"A Beautiful

Boxer" tells a touching story of a girl born into the wrong body, and who,
through boxing, would eventually be able to become one through surgery. It's a story
about overcoming one's fate.

Nong Toom was interested in dancing, putting on girl's makeup, and wearing woman's
clothes from a very early age. His mother comments at the very beginning of the story
that it was "just a fad", but it soon becomes clear that this isn't a phase; it's just the story
of boy who should have been born a girl.

The writing and filming is solid and so is the pacing with the exception of a few
moments. But what makes this film rise above its technical merits is its heart. The
acting is superb. At some points, you forget that you're just watching a movie because
it's clear that the actors, especially Nong Toom's Asanee Suwan, are really becoming
their characters. Thanks to this, we get a plethora of heartfelt moments and really get a
feel for a subject area that is relatively untouched, transsexuals. Sometimes
transsexuals get a bad rep, but the fact is that these are real people who have to
overcome the exceptional struggle of coming to term with their own gender identity
while the people around you despise you, bully you, and at times make your life a living
hell because they don't really understand.

Overall, Nong Toom is an exceptional movie with a psychological edge that is harshly
realistic. I recommend it to everyone, because I believe it's a story that everyone should
be familiar with. Transgenderism isn't as rare as people think.
Based on the real life story of Parinya Charoenphol, a Muay Thai boxer who underwent
a sex change operation to become a woman. The movie chronicles her life from a
young boy who likes to wear lipstick and flowers to her sensational career as a
kickboxer - whose specialty is ancient Muay Thai boxing (moves which she can execute
expertly with grace) - to finally confronting her own sexual identity, which leads to her
sex change op.

The Beautiful Boxeris the controversial 2003 biopic detailing the helter-skelter life of
transgender (‘kathoey’) Muay Thai fighter, Nong Thoom. The film, while winning
awards and nominations in Europe, Asia and America raised temperatures in Thailand
where censors felt aggrieved by the extreme frontal nudity which made the film popular
elsewhere.

Nong Thoom is portrayed by male kick-boxer and Muay Thai pro, Asanee Suwan. It
was the shots of Asanee’s genitals which saw the film censored in parts of Thailand and
banned altogether in others. Still the film did win several high profile Thai film awards in
2004 including awards for Best Actor and Best Makeup. Elsewhere the movie picked
up awards in Torino’s Gay/Lesbian/Transgender movie festival and new director
Ekachai Uekrongtham picked up a prestigious Outfest award for Outstanding Emerging
Talent.
The Beautiful Boxer deals with the life of Nong Thoom. Nong had always been aware
of her gender and her biological complications from a young age and after spending
time in a Buddhist monastery, decided to pursue boxing and Muay Thai as a means of
paying to support her under privileged parents and get a sex change operation. She
was dubbed The Beautiful Boxer as a result of her first fight where she beat and then
passionately kissed a much larger

opponent.

The Beautiful Boxer continued to rise to fame as a successful lady-boy boxer at the
prestigious Lumprini Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. At the epicentre of all things Muay
Thai, The Beautiful Boxer went on to become a champion in mid 1998. Having
revitalised the Muay Thai scene in Thailand (and across the globe), The Beautiful
Boxerannounced a shock retirement when she had enough money to release her
parents from financial hardship and she finally underwent her reassignment operation in
early 1999.

The movie, The Beautiful Boxer, depicts Nong as a strong and often exploited but loved
figure of Muay Thai and Thailand’s tourism industry in general. The movie did well in
America upon its import release in 2005 and Nong began to reappear in the public eye
fighting and winning several exhibition fights against heavier male opponents. Indeed,
the speed of The Beautiful Boxer has often been the main reason for her victories a een
in the movie.

The director of The Beautiful Boxer, Ekachai Uekrongtham also came into the limelight
as a result of Nong’s story and he is now working

on several other high profile Thai movie projects and he runs his own theater company,
ACTION.

In summary then, The Beautiful Boxer is based on the real life story of Parinya
Charoenphol (Nong Thoom), a Muay Thai boxer who had to have a sex change
operation to become a woman. The Beautiful Boxerchronicles her life with scenes from
Nong as a young boy who likes to wear lipstick and flowers to gripping fightscenes
communicating the exciting life of a Muay Thai kick-boxer. The movie, The Beautiful
Boxer, confronts issues of sexuality and gender in the high octane real-life world of
Muay Thai. The Beautiful Boxer executes her moves with an expert’s grace and finally
faces her own sexuality head-on climaxing in her life-changing sexual realignment
operation. Fascinating stuff about makeup and boxing gloves!