Mysterious Object at Noon is part fiction, part documentary, and part pseudo-documentary about several unrelated lives in Thailand.
The film crew set out on an expedition across Thailand, from the north to the south, documenting several lives along the way. In the process, each subject filmed is required to continue a story.
A next person in another city is asked to resume the story with total freedom of expression. The person can even come back to any point in the story, make changes, and continue the tale alternatively. The film emphasises a documentary approach that presents people with different professions rather than looking for a perfect and unbroken narrative of the fiction's storyline.
After the journey from the south, the crew set back for Bangkok, where the collaborated story is shot in a fiction-drama style with non-professional actors.
“Mr. Weerasethakul's film is like a piece of chamber music slowly, deftly expanding into a full symphonic movement; to watch it is to enter a fugue state that has the music and rhythms of another culture. It's really a movie that requires listening, reminding us that the medium did become talking pictures at one point.” Elvis Mitchell (The New York Times, November 1, 2001)
“Nobody has made such a film in Thailand before. It’s clear that something rich and strange is happening in Thai film culture.” Tony Rayns (London Film Festival Catalog, 2000)
“…how many documentarians have focused on the act of constructing stories themselves? Mysterious Object at Noon, a weird, wonderful and altogether sui generis new documentary from Thailand does just that, and in the process engages, unhinges and forever deranges the way that stories and cultural histories could, and perhaps should, be told.” Chuck Stephens (Filmmaker Magazine, USA )
“…the two most memorable Thai filmmakers I've encountered -- the radically different Pen-ek Ratanaruang and Apichatpong Weerasethakul -- confound the stereotypes so thoroughly they make it clear that we Americans don't know what Thai cinema is.” Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago Reader, March 2, 2002)