Rasa's mother, Supa, is on her death bed. She reveals to her daughter that Rasa's biological father is Supa's old wealthy boss, Chalerm, who had raped Supa. She tells her he gave her a ring and for Rasa to use it as evidence of her identity if she ever goes to meet him. However, Rasa's brother had stolen all of his mother's valuables, including the ring. Rasa decided to confront Chalerm and make him apologize, in order to honor her mother's now departed soul. Chalerm, owner of a big jewelry company, refused to meet or acknowledge Rasa immediately. He believes, along with his wife and his oldest daughter, Wan, that Rasa is a con-artist, looking for money. Sasikarn, Chalerm's younger daughter, believes Rasa's words and treats her nicely. Sasikarn's boyfriend, Chanon, is asked to help keep Rasa away. He distrusts Rasa, but his younger brother, Apirak, has fallen in love with her. Chanon has his own struggles, as he deals with his mother, who has recently returned. Twenty years earlier, she abandoned her young kids and husband, in order to follow her lover. Her actions left Chanon and Apirak with deep scars and abandonment issues. Rasa and Chanon can't help being attracted to each other, but they find themselves torn between love and responsibility towards family. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
So what was so great about this drama? Honestly for me it was absolutely the main pairing. There was just something so absolutely magical in their connection and way of being together. It even got me to break a personal rule: never watch triangle romances - I never like them and feel the person "in the middle" should just choose. However in this drama I actually bought the tension and reasons for it not being that simple. They were also a couple with pretty much no intense drama. Sure there were some struggles, but it just felt human and realistic without the over the top element added to it. I think in general their relationship was built up slowly and well. They really conveyed the early attraction and later angst really well.
The other characters were for the most part pretty solid as well. I really appreciated that for once the triangle drama didn't have one crazy participant. The characters were in general in this drama pretty believable and sensible.
I would definitely recommend this drama to anyone who appreciates a good thai drama. I don't even mind that the final episodes are unsubbed (though if they were ever subbed I would scream in happiness). The age just makes it even more charming and avoids a few pitfalls modern dramas love to fall into ;)
If you are looking for a well written drama with interesting characters and little romantic drama: this is the one!
a) its age. Aired in 2000, it is not only buried under all the newer productions over the years, but its video quality is not as bright and sharp as these modern HQ shows, and its availability is pretty scarce; and
b) its last 5 episodes are un-subbed, which is probably the biggest stumbling block to any lakorn viewer. I think only the really hardcore would venture to watch it despite knowing they will never be able to fully understand and appreciate the full show in its entirety.
I fully admit that I wasn't really planning to watch this show despite hearing echoes of its quality along lakorn corridors because of the above issues but thankfully, a respected fellow MDL-er took the time and effort to explain and sell this show to me, and after seeing a small video clip which she linked me up to, I was eventually sold. And I'm glad because I would have missed out on a real quality lakorn had it been otherwise.
So, now that that's been said and done, on with the review.
I've begun to notice that older lakorns tend to have better and tighter stories and plots, along with more fleshed out characters, while the newer lakorns these days tend to rely on plot devices such as side-stories, fillers, crazy villains and antagonists, obsessive-to-the-point-of-insane nang'rai's, over-acted and over-dramatised characters, etc. to pull their shows along and keep the viewers' attention focused and excited about their shows.
Well, all I can say is, if you're looking for the latter i.e. the newer lakorn format, then this show will very likely put you off (or let you down) because it has none of those formulas. None. Zero. Nada. This show is old-school in that it has a very focused and tight story to tell, and it remains that way for as far as I could see i.e for the 15 subbed episodes with the rest raw.
I personally would consider this show's primary genre to be a Family Drama. It is extremely character-driven and character-focused. The story focuses very much on the relationships, events and characters in the 2 diamond families, and all the conflict is set and kept within this context so it makes for a very dense and concentrated viewing. If you like dramas like this, then this will be right up your street.
In line with its very focused plot-line and premise, this character-driven show then naturally needs to spend plenty of time to set up the background, the personalities and the internal motivations of each main character as a solid foundation in which to build its drama structure. The pacing is therefore very deliberate and slow because it gives plenty of time for scenes to breathe and for the situations and emotions of the characters to sink in. And because each character within the 2 diamond families in this show has very realistic personality flaws, in some cases even realistically dysfunctional, the show takes its time to show us why, instead of leaving us in the dark.
This is something I really appreciated because for all their biased and sometimes twisted thought-process, you actually understand and get why the characters think or end up that way. You can't hate them or despise them the way you do for one-dimensional stereotypical characters, and this is not an easy feat to achieve without the show setting up their characters so well that you end up understanding them.
Some people might also term this show as a 'social commentary', and I can also understand why because, being so heavily character-driven, it takes the opportunity to introduce to us different characters and different personalities that exist within that social context, and it also wonderfully shows us how each character reacts and deals with a similar situation in different and varied ways because of their different personalities and way of thinking. It's very insightful and eye-opening, and it can also be very thought-provoking because it shows you different perspectives on the same issue. We may not always agree with their way of thinking but I think our minds are broadened by being able to see their viewpoint. There are not many shows that actually allow you to deepen your insight into the different workings of humankind, but this show is one of them.
As for the romance in this show... well, it is a very slow build romance because I don't think romance is this show's primary focus or importance. It does play a very important role in shaping and changing some of our key characters but I see that as just one of the many catalysts embedded in this show. But that's not to say that there is no chemistry or no emotional connection. There are plenty of emotional connections here in this show - maybe even too much sometimes because this show is too good in drawing out the emotional moments of the characters and making you FEEL them for each key scene. Powerful stuff considering that it is able to do this without the help of loud, dramatic music or in-your-face overacting. Serious quality, this.
The only reason I am not able to give a very high rating on this aspect of the show is entirely because of the last 5 un-subbed episodes which I tried to watch but found myself broadly guessing what was going on and what was being said. It is a real pity and shame really, because the dialogue is absolutely key for this show. It explains and clarifies the actions, decisions and motivations of each character so without understanding what was being said, a lot of the context and understanding is lost. I'm dying to know how it all went down in the last 5 and being unable to do that, I cannot, with all the goodwill in the world, complete my rating on the story and execution aspect of this show. But because it has been quality stuff since the beginning, I've still given it a high 7.5. Huge concession for me considering I am sort of left hanging without a proper resolution for this show.
Every single cast member here played their part and were well-rounded, well-fleshed out characters. Impressive achievement in an age where lakorns are filled with one-dimensional or stereotypical supporting or side characters. No filler or character fodder. Amazing.
Lots of characters stood out for me in this show. Lots. And while I am sure this is partly thanks to solid character scripting and assured directing, some credit also needs to go to the actors themselves for bringing their A-game to the show regardless of their screen-time. From P'Manut and his wife P'Orn, to Rasa's two besties, to all the members of the 2 diamond families themselves, all were memorable and relatable characters to me. This show is choc-a-bloc full of quality acting on all fronts, and if I spent the time to talk about them all, I would never finish this review.
I will, however, put the spotlight on one person whose acting really stood head-and-shoulders above the rest and that is Mr Andrew Gregson.
ANDREW GREGSON as Chanon, was a revelation for me. I've not seen any of his lakorns prior to this show so this was my first introduction to this man. My respected fellow MDL-er sang lots of praises about his acting in this show and so my eyes and my expectations were already perked up even before I clicked on episode 1. I didn't think that my high expectations would be met but wow, boy were they met!
I admit that the first 2, maybe even 3, episodes didn't really make me stand up and say wow because, again, of the show's slow and deliberate pace as well as Chanon's personality which was one who carried the weight of his family and the family's diamond business on his shoulders.
This made him into a very serious, no-nonsense and stoic person who had to internally bear and carry a lot of responsibility. He could not allow himself to be too emotionally open because it could worry and burden his family. He had to be the head of his household and so had to be a very self-controlled, strict and shrewd person lest his soft-hearted father and brother be manipulated and exploited by greedy, ill-meaning persons.
His childhood trauma of being abandoned by his mother had also made him wary and rather distrustful of women. Personally, I wouldn't blame him for being distrustful of women even without the added factor of his mother because being heir to one of the largest diamond companies in the country is enough to attract all sorts of mercenary or status-hungry women.
But as the show progressed and with the re-appearance of his mother who had left some over 20 years ago, Chanon was faced with feelings and issues which he had been suppressing and denying to himself over the years, and the way Andrew Gregson brought all of that internal conflict out in Chanon was seriously emotionally heart-breaking to behold.
The scenes which really sit with me were the scenes where he is trying so hard to keep his emotions and his tears under control but they come leaking out despite his best efforts. The way his voice quivers, the way he hesitates as he tries to give voice to some of the turmoil going on inside, and the way he quickly spits his sentences out as though he has to quickly get it out before he loses the courage to say it, hits you right in the heart. And the way he tries to explain his reasons and his rationale while fighting back tears while he speaks to his father or his brother is so heart-breaking.
For me, there is nothing more emotionally powerful than having to witness someone emotionally distraught and on the verge of tears but trying their damn hardest to NOT break down, to NOT burst into tears.
It's easy to turn on the tap and give in and cry, but to try not to cry even though you want to? Bam! Sold. I'm in.
Of all the characters in this lakorn, it was Chanon who had me empathising and sympathising with him every single step of the way. He was brought believably into life by Andrew so, for that, Andrew gets the gold star from me.
I can't say enough how much I wish the last 5 episodes were subbed so that I can see this entire lakorn to the finish, but suffice to say, even despite not being able to complete it, the first three-quarters of the show was already amazing in being able to show us how quality lakorns look like. It's truly a damn crying shame that they don't make them like this anymore.
Good background music and score. I particularly appreciate how they don't bludgeon you over the head with continuous playing of character theme songs but relied a lot more on instrumental versions and appropriate mood music.
If some kind soul could sub the last 5 episodes so that I can have my closure on this wonderful lakorn, that would be greatly and deeply appreciated. I'd love to re-watch this if I could but not with an inconclusive ending...