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Chiang Rai

‘The Cave’ – covers a lot of ground but misses some key details

The Thaiger

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‘The Cave’ – covers a lot of ground but misses some key details | The Thaiger

The Thaiger went to the first session of Tom Waller’s ‘The Cave’ and loved it. It’s frenetic, it’s very busy and it covers a lot of territory regarding the scope of the saga. But it also lacks focus, a lot of the actors play themselves with varying success and, well, we already know the (mostly) happy ending.

But the overall experience when leaving the cinema is of a satisfying portrayal of the dramatic international rescue and the many people that came together to make it happen.

There is SO much to cover from the entire, gripping two weeks during June and July last year. And trying to focus on any, one, story in the two hour running time means that a lot of other details would have to be left out. So the director tries to cram a little bit of everything so there’s not a lot of time to get involved in any of the main characters.

So where is the focus in the story? Who was the ‘star’? Was it the Governor of Chiang Rai province who we saw so often briefing the media? Was it the 23 year old assistant coach Ekkapol who carried a lot of the responsibility for the safety of his young players? Was it the divers who found the boys? Was it the Australian diver/doctors who came up with the risky evacuation plan? Was it the Navy Seal who lost his life whilst trying to rescue the 13 young men?

For any director this is always going to be a problem covering such a broad story of 100s of heroes and thousands of others, all providing help that eventuated in the successful rescue. Director Tom Waller decides to focus on the overseas divers that were brought in provide vital expertise and come up with an impossible plan to extricate the 13 young men. Specifically Jim Warny, a Belgian diver, based in Ireland. He plays himself in ‘The Cave’ and we follow his personal journey through the rescue.

'The Cave' - covers a lot of ground but misses some key details | News by The Thaiger

Most of the action is shot with hand-held cameras adding to the urgency. So sit at the back of the cinema, it gets a bit nauseous sitting in the middle of the cinema. There’s also a clever merge of original footage, recreated footage and the actual people involved in the rescue playing themselves. That you can’t really spot the real from the recreated is a nice bit of cinematic trickery.

The Thai authorities don’t come out very well in this telling of the tale but the local Thais, many playing themselves, will win your hearts as we’re reminded of their many unsung contributions to the rescue. The infamous Thai paperwork and bureaucracy, that is usually just annoying in daily life here in Thailand, becomes life-threatening during the real rescue. This ‘touchy’ subject is well covered as the drama unfolds.

Whilst the two weeks are crammed into two hours, you are on a constant ride of frustration, recollections and the happy moments when the 13 are all brought out of the Tham Luang cave alive, against the odds.

And then it ends, quite abruptly.

Having followed the story from Day One as a writer, I was immersed in the details for over two weeks last year. So there wasn’t many surprises in the movie.

Interestingly, the two Australian doctors who actually came up with, and implemented, the audacious plan to sedate the members of MuPa, making the extraction possible, were barely mentioned. The two men (who were awarded Australian of the Year 2018) ended up with a 20 second side story with an actor with a bad Aussie accent explaining to two of the other divers how to administer the Ketamine doses used to sedate the boys.

That was it. Many other details remained uncovered, including the huge tent city that rose up from the Tham Luang mud during the two weeks to house the enormous international media interest, complete with a pop-up curry kitchen provided by the locals.

But go and see it. It’s the first of many productions currently underway. The next one will be the Netflix documentary series which includes interviews with all the main players, including the 13 young men.

'The Cave' - covers a lot of ground but misses some key details | News by The Thaiger

Director, Irish-Thai Tom Waller, during filming of ‘The Cave’

It certainly makes me want to jump in a plane and go and visit the Tham Luang caves… when it’s not raining!

‘The Cave’ is on major theatrical release now around Thailand, in English with Thai sub-titles. Here’s a list of the main cast…

  • Jim Warny as himself, a Belgian diver and electrician based in Ireland
  • Ekawat Niratworapanya as Ekkaphon Chanthawong, stateless assistant coach of the “Wild Boar” soccer team
  • Tan Xiaolong as himself, a Chinese diver
  • James Edward Holley as a U.S. Air Force Major
  • Nirut Sirijanya as Governor of Chiang Rai Province
  • Bobby Gerrits as a U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant
  • Ross Cain as John, a British diver
  • Jumpa Saenprom as Mae Bua Chaicheun, a Thai rice farmer
  • Todd Ruiz as himself, an American reporter for Khao Sod
  • Erik Brown as himself, a Canadian diver
  • Mikko Paasi as himself, a Finnish diver
  • Ross W. Clarkson as an Australian doctor
  • Lawrence de Stefano as Chris, British lead diver

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Chiang Rai

British diver’s lawyer claims jury blundered in Elon Musk defamation trial

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British diver’s lawyer claims jury blundered in Elon Musk defamation trial | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Getty Images

“That is a serious problem. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a bullying billionaire or a penniless troll, that behaviour is ­destructive.” – Vernon Unsworth’s lawyer, Mark Stephens

Elon Musk could face a retrial in his defamation case after a lawyer for the British cave diver Vernon Unsworth, based in Chiang Rai, claimed the jury blundered. The Tesla founder had a spat with diver Vernon Unsworth over the rescue of 13 young men trapped in the flooded Tham Luang cave in June and July last year. Read The Thaiger story of the trial verdict HERE.

In a Twitter spat in July last year, the US Tech-guru branded Vernon as the “pedo guy”. Vernon had criticised Elon’s offer of an ‘escape tube’ saying it was (paraphrasing) impractical and just a ‘vanity project’ by the American tech crusader – the founder of Space X and Tesla electric cars.

At the time Vernon branded Elon’s gesture a “PR stunt”, telling him to “stick his submarine where it hurts”.

On Friday Elon Musk told the court the phrase “pedo guy” was a common slur in South Africa where he grew up. But Vernon claimed the remarks were effectively “a life sentence without parole”, saying the defamatory comment would ‘stick’ even though Elon later retracted them.

Vernon Unsworth made a claim for US$190 million in damages but Elon Musk was cleared of the defamation suit last Friday.

Now Vernon’s lawyer, Mark Stephens, claims post-verdict interviews with jurors show they decided the tycoon was not liable because he did not name Mr Unsworth in his tweet, according to an article in the mirror.co.uk.

Mr. Stephens claims the jurors made a mistake that could set a dangerous precedent for future ‘Twitter’ based defamation cases.

“We all know jurors make mistakes on occasion.”

SOURCE: mirror.co.uk

British diver's lawyer claims jury blundered in Elon Musk defamation trial | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Vernon Unsworth arrives for the trial verdict last Friday – Getty Images

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Chiang Rai

Tesla’s Elon Musk wins defamation trial over ‘pedo guy’ tweet

The Thaiger

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Tesla’s Elon Musk wins defamation trial over ‘pedo guy’ tweet | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Christian Monterrosa/EPA

“My client went toe to toe with a billionaire bully.”

Tesla’s mercurial Elon Musk has emerged victorious after a defamation trial as a federal court jury swiftly rejected the US$190 million claim brought against him by a British cave explorer, Vernon Unsworth, who Musk branded a “pedo guy” on Twitter. The incident happened during the attempts to rescue the 13 young football players from the Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai in July 2018.

The unanimous verdict by a jury of five women and three men was returned after roughly 45 minutes of deliberation on the fourth day of Musk’s trial. The case has been closely watched by legal experts because it is believed to be the first major defamation lawsuit by a private individual to go to trial over statements made on the Twitter platform.

Musk shook hands with his lawyer after the four-day trial in LA. He didn’t address Mr. Unsworth, whose team had told the court earlier on Friday the Tesla CEO should pay at least US$190 million in damages for his tweets about the diver.

Meanwhile, 64 year old Vernon Unsworth spoke outside the courthouse saying that he was resigned to his defeat.

“I accept the jury’s verdict, take it on the chin and get on with my life.”

L. Lin Wood, a high-profile trial lawyer, leading the legal team for the plaintiff Vernon Unsworth, says the jury’s decision signals a higher legal threshold for challenging libelous material on social media.

“The challenge that was thrown down by Elon Musk was that if you don’t sue it’s true. We sued because it’s false.”

“This verdict puts everyone’s reputation at risk.”

The outcome was a triumph for Musk, whose fickle behaviour in a number of instances last year came under close scrutiny from federal regulators and shareholders of Tesla, his Silicon Valley-based electric car manufacturer.

48 year old Musk, who had testified during the first two days of the trial in his own defence and returned to court on Friday to hear closing arguments, exited the courtroom after the verdict.”

“My faith in humanity is restored.”

Unsworth’s lawyer says he nevertheless saw the lawsuit as meaningful in helping erase the stain he said his client’s reputation suffered.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World | The Guardian

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Chiang Rai

Jealous boyfriend arrested over triple murder in Chiang Rai – VIDEO

Greeley Pulitzer

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Jealous boyfriend arrested over triple murder in Chiang Rai – VIDEO | The Thaiger

SCREENSHOT: YouTube

Chiang Rai police have arrested a man for the murder of his girlfriend and her parents, all found shot dead. 27 year old Nawaratorn “Nuan” Kunasangkam is currently in custody over the murders.

The victims were Udom Kimsi, his wife Nutcha Kimsi, and their 26 year old daughter Saowarot Kimsi, all from Chiang Rai. Their bodies were found by the mayor of Ban Du township, who went to check on Udom when he didn’t turn up for work.

Police believe the bodies had been in the house since November 28. They say no weapon was found at the scene. Neighbours told police they heard gunshots on the night of November 28, but didn’t think it was anything serious and paid little attention.

Police made the arrest after spotting the suspect’s vehicle in front of a 7-Eleven in Chiang Mai. When he was caught he had a semi-automatic 9mm pistol and 14 bullets.

“Nuan” confessed, saying he acted out of jealousy. He told police his girlfriend had been communicating with an ex-boyfriend on the LINE app. He said after he killed Kimsi, her parents rushed to investigate the gunshots. Since they’d witnessed the murder, he killed them as well.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

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