Netflix’s six-episode drama “Thai Cave Rescue” is the latest film interpretation of the extraordinary effort to save 13 lives from a flooded cave in 2018. – ETX Studio pic
Friday Sep 23, 2022 05:23 am MYT
BANGKOK, 23 September – It is the rescue told around the world: 12 boys, their coach and impossible odds.
Now, a new series that debuts Thursday promises an intimate Thai perspective on the extraordinary effort to save 13 lives from a flooded cave in 2018.
The world was fascinated by the young “Wild Boar” football team trapped inside a cave complex in northern Thailand as an international team of divers tried to extract them.
The six-episode drama of Netflix Thai cave rescue is the latest film interpretation of the event and comes just a month after Amazon released its feature film Thirteen lives.
Amazon’s production, directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard, focuses on the life-and-death efforts of divers – played by Hollywood stars Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen – to reach and save the boys.
The latest reinterpretation seeks to take a closer look at young players and their families.
“I think the series covers some parts that haven’t been portrayed enough, like the world of children and their coach before it happened,” said director Nattawut Poonpiriya.
The 41-year-old, perhaps best known for his award-winning Thai robbery thriller Bad geniushe said one of the biggest challenges was covering all aspects of the complex bailout.
The length of the series – with each episode running around 50 minutes – gave him the freedom to tell that story.
“It allowed us to show the details and really emphasize the characters and the situations they were in,” he said.
He highlighted the pressure to accurately represent former Thai Navy SEAL Saman Gunan, who died during the operation and later treated as a national hero, with a statue erected outside the cave.
‘We dig deep’
While previous productions have given life to the underground complex through recreations, Thai cave rescue the actors filmed outside and around the real cave itself.
“It’s very intense in there,” said actor Urassaya Sperbund, better known to Thai audiences by his nickname Yaya.
She plays a fictionalized hydrologist who fights to keep the cave’s water levels in check.
“It was freezing cold and you could barely talk in the rain because it was so hard,” said the 29-year-old.
Beyond the cave, hundreds of people mobilized to explore any other possibilities to get the boys out, from mountaineers looking for different access points, to teams diverting the waters of the mountain.
“We really dig deep into every section of the rescue team,” Sperkund said.
“So you will see how difficult it was to complete the mission, how many times we have failed and how it affected the families of the boys,” he said.
His role highlights efforts to divert water, showing how rice farmers’ fields were deliberately flooded as a result.
“That was a very touching scene and it’s important to know that the locals also contributed a lot,” he said.
For actor Thaneth Warakulnukroh, who plays local governor Narongsak Osottanakorn, one of the most important things about the rescue was the sense of unity around the goal of saving the “Boars” and their trainer.
“No matter how long the time goes by, I hope this show will remind people of it, because sometimes we forget it,” he said. – ETX study