is okay, meh" but by the end I was riveted. I liked the first half and the second half in different ways but both left me wanting more — would they have benefited from being separate films? Or are they necessarily together? The first half didn't feel like A.W. to me until the second took over.

  • Miggy Angel's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    the moment when this film subverts cinema into a folkloric storybook is one of my favourite moments in cinema. points at the places on your geography where you hide your stitches. lights up the wound you never knew you had. no body shall ever return from these woods.

  • Brendan's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    Weerasethakul's love story told halfway twice is one of cinema's recent masterpieces. The slowly emerging sexuality of the characters feels less like a rejection of falsely told tales than an attempt to render and discover his emotions onscreen. The binaries here become more complex than any other Weerasethakul film in consideration of societies current binary approach to sexuality.

  • folm's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    The beauty of the film for me is how an enigma is created out of the everyday. The narrative offers up multiple interpretations and readings that can be equally valid. Spiritual 'undercurrents' seen in subtle gestures in the early half of the film could be translated to the later half, or visa versa. Is it cyclical? Are there two different films? The film is a real pleasure to watch and one I revisit often.

  • eric gould's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    Tropical Malady is one of the best films from the past decade, and no wonder, Apichatpong Weerasethakul's film won the 2004 Cannes Jury Prize. This ghost story, unlike many Thai films, defies the genre with its late summer palette brushed with cinema verite, magical realism, mystery, and a quiet desire lingering in the afternoon heat. A soldier's seduction of a young man eerily leads him on an obsessive hunt.

  • chanandre's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    Loved it, loved it, loved it! Finally did I see this masterpiece. Portuguese indie-auteurs Gabriel Abrantes and João Pedro Rodrigues must have seen this film for sure. I loved it so much. I'm speechless, Loved the second story as much as the first one. Loved the way he shot the girl smiling at the boy, the little fable of the monk and the farmers....the tiger, the rain, the tree with all those fireflies. L-O-V-E!

  • Katya Kazbek's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    This is how love works. First you cuddle and give each other mixtapes, then you're giving your flesh and spirit to a naked person who's also a monster tiger in the woods at night. And the nightmare is even more beautiful than the romance.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Tropical Malady

    Rewatched. Seen ten years ago without subtitles (the ultimate experience ! ahahah), i captured a bit more this time what is it about, or did i ? So personal, Weerasethakul created after 100 years of filmmaking his own genre, quite casually. The second part is quiet unique and makes you rethink everything you watched so far. The last bit with the tiger is of course to watch on a big screen in a theater only !

Related films