Bad Genius (2017)


  • Directed by Nattawut Poonpiriya
  • Starring Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Eisaya Hosuwan, Chanon Santinatornkul
  • Written by Tanida Hantaweewatana, Vasudhorn Piyaromna
  • Comedy, Crime, Non-English
  • NR (I’d say PG-13)
  • 2 hr 10 min.
  • 3 May 2017


A genius attending school on a scholarship is convinced by her friends to help people at school cheat for money. Because the school still charges her father even though she was told she was on scholarship, she decides there are no losers in her doing as she says. However, when she gets caught up in a much bigger scam – mass-cheating on the international STIC exam – Lynn has far more weighing over her than just helping classmates get good grades.

How’s the Story?

Have you ever seen Perfect Score with Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson before they were superheroes? The one where they steal the answers to the SAT? It’s kind of like that, only far more impressive, way more suspenseful, and way better written. Lynn is so likeable that even though you know what she and the others are doing is wrong, you WANT so badly for her to succeed. The relationship she has with her father is also something you really, really feel and want things to go well for them. It’s just a really good story with so many moving parts and human connections that make it very interesting.

How’s the Acting?

While I don’t know much about Thai film apart from one or two queer films over the last few years, I have to believe that this is a really good performance on any standard. At the very least, by American standards, this is a very well-acted film. The girl who plays Lynn and Bank in particular are really, really good at playing these two very unique ‘genius’ characters. There is no ‘stereotype’ here, they’re very unique characters and the actors portray those characters very well.

How’s the Writing/Directing?

Like I said before, this is one that has very interesting choices in how the story plays out. To not be cheesy, this is a smart movie about a smart girl. It’s funny without being silly, it’s heartfelt without being cheesy, and it’s SO. DAMN. SUSPENSEFUL! There are parts where I was like “OH GOD WHAT’S GONNA HAPPEN?!?!” on the edge of my seat, it’s so well done. Suspense is something easy to get wrong and this really, really does NOT get it wrong.

How’s the Cinematography?

It’s pretty standard for the most part, but there are some choices especially in lighting that are really, really good. Also, there are a few sequences that are sort of ‘dream sequence’-like (where the characters have out of body experiences) that are very artsy and yet somehow really, really fit into the more standard way the film is shown. Overall, there’s nothing magical to write home about, but it’s good.

Is It Worth Watching?

Though the number of Non-English films I’ve seen this year is like… two or three (she admits with shame), this is easily the best one. I loved this movie. I’m not sure it’ll make the top 10 of 2017 list, but it’s on the shortlist, so that says a lot about it. It’s just a very well written, well-directed, well done movie that has a great ‘twist’ ending for one of the characters that I thought at first I didn’t like but decided in the end I really did like it.

It’s a movie about a girl finding her power in the world she’s been put into, getting a little power-hungry, and then discovering that her true strength comes from within. It’s a very good movie about a girl coming of age in a very unique way that’s extremely entertaining. Overall, I would say this is one of the more enjoyable movies I’ve seen this year.

My Rating: 8/10

About J. Chelsea Williford

Movie addict, reader, writer, pop culture lover.
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1 Response to Bad Genius (2017)

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Movies of 2017 | Chelsea Loves Movies

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