Monday, December 20, 2010

Tony Jaa

When you come across "Faster than Bruce Lee..." as an ad for someone, it is hard to ignore. My connection with Bruce Lee is too strong! I wanted to check Tony Jaa out. So I watched both Ong Bak and Ong Bak 2!
He is exceptionally skilled. He does all of his stunts himself. And these are not ordinary stunts (they are incredible-incredible by any standards). The fact that the Thai movies repeat the stunt footage multiple times in different angles show that these were real without CGI.

Again, the tendency to compare with Bruce Lee is also strong. I don't want to take sides, but I can say Bruce Lee was waay fast! Sadly, we won't be seeing any more of him. Tony Jaa again is from more humble backgrounds and this humility is well reflected on his face. In fact, the movie was so extremely stereotyped - that to get him to fight, there is an american badass who bad mouths Thai culture. Another aspect I notice is that Bruce Lee was very graceful. Saying Tony Jaa is not graceful would be incorrect, but he comes across as "earthy" and "raw" in his strength.

I am happy to have discovered him. I love martial arts and people who perfect and develop this ought to prosper*. I hope he makes many more movies. I also hope that he gets a PR side to groom him in the story, screenplay area.

* - Martial arts is fighting for arts sake and using it as a part of spiritual growth. The adversary is only a context for the art. As opposed to having winning as a goal, developing oneself is the goal. I think this priority being set within is a necessary condition for an artist to transcend his/her limitations. Bruce lee got it, and it is very clear Tony Jaa gets it too! Unfortunately, when it is transported to movies, the movie has to resort to all sort of tricks to get the hero to "show off" the skills.

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