July 28, 2005
6ixtynin9 (1999) concerns the misadventures of a woman by the name of Tum (Panyopas) who is having, to put it mildly, a bad day. In a cruel twist of fate, she is randomly fired from her job. She gets home to find that the elevator in her building is out of order. She doesn’t have enough money for all of the groceries that she wants and so she shoplifts a couple of items. Depressed at the loss of her job, Tum even dreams of killing herself.
The next day, a mysterious box filled with $25,000 shows up outside her door. Two thugs come knocking shortly afterwards looking for the box. They physically threaten her but Tum manages to kill both of them. It turns out that Thai boxing gangsters dropped the box off at the wrong apartment and now the race is on to get the money back.
Understandably upset, Tum decides to go to the nearest police station to report what happened but one look at the harsh conditions of their holding cells changes her mind. Meanwhile, the next round of thugs finds the bodies of the first two. They report back to their boss who instructs them to find out the identity of Tum. Pretty soon the bodies start piling up in her apartment as a rival gang and an undercover police officer stumble across her place.
6ixtynin9 is a more sedate, Thai version of a Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie crime movie, filled with near misses, convenient coincidences and humourously inept criminals. The film gradually becomes more gruesome as Tum gets rid of the bodies and begins to descend into madness and murder over money that is reminiscent of Shallow Grave (1994).
The film has touches of black humour. One of the thugs that shows up at Tum’s door for the box is wearing a huge neck brace. The next round of thugs features one who is deaf. It is these little touches that temporarily lighten the dark mood of this thriller. As the body count increases, one begins to wonder how this poor lady is going to get out of this mess.