Tears tells the tale of a doomed love between an outlaw with the heart of a teddy bear, the Black Tiger (Chartchai Ngamsam), and a rich girl (Stella Malluchi), whose love is denied them by cruel twists of fate. A very camp fate, that is, but the story never dominates this film. Technique and color do.
Sasanatieng uses color to disembowel realism at a stroke. A waterway turns bloodred after the Tiger and his adversaries fight it out; the view outside a car's windshield goes from black and white to color as love blossoms between the two leads. In the most outrageous scene, Black Tiger leans on a tree playing a harmonica, cowboy hat on his head, against an utterly artificial backdrop of an orange sun and drooping trees. It's as if Salvador Dali had met John Ford in Patpong and drunk a little too much Mekong whiskey. Sasanatieng's stylistic trickery and outlandish sense of fun never relent. If the movie drags a little in getting to its pot of gold, who cares —after such a gorgeous rainbow?