Monday, April 4, 2011

Mindfulness and Murder

Monastic murder mystery
Author Nick Wilgus and director Tom Waller on why 'Mindfulness and Murder' is much more than a straightforward whodunit

It all began, in the words of author Nick Wilgus, "with the image of an old Buddhist monk walking into a bathroom early one morning and finding a dead body. I thought about that image for a long time, thinking there might be a story in it."

There actually is. Wilgus is a former Bangkok Post chief subeditor who took time off from correcting copies of writers to spin that sole image into a novel called Mindfulness and Murder. In the vein of Father Brown, the detective priest, or even Sherlock Holmes in his deducing process, the unlikely sleuth in Wilgus' book is Father Ananda, a ruminative ex-cop who's now a Buddhist monk in a Bangkok temple.

When a dead body turns up in a water jar and the police are reluctant to take action, Ananda begins the investigation himself and soon uncovers a few inconvenient truths about his monastery.

Today, the movie version of Mindfulness and Murder _ or Sop Mai Ngieb _ opens in the cinemas. Adapted for the screen and directed by Tom Waller, an Irish-Thai producer/filmmaker, the film is adding a new shelf in the menagerie of monk characters in Thai movies. Though not exactly a mind-twisting detective flick of the highest order, the film rides on a moody atmosphere, while its portrayal of the cloistered monastic existence _ in good and bad ways _ is honest and far from simply flattering...

Continue reading from the Bangkok Post

No comments:

Post a Comment