If there’s a big hole in your life, fill it with an elephant! That’s what Thana, a fading architect facing a mid-life crisis, does when he tries to reconnect with his lost youth by escorting what he believes to be his former pet elephant, rediscovered on the streets of Bangkok, back to their childhood home. Popeye sets the pachydermous pace in this very likeable road movie – while his and Thana’s leisurely progress crosses paths with a variety of equally eccentric characters, intermittent flashbacks fill in some of the backstory of Thana’s failed marriage, his waning status in the office and his boyhood meeting with Popeye (played by Bong, who manages to steal every scene). This is all put together with impressive skill by first-time director Kirsten Tan, adding up to a bitter-sweet rumination on what is really important in life.
Amongst many awards, Pop Aye won the Big Screen Award at the 2017 Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Screnwriting Award (World Cinema, Dramatic) at Sundance 2017 and the Golden Eye for Best International Film at Zurich 2017.
“Pop Aye gives hope in times where the world is becoming more and more divided with every day.” - Rotterdam International Film Festival.