REVIEWS

2,215 เชื่อ บ้า กล้า ก้าว Chronicles An Ordinary Man’s Extraordinary Run For Charity

23 August 2019

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2,215 เชื่อ บ้า กล้า ก้าว Chronicles An Ordinary Man’s Extraordinary Run For Charity

In order to raise funds for hospitals in Thailand, rockstar Artiwara Kongmalai, also known as Toon Bodyslam, attempts a 2,215 km run from Betong, in the south of Thailand, to Mae Sai, in the north.

Director: Nottapon Boonprakob 

Cast: Artiwara Kongmalai, Samitada Sungkapo

Year: 2018

Country: Thailand

Language: Thai

Runtime: 90 mins


These days, it’s all about the biopics of rockstars, be it Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody or Elton John in Rocketman. This film, though, is something a little different.

Firstly, 2,215 is not a biographical film per se — it’s a documentary. 

Secondly, the central theme of this film does not revolve around Toon and his rockstar career, though his music certainly builds the foundation of the film’s context. Instead, it circles around his seemingly impossible run and his motivations for completing it, which also doubles as an insight into Toon as a person, rather than him as a singer. 

For a topic that, admittedly, doesn’t seem that exciting, 2,215 is surprisingly captivating. The opening, especially, works as an intriguing prelude to the film’s events.

In a series of shots detailing an operation procedure in a hospital, the staff, exhausted from their meticulous work, decide to play some music. This then cuts to a collage of aspiring musicians and wannabe rockstars screaming their lungs out as they sing to the same song, with a lively audience mouthing the lyrics to Toon’s melody. This immediately sets the stage, and it is only following this opening sequence that we learn about Toon’s plans.

What he’s attempting is to complete a 2,215 km run over 55 days, starting from Betong in the south of the country to Mae Sai in the north. It is a risky endeavour, and muscle integration, kidney failure, heat stroke, and insufficient blood flow to the heart are things that may happen to him in the worst case scenario. Yet he is determined to complete it. 

It is immediately apparent as the film officially begins that what Toon is striving to achieve is not simply a lone guy’s efforts, but is backed by people throughout Thailand. Not only does he have physiotherapists and doctors by his side, he is supported by people across Thailand. From young kids to the elderly, working professionals to students, he has people running alongside him when he passes, and they make garlands of bahts to wear around his neck to motivate him. 

Everyone loves him, and it is not difficult to see why. Toon seems to treat everyone with heartfelt sincerity, and his genuine kindness and big heart makes it easy for people to like him. He remembers a girl who he’d managed to help a few years ago, in another fundraising run back in 2016; he tries to maintain some semblance of order on the road when his fans end up creating a traffic jam; and most importantly, he doesn’t think of himself as a hero.

The film, however, runs the risk of putting Toon on the pedestal where he can do no wrong. The slow-motion shots of him running through a town and stopping to shake hands or take photos with his fans are a little much, and his rock music, playing in the background across the film’s many montage sequences, seem a little self-indulgent.

On the other hand, the film does attempt to root him back to earth. It is evident that his physicality is carefully maintained by a team of staff, and is not solely sustained by his individual grit and effort. He is also seen as a stubborn guy who refuses to give in even though his muscles are strained and his body can barely keep up.

It is not his money, Toon reiterates towards the end of the film, that’s helping out; it’s their money. The people who have been donating are the real heroes, and he’s merely there to show them how they can help. Honestly, as someone who has no prior knowledge of him, I feel like I too have somewhat become his fan — if not of his music, then of his tenacity and determination, his sincerity and his heart. He is certainly an inspiring figure, not simply as a celebrity, but as a human who has the capacity to receive and an even greater capability to give.

2,215 isn’t a film about the life and times of a rockstar — it is a simple film chronicling the efforts of an ordinary man who just wants to use his sincere efforts to help his community for the better. 

You can watch the film on Netflix. Meanwhile, this is the trailer:

somehow both a dreamer and a realist at once; more articulate in the written word
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