One of the most talked about foreign movies in Asia this year is not even made in Hollywood.
Already the highest-grossing Asian film in Cambodia, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, “Bad Genius,” a Thai heist thriller based on real-life school cheating, is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide.
To personally promote “Bad Genius” here, two of the film’s young lead stars swung by Manila over the weekend to face fans and the media.
Chanon “Non” Santinatornkul, who plays the role of Bank, has been appearing on film, television since 2014. Now 21, the Bangkok-based actor has also done some modeling work and has appeared in several commercials.
Teeradon “James” Supapunpinyo, 20, also got his start in the Thai entertainment industry right around the same time as Non. Among the four cast members, he enjoys the most following on Instagram with about 1.2 million followers to date.
Both boys said that they’re still in school as they want to learn more about their craft and the entertainment industry as a whole. Non is taking up film production while James is taking up journalism.
In a nutshell, “Bad Genius” focuses on the story of a straight-A student, Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), who after helping a fellow student Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan) cheat in school exams, is later offered money by the latter’s rich boyfriend, Pat (James) to also help him with his exams. Realizing how lucrative exam cheating can be, Lynn later enlists the help of the equally smart but morally-challenged fellow student Bank (Non) to help them in their schemes.
Non and James were asked if had cheated as students. Surprisingly, both were candid enough to admit that they had.
“I admit I was not that smart when I was a high school student so I yes, I cheated and I know it’s a bad thing to do. But I thought it’s one of those things that a teenager does but I [later realized] that if you keep cheating you won’t get any knowledge from the school, and [not get the worth] of the money that you pay. So now, I’ve become a good person,” Non recalled.
For his part, James said he only tried it once when he tried to switch papers with another student while their teacher was not looking.
James added that while “Bad Genius” does show how people cheat, the film also serves as a warning to students that “if you do cheat in [real life], you need to prepare for the consequences that will follow.”
Non concurs but is also of the opinion that while one’s performance in school is reflective of his or her academic gifts, both classroom education and life experiences combine for how a person is fully defined.
Aside from the Philippines, “Bad Genius” is also going to be shown in at least 7,000 cinemas in China (Oct 13), Korea (Oct 19), Australia (Oct 26) and Japan this October. Other countries that will have a commercial run of the film also include Laos, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei.
“Bad Genius” is distributed in the Philippines by Silverline Multimedia.
Watch the international trailer here: