The award-winning Thai film 6ixtynin9, which received global acclaim following its release in 1999, is making a comeback to the screen with its distinctive twisted sense of humor—as a new six-episode series premiering exclusively on Netflix today.
6ixtynine9 The Series marks the return of renowned director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang to the big screen after a five-year absence.
It is a lengthy retelling of his previous masterpiece, Don Quixote, which won the coveted Don Quixote Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2000.
Reimagining a timeless classic
The dark crime comedy series revolves around Toom (Mai-Davika Hoorne), who has recently lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She comes across a mysterious box filled with cash that has been delivered to her door by mistake.
What caused the misunderstanding? A loose screw on her front door caused her apartment to be labeled as Number 9 rather than Number 6. When two gangsters return for their misplaced parcel, she accidentally kills them, triggering a series of unfortunate but darkly amusing encounters that unfold throughout the show.
Pen-Ek was able to delve deeper into the storylines and characters by converting the 90-minute film into a six-hour series. The format also pushed him to craft each episode in a way that captures and holds the attention of viewers.
“We put a lot of thought into creating the right opening for each episode. Unlike movies that only need to climb to the climax, choosing how to end each episode also requires skill. We needed to leave something to intrigue the audience before revealing what’s coming next,” he explains.
Returning crew, fresh cast
While nearly half of the original film’s crew, including cameramen, line producers, wardrobe personnel, and editors, returned for the series, the cast was entirely new. “The magic of the series comes from these five to seven characters,” says Pen-Ek with much pride.
The show features an impressive cast of talented actors, including Foei-Patara Eksangkul as Tud, a struggling rapper, and Man-Trisanu Soranun as John, a young and charming police officer. Jim, an alluring woman whose career revolves around leveraging her body and appearance, is played by Mine-Thanaporn Rattanasasiwimon.
Mai-Davika Hoorne plays Toom in her first collaboration with Pen-Ek. Her remarkable career includes Thailand’s highest-grossing film of all time, Pee Mak, as well as other acclaimed works such as Heart Attack.
To prepare for her role, Mai made a bold decision to trade her flowing locks for the shortest haircut she’s ever had. She wanted to jolt the audience from associating her with a certain look. “No matter how good my performance is, it is difficult to change their perceptions and they will still know it’s me playing the character,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to do whatever I could to get rid of my movie star look, so that I could completely be Toom.”
6ixtynin9 The Series premieres exclusively on Netflix today.