Before reading this article, as fans who enjoy watching lakorns, let's take a moment to thank Dynastykat & Sherri James @ Muse who have subbed this project for the international lakorn fandom to enjoy. Dynastykat & Sherri James on behalf of all fans who love lakorns, thank you for subbing Hua Jai Sila! Thank you! Thank you!
* Please be aware of major spoilers ahead! *
Love, which female magazines have serialized along with the notions of a perfect man, a perfect wedding, a perfect dress, and a perfect relationship, is the culmination of those Disney princess story expectations, to endorse happy fantasies in children ignoring self-love, and the adult model-like production of unrealistic ideals, which eventually end up in divorce.
Love, however, is about light and darkness, a dichotomy of emotions that have described the word since its conception, like Sila: locus amoenus (happy place) and locus horrendus (the opposite). Harmony, patience, peace, joy, and contentment versus sadness, disillusionment, fear and repression of positive inner emotions.
Hua Jai Sila is a remake of the same-titled Lakorn that aired in 2007 on Channel 5 in Thailand. Reinventing the wheel is all the rage today, hence the proliferation of remakes everywhere, like anti-ageing creams sold in supermarkets, pharmacies, beauty stores etc. Each with identical, unimaginative slogans conjured up by a team of marketers to sell the ignis fatuus (deception) of youth and beauty to insecure women, as if a facial cream was the El Dorado of low self-esteem, and could miraculously solve their unhappiness within themselves.
This story does not advertise face cream at all, promote beauty or quick fix-ups to solitary lives, despite having a very simple premise. A boy who was mistreated by his stepmother miraculously survives drowning. Considered dead by his family, he comes back years later to seek revenge on those who hurt him.
A male torturous Cinderella, aka a modern-day Heathcliff obsessed with dispensing hell around him, like a member of the Black Dagger brotherhood dispatching evil creatures minus the supernatural shebang in a spiral of violence against the bad guys. Hua Jai Sila shows that there is the light within darkness and warmth within an ice cold heart!
Sila is a very angry man, and a very patient one, who knows that the right timing is, well, when he chooses it to be. He’s very methodical and strategic, planning things step by step to reach his ultimate goal: destroy those who have hurt him.
This thirst for retribution stems from his low self-esteem, forcing him into hiding his needs to experience love in its essence, comfort, and inner peace while requiring a great deal of patience and inner battles with himself.
Sila is not moved by evil, he is moved by his perception of justice, his own private distorted view of the term, the lawful concept that rules all men, him excluded. He’s implacable, he’s ruthless and he holds a universe of resentment inside his heart, but to those he cares about, he enforces a vicious taciturnity as an act of kindness to protect them from himself, and from the vileness he disburses with his words and actions which does not always work in his favour, as he realizes when he has to save and/or protect Min.
Sila is not adept at public displays of compassion for fear of his loved ones being dragged into the web of vindictiveness he has weaved around him to reach his goals, with one exception, however: Min.
He is a broken man, a child named Tor inside the adult named Sila. This is his dark side of love and one huge complexity it is. Performance wise, Thanapob Leeluttanakajorn aka Tor, is spot on in shifting conceptual meanings amongst a handful of distinctive facial expressions in a matter of seconds; each one more reverberating than the prior one; each one just as riveting.
Mingta is Sila’s light and the person that scourges inside his heart, like a widespread contagious source of love he stubbornly treats like an epidemical annoyance, determined on stopping him checkmating the king at all costs. That is until he surrenders his heart to her without letting her know about it, keeping the outward appearance of a David statue in a mental Gallery of Academic Arts in Bangkok rather than Florence.
Mingta is a bit like Baby Spice, with attitudes of Ginger when dealing with Sila, whom she befriended during childhood when he was living under his birth name of Tor. The yin to his yang. Nopjira Lerkkajornnamkul aka Fern matches Tor tit for tat.
Sila/Tor and Min’s love story is so organically raw that it is poignant to watch unravel on screen. The conflicted Sila with his inner persona Tor and the contrasting feelings of revenge Sila has opposed to his love, his need to protect and cherish Min as Tor, as more than the childhood friend, as Tor, as Sila, as just the human man who loves her more than he loves life itself. This is a reflection of his intricacy and his simplicity in his core desire to be happy.
In contrast, Sila’s relationship with Min’s sister, Mingkwan is highly toxic but this was meant to be exactly that, poisonous. Kwan is an aristocrat who acts like one, a woman who has always conducted herself like royalty, used to pick and choose from amongst an array of high pedigree suitors throwing themselves at her like numbers displayed on a lottery ballot for selection.
She falls for Sila just as he has orchestrated and becomes uncontrollably possessive of him. Taking advantage, Sila sleeps with her, and pulls the carpet from under her feet with a royal flush showcase by informing her that he was Tor, the boy she hated when she was younger for being the son of a prostitute, and therefore, unworthy of being called a human being and existing on the same level as her aristocratic self.
Sitha, Tor’s stepmother is a very powerful woman with a lot of connections who expertly and effortlessly removes every single person that she believes to be a hindrance to her, an obstacle to her plans or simply unworthy of being treated as more than a servant to be owned and disposed of in case of disloyalty.
It was thanks to her persecution of Tor while he tried to escape from her tyranny one night, that he fell on the river, and was believed dead. She would've never thought that he survived and was the man administering karma to her.
She had never imagined that one day like so many great people before her, she too, would fall and she too would know what it was like to feel like she was nothing. She had never dreamt that Sila was Tor and that he would pay her back in spades for all the pain she had inflicted upon him. Sitha only cared about her son, Sawit aka Ae who she believed to be a decent, exemplary man of conduct, but who in reality is a gambler and an abuser of women.
Sawit is an unscrupulous, abhorrently nauseating man, keen on horribly mistreating women, wasting big money on the casino and living life on the edge of roulette which always got the upper hand, resulting in him losing large sums of wealth from his mother’s company without her awareness.
Knowing his penchant for beautiful women and his lack of aptitude to gamble wisely and moderately, Sila baits him and his gambling debts increase one after the other. As a payment, Sila takes Sawit’s house deed and his shares in his mother’s company, leaving Ae with a thirst for revenge which matches Pinsuda aka Mam, Sila’s aunt's thirst for peace.
Mam has always wanted Sila to forget about his past, forfeit revenge and live a happy life but he was never inclined to accommodate her. Even after being saved and raised by her he couldn’t let go.
Mam finds in Min a kindred spirit for peace, a woman that loves Tor as much as her albeit in a different capacity but a woman who cares for Tor, wants him to stop his revenge and live a good happy life.
Kwan, Sitha, Sawit and Mam, like Min were all very monochromatic personality-wise, the first three expressing varying degrees of extreme behaviour towards something acceptable or mischievously mean, all very predictable.
Mam and Min, on the other hand, were more centered. They both wanted what was best for Sila/Tor, and tried to protect him as much as they could, Min more often than not, indirectly by either pleading with him, or preventing him from doing something she viewed as despicable.
It is said that hate is a form of love, a dark form of love as to hate one has to feel. Sila has lived his entire life in a paradoxical duality of light love versus dark love, alternating the emergence of one with the submersion of the other towards those he loved for good and those he loved for bad. He was not purposefully wicked from the beginning. The circumstances made him who he was but even in his own personal hellish darkness there was light, there was Min and therefore, there was hope that good would overcome evil and that true light love would overcome all challenges to blossom into happiness like Mam would have wanted. Good prevailed!
Hua Jai Sila was spot on from episode 1 to 27. It was an epic ride that blessed fans with an ending most dramas do not take time to produce nor execute. It's sweet, it's cute, it's deserving!
Have you watched Hua Jai Sila? If you have, did you like it? If you haven’t, do you plan to?
Drop your thoughts and your comments below!