Silom Soi 2, named after Bangkok's gay club district, is a sweet, if formulaic, cautionary tale about Thai love in the age of AIDS. Boy meets boy. Boy gets boy, i.e., gets him away from getting a lot of other boys. Boy settles down with boy. And then wild seeds, sewn and long forgotten, germinate into cruel thorns.
The story unfolds through a series of brief scenes, each introduced with a single English word title, presented in alphabetic order (A-Art, B-Background, C-Click...). Why English chapter titles sequenced in Roman alphabetic order were used to organize a Thai language film is unclear! Perhaps the film was written with a foreign market in mind. Or these vignette titles may have been retrofitted for the English subtitled version.
The leads are beautiful young men. Their pas de deux of attraction, flirtation, passion, hurt, distancing, re-engagement is endearing and believable. Direction occasionally errs in its use of over-lingering facial reaction shots that skew momentarily melodramatic. The original musical score is lovely and initially quite effective, though extensive repetition of key themes taxes them past their initial effectiveness. Possibly the greatest strength of the film is the melding of its cinematography and art direction, creating vivid images throughout the film, striking in their use of color, line and human form. Visual artfulness elevates this simple, sincerely conveyed story,