Reaction Paper on the Beautiful Boxer

Topics: Muay Thai, Thailand, Kickboxing Pages: 2 (868 words) Published: October 7, 2008
Based on the true story of Thailand's famed transgender kickboxer, Beautiful Boxer is a poignant action drama that punches straight into the heart and mind of a boy who fights like a man so he can become a woman. Believing he's a girl trapped in a boy's body since childhood, Parinya Charoenphol (affectionately known as Nong Toom in Thailand) sets out to master the most masculine and lethal sport of Muay Thai (Thai boxing) to earn a living and to achieve his ultimate goal of total femininity. Touching, funny and packed with breathtaking Thai kickboxing sequences, Beautiful Boxer traces Nong Toom's childhood, teenage life as a traveling monk and grueling days in boxing camps. Born into a poor family of nomads, Nong Toom spent his childhood traveling around the country with his family before settling down in Chiangmai province in the Northern part of Thailand. Prior to his big match in Bangkok in February 1998, he'd won 20 out of 22 matches in many provinces. He is feared by his opponents for his trademark swooping kicks, flying elbows and stinging uppercuts. His deadly prowess in the ring made it hard for the public to understand his ambition of becoming a woman. Directed and produced by Ekachai Uekrongtham, the film stars Asanee Suwan, a real-life kickboxing champ as Nong Toom. Beautiful Boxer is based upon the true story of Parinya Charoenphol (Nong Toom). He is now a she. In real life, Nong Toom's dream has come true after undergoing a sex-change operation in 1999. Now a model and actress based in Bangkok, Nong Toom can no longer fight in the ring. Women are not allowed in professional boxing rings for men in Thailand. It is very nice to see a third gender represented in another culture, without the shame and stigma attached to it. We have to admit that the world we live in is a very judgmental one. Not a lot of people can understand the dilemma of homosexuality; and this makes it a whole lot worse for those who are undergoing the said self-inflicted conflict....
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