KOCHI: Last year, sometime around June, news reports of the 12-member junior football team ‘Wild Boars’ and their 25-year-old coach trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand captivated the world. Thai-Irish director, Tom Waller brings to screen what has since been touted as the greatest rescue operations in modern times. The film, ‘The Cave’ which portrays the 18-day struggle of divers and the rescue team was screened as part of the world cinema section in the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).
Although the rescue was successful at the end, the life of an ex-Thai navy Seal, Saman Kunan is lost in the process, ‘The Cave’ is dedicated to this brave officer. The film focuses on the rescue team and how they overcame all difficulties to rescue the trapped boys and the coach. The film is also a tribute to about 100 divers who assembled from different corners of the world to make the rescue successful.When the film opens, the children are in grave danger. An atmosphere of tension pervades the rescue camp. The movie features the head of a water pump manufacturing company who drives his turbo-jet about 900km to help in pumping out the water from the cave. In the midst of the rescue operation, the film also features the bureaucratic tussles. It shows how the villagers whose crops are destroyed due to the pumping of water from the cave refuse to take the remuneration from the government. Another element in Waller’s film is the myth associated with the cave.
Throughout the rescue operation, people are seen offering prayers to princess Nang Non who is said to have fallen in love with a stable boy, became pregnant and eventually committed suicide.
Shot in the form of a documentary, the film is beautifully shot shows the rescue operations and people associated with it. The director has been successful in weaving this story into a thriller.