Beautiful Boxer

If this 2003 Thai feature weren't based on a true story, you'd never buy it: hoping to earn money for a sex change, a former Buddhist monk (Asanee Suwan) becomes a competitive kickboxer and rises to the top of the field. Fortunately director Ekachai Uekrongtham handles the material with restraint, and you can't help but cheer on the hero as he defeats one homophobic thug after another. The cinematography tends toward cramped framing and busy composition but opens up nicely for the exciting fight sequences. In Thai with subtitles. 116 min.

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