‘The Medium’ tells a tale with more open-ended questions than conclusive answers. Are ‘medium’ practices primordial or primitive? Do every single practitioner continue their practice because it has always been truthfully valid without question, or it is but a part of the evolution of spiritual beliefs? Does it make adequate sense to take total refuge in an unseen ‘being’ and/or his or her ‘spokesperson’, who offers vague and incomplete teachings for matters of life, death and its transcendence?
Are ‘medium’ practices natural with the power of self-suggestion, or supernatural with the power of another ‘being’? Is the mind not powerful enough to ‘summon’ possibly absent ‘god(s)’ and ‘ghosts(s)’ into ‘existence’? How do we know with certainty, the truthfulness of any particular ‘medium’? Is there not a difference between the faithfulness of a ‘medium’ and the attached devotees, versus the truthfulness of the medium’s services for the devotees?
Is the ‘being’ ‘possessing’ a ‘medium’ a benevolent deity or malevolent ghost? How do we know who he or she is supposed to be, since both have some similar supernormal powers? What if the ‘being’ or ‘medium’ is just claiming to be someone else, for various purposes, good or evil, even if unmindfully or subconsciously? How does the ‘medium’ really know he or she is a conduit for another ‘being’? What if it is for fulfilling unconscious desires, with personal ‘demons’ in the mix?
In case this review with almost nothing but questions on the ambiguous seem partial, the story does feature the titular ‘medium’, who also doubted her practices before her mysterious demise, which makes it legit for viewers to wonder, as above. Was she ‘punished’ for being doubtful, or did she perish due to some other explainable cause? If she was ‘punished’, is the ‘being’ not as kindly as expected?
Her sister too, vacillated desperately between faith in a monotheistic ‘deity’ and her sister’s patron ‘deity’, who is supposedly but one of countless spirits who exist in nature. Filmed in the context of supposedly very Buddhist Thailand, perhaps the biggest mystery of the story is why the troubled protagonists did not seek refuge in the Buddha, whom Buddhists regard to be the ‘Teacher Of Humans And Gods’, whom many ghosts and wandering spirits revere too.
Does Buddhism Promote Medium Practice?