The Overture: How music support a nation

What is the role of music?
The answers to this question are probably different depending on personal perspective. For most people, music can provide psychological and emotional supports. But what if I tell you that music can play a big role in shaping the state of development of a nation?

The Overture or Hom Rong will show the audience that music will always the most important part of society and it can help guide people through thick and thin.

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In short,

The story revolves around ‘Sorn’, a Thai classical musician who is well-known as a Ranad-ek master (ranad-ek is Thai classical xylophone). Around the year 1940, there was a major revolution in Thailand and the supreme leader P. wanted to make Thailand more civilized by adopting Western cultures.

The messages involve the importance of music and culture during the development and the awareness about conserving cultural heritage in the society.

There is no winner or loser in arts

There are many competitions in this movie and in each round, the audience got to witness the characters’ growth. We might be wishing for Sorn to win so much that we forget the most important part. There is no winning or losing. Everyone is just enjoying their time, playing music and listening to music.

Throughout the movie, we see improvement in Sorn’s ability. Each time he loses, he comes back stronger. But at the end, he realizes that it doesn’t matter if he wins or not. He learns how to respect the competitors and see the music as what it is -not a competition.

There is no winning or losing in development either

Often times, people think that in order to achieve a development or to make a change, something needs to be sacrificed. The idea was that the society must let go of the old state, in order to establish the new state.

With this mindset, those who are stick with the old culture would refuse to accept the new ones due to fear of losing their identity. Likewise, the newer generations would drive changes by abandoning the older cultures.

That kind of thinking is too black and white. Actually, it is much better to coexist. The best way for development is integration.

One of the Thai government’s policy during the time is to control Thai classical music and performance. The government supports Western classical music and Western fashion. This kind of change is frown upon by many Thai citizens. But not Sorn. When his son brought a piano into the house, Sorn decides to integrate the piano and ranad together -showing the audience that all kinds of culture and coexist. Most of the time we will find that all culture is civilized in its own way and we should all be proud.

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A nation is like a tree

There is a line between Sorn and Lieutenant-Colonel Veera about the development of Thailand. When Veera claims that the supreme leader simply wishes to keep all the outdated culture in check, Sorn points out that the government is doing it wrong.

“I always support development, but not the kind that forces people to abandon their own culture. You want to take out the old tree and plant a new one. When the storm arrives, how could this tree stand strong without deep root?”

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Music, arts, and culture are like roots to the nation. For a country to survive changes and development, the society should be strong. People in the society should have strong traditions to support them through the changes.

With this idea, the audience would be reminded that all the cultures and traditions are so important and that we all should do our best to cherish them. Classical cultures and traditions are like heritages that out ancestors left for us. And it is our responsibility to take care of them for the next generations too.

p.s. This is the English subbed trailer of the movie…

Pictures from:

  1. http://topicstock.pantip.com/chalermthai/topicstock/2009/12/A8692274/A8692274.html
  2. http://oknation.nationtv.tv/blog/swongviggit/2007/12/14/entry-1/comment
  3. http://ngokonmovie.blogspot.com/2012/10/overture-2004-english-subs-overture.html
  4. https://iclickmovie.com/?page=Movie.ShowMovie&movieID=4602
  5. https://www.cineplex.com/Movie/the-overture/Photos
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