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​​Heist Comedy ‘The Lost Lotteries’ Taps Into a National Dream in Thailand

​​Heist Comedy ‘The Lost Lotteries’ Taps Into a National Dream in Thailand

If you were a loser who won the lottery but the ticket was somehow taken by someone formidable, what would you do? That’s what director Prueksa Amaruji wanted to know too.

InThe Lost Lotteries, which debuts today, a group of down-on-their-luck strangers came together to retrieve their winning tickets from a mafia gang headquartered in a firecracker factory, resulting in a belly-aching laugh fest. Well known for his comedy box office hits, Prueksa talks about what the lottery signifies for Thai people and the challenges of making a comedy.

Director Prueksa Amaruji explores the themes of hopes and dreams in ‘The Lost Lotteries’.

Why did you pick the subject of lottery?

The lottery is a universal subject, everyone knows about it. Winning the first prize in the Thai lottery is like a national dream – I'm also one of those dreamers – so executive producer Ekachai Uekrongtham and I thought that creating a film about the lottery can appeal to the masses, and surely our Thai fans.

In the past, there was a perception that only those who were poor played the lottery to try to get rich. But in the last 10, 20 years, Thai people from every social class, including high-level office executives, are buying lottery tickets. The lottery represents dreams and hopes. It’s not just about money but it’s also about how money can buy those dreams and enable you to do things for the people you love.

How is ‘The Lost Lotteries’ different from your other comedies?

Unlike an emotional drama, where we tend to cry over the same things, there is no perfect formula for a winning comedy because everyone laughs at different things. Some like physical comedy while others like puns. Some like laugh-out-loud moments, others prefer satirical jibes.

I wanted ‘The Lost Lotteries’ to be a dark comedy, which pokes fun at the protagonist as well as social issues, with a balance of the various comedic parts to cater to different tastes. There’s also the element of the mission to retrieve the lottery tickets. The five losers are not slick and smooth but are more like country bumpkins bumbling their way through, which in itself is really hilarious.

How has it been like working with Netflix on this film?

It’s like going on a journey to make a film with a friend who’s as big a movie fan as me. We can truly let our imagination go wild. Netflix has been a true partner in doing whatever they could to help us make the title the best it could be. For example, we wanted to use an international soundtrack for the film, and we thought it would be impossible but Netflix made it happen. Netflix gave us wings to go higher and achieve our aspirations.

‘The Lost Lotteries’ is available exclusively on Netflix from November 16, 2022.