Directed by Min Htin Ko Ko Gyi, “On the Trail of Clouds (တိမ္ေတြသြားတဲ့လမ္း)” features Ye Tike, Htun Eindra Bo, May, Htun Htun Win, and May Thinzar Oo. It’s is one of the most cryptic Myanmar movie I have seen (or I so believed for the first hour), but the clues were so obvious. Even those who have never read a mystery before could point out the real murderer (although I thought it was Daw Aye Aye Chit at first). The ending was a bit (just a tiny bit) unpredictable.
Nay Thurein is an accomplished lawyer who has never lost a case in the courtroom. He was chosen by the client, Daw Myint Zu Khine, to take on her case because of his reputation. Daw Myint Zu Khine is accused of murdering her business partner, U Aung Khant, but she denied the charge. She was desperate to get out of jail so she offered to give half of her possessions to Nay Thurein if he can get her bail. His girlfriend Thiri, who was also the public defendant of the case, didn’t want him to take her case because she didn’t want to have to go against him in court. Also, she truely believed that Daw Myint Zu Khine was the real murderer. But, Nay Thurein believed his client and got her bail although he turned down the money offer.
I love the way she told Nay Thurein to change his perfume because she doesn’t like it.
One of the reason why he believed Daw Myint Zu Khine was because she had a reliable witness. On the day of the murder, she was meeting with Daw Aye Aye Chit the whole day. After they had signed a contract, they went out to dinner to celebrate. So, there was no way for her to be with U Aung Khant at the same time. Daw Aye Aye Chit was a bit relutant to stand in court, but Nay Thurein assured her that by doing so, she was helping an innocent person who was wrongly accused.
One day, he received a phone call from a frightened Daw Myint Zu Khine, who asked him to come to her house immediately. At her house, she explained that she’s been getting mysterious phone calls and was feeling followed by strange men. Since she was out of jail now, the real murderer could be feeling uneasy now. She explained that she used to do business together with the deceased U Aung Khant and U Myin Wai, but she stopped after the two men had a disagreement and became enemies. She believed that U Myin Wai is responsible for the latest threats. (I think their relationship deepened somewhere around here because he started calling her “Ma Ma” instead of her name. I’ve just deleted the movie so I can’t check back.)
Nay Thurein showed the new evidence in court that she has a witness at the time of the murder and she has been feeling threatened ever since she got bail. His evidence sounded pretty convincing, but Thiri didn’t even bat an eye. She argued that there was no other witness beside Daw Aye Aye Chit, and she could have been covering up for Daw Myint Zu Khine. Also, when she questioned Daw Myint Zu Khine about her childhood, which she explained was relevant to the case, she revealed that Daw Myint Zu Khine grew up in an orphanage and she attempted suicide while she was living there. Nay Thurein was both shocked and angry with his client for keeping her past hidden from him.
Daw Myint Zu Khine took him to her old orphanage and reminisced her past. She was pretty close with a girl called Wah Wah, until Wah Wah was adopted. She also got adopted later on, but she had to ran away back to the orphange. That’s also the time when she attempted suicide.
While he was discussing about her with Thiri, he received a phone call from Daw Myint Su Khine, who was being chased by some men in a car garage. He rushed to the scene, but before he could do anything, they left quickly in a car. Daw Myint Myint Khine told him that she was chased by those men because of Nay Thurein. As long as she was in jail, U Myin Wai could get away with the murder. The next day (maybe), he received a letter from U Myin Wai to meet up with him. U Myin Wai attempted to coax Nay Thurein to drop the case.
I love the background setting in this scene.
On the next hearing, Thiri showed a report in which those who attempted suicide before when they were young were more likely to break the laws more often than others. Later on, Nay Thurein emotionally revealed to Thiri that he also grew up in a orphange and had attempted suicide before. After crying his heart out (okay, I’m exaggerating a bit), he went to see Daw Myint Zu Khine. He was in for a shock to see Daw Myint Zu Khine and Daw Aye Aye Chit together. He drew on the fact that Daw Aye Aye
Chit’s old friend, Wah Wah, is Daw Aye Aye Chit. How could he trust his client now? Here, Daw Myint Zu Khine is amazing. She doesn’t lose her cool a bit at all. She explained calmly that Daw Aye Aye Chit was her friend Wah Wah, who she helped to set up her own business.
A day later or so, Nay Thurein was stabbed and was taken to hospital. After he got out, he found out that Daw Myint Zu Khine had taken him off the case. Even though he was no longer her lawyer, he was still determined to find out the truth as he lives for justice.
Hah…he looks like an Indian actor.
OML….never in my life have I spend this much amount of time in attempting to write a summary for a Myanmar movie. My arms and fingers are practically aching now. I know I’ve been typing for hours now, but one I got started, I didn’t want to stop until I’m finished. Otherwise, I will keep thinking “Oh, I should have added that or Oh, I should have used that word instead.” I know my summary is not perfect ‘cuz I couldn’t explain the situations in the court due to my lack of knowledge in that area.
Ye Tike fans would surely love this film, seeing him in a new light as a lawyer, although the part about him being successful is a bit exaggerated ‘cuz journalists don’t interview lawyers about their cases (at least in here). Also, I wish he wasn’t too emotional sometimes.
Htun Eindra Bo’s character was difficult to understand. Sometimes, I don’t know what’s she really thinking, but that’s what make the story more interesting, isn’t it? Her outfits in jails were a bit irrelevant because she look too stylish for a person in jail although that red outfit really brings out the mood.
May is a new actress, but one wouldn’t think of her as person with little experience. Her character is a bit annoying sometimes because she acts like she’s miss-know-it-all. Maybe wearing the spectacles helped with the impression.
What makes this movie unique, (well what makes all Satori movies unique), is that they have English subtitle and the sound system is far better than any other movies. In “On the Trail of Clouds”, it’s even better. Sometimes, it sounded as if the audio were recorded in the studio. When watching other Myanmar movies, sometimes I worry that I’m becoming deaf because my family always ask me to turn down the volume. They said they can hear perfectly while I couldn’t unless I raise the volume. Even then, I couldn’t hear clearly. Maybe the sound is better because the movie is on DVD instead of regular VCDs.
I’m not saying the movie is perfect because I can detect some weakness in the plot. What I couldn’t understand was why the police didn’t question Daw Aye Aye Chit before the case was taken to court. She looked like she had no clue about the arrest until Nay Thurein approached her. It’s like he’s playing rent-a-cop because the police aren’t doing their job. And how about those men that attempted to attack Daw Myint Zu Khine? Who gave the order have Nay Thurein stabbed? Like in some Korean movies, questions remain unanswered.