I love stories that have lots of conflict, and this story, Sawan Biang, a new Thai Larkorn (soap opera) has heaps of that. Conflict is what draws the story forward and bring out the characters. Without it, the story would stay still, drawing no interest for the audience, and therefore, they are not likely to continue watching the story.
Sawan Biang, staring Ann Thongprason as Narin and Ken Teeradeth as Kawee (both are famous and influential Thai actress and actor respectively) starts with a crash. By crash I mean it metaphorically and literally. Metaphorically because that is how the story starts, with Ken, a stubborn, arrogant, autocratic and cynical rich playboy condemns Narin’s older sister, Leela’s love towards him. He said that she is trying to catch him without looking at their difference in status (social status is very, very important in Thai culture). Narin witnesses this and hates him for his treatment towards her sister because she knows that her sister is a very gentle, sensitive person. And here, Leela runs out from the party and a car hit her (the literal bit), and Narin witnesses this, too. How sad.
This is a very intense beginning to the story. Already we can see conflicts from three very different characters. Ken is an arrogant, cynical rich playboy; Narin a vulnerable but mentally strong, intelligent young woman; and Leela a sensitive, gentle woman who highly depends on her sister for support. As the story move forward, there will be no doubt that these characters will change, and their actions will define their new personalities, indicating that they have grown in some ways (very important in very story).
The story promise for more conflicts as it moves forward. Later we see the relationship between Kawee and his father and Kawee and his stepmother. This is very intense indeed with Kawee hating his father and his father disliking Kawee’s uptight behaviour towards other people, especially those below him in social status. Even more tense when Leela marries Kawee’s dad and brings her family to live in the mansion. Yeap, conflict, conflict, and more conflict. Do I need to mention anymore conflict?
But we, as audience, my dear reader, must think why Kawee, our hot hero, acts this way. In my opinion this is because Kawee lacks love he should be receiving from his dad. Kawee only acts in such a way (you will see when you watch the drama or if you’ve already watched the drama, you know what I mean) because he wants attention. Further more, he protects himself from emotion by refusing to feel when tragic hits because, according to me, he does not want to get hurt, and hurt hurts you know.
For those of you who had never watched Thai drama before, here’s a few things you need to know. The story mainly revolves around two main characters, the hero and the heroine, in this case Kawee and Narin (a little bit like romance book such as mills and boons but more in depth and more complicated), and they are brought together by mere fate (what ever that may be). Usually they will dislike each other at the beginning for one reason or another, and this varies from stories to stories, and the must have in most drama is that their social statuses are different. Usually the heroine is poor or middle class and the hero is mega rich, running his own company or farm etc (yeap, just like mills and boons). The stories usually have supporting characters and also what the Thai calls “Nasty Girl” character/s. You know the type that chase after our drop dead gorgeous hero and make our pretty heroine suffer. Then there’s usually a lot of complicated misunderstanding between them all, the hero saving the heroine from the Nasty Girl’s tricks (and, boy, do I mean tricks), hero starts to have feelings for the heroine, plots thicken, bad guys plans to kill hero/heroine, plots thicken a bit more, hero and heroine falls in love but keeps their feelings hidden, plot thicken some more, bad guys caught heroine, hero panics and sacrifices himself to save her, bad guys die, and hero and heroine live happily ever after. Peh!
Now, just one or two things before you start watching, if you haven already, things you needed to know so that you don’t go—what the hell does that mean?
Yeap, I’ve got a Thai friend, though I would rather think she’s a mutated Thai, you know, I call her the CONTAMINATED THAI, who is more Chinese than Thai. But any who, any how—she lives in Thailand all her young life, and who am I to argue with about that when I’m Cambodian New Zealander?
This is what’s I’ve learnt so far from my lovely friend and sister (the one that loves watching Thai drama so much that she couldn’t go a minute without mentioning anything related to Thai drama, especially Jum Ler Ruk—Prisoner of Love drama). Anyway, in Sawan Biang, when there’s a ‘P’ in front of a name, for example, when Narin (our pretty heroine) comes into the hospital to find her sister, Leela, missing, she said, “P-Lee.” P, pronounce just the letter P, indicate respect for older sibling. Hence, P-Lee means older sister Lee and the same goes for an older brother. Khun indicate respect for other people that is not related to you. Another word, the same as Mister or Miss like when Kid (Kawee’s dad) calls Lee as khun Lee (Miss Lee). Does that make sense? If it doesn’t then just post a note for me and I’ll ask my Contaminated Thai friend to explain it in more detail, if she can.
Now, if I haven’t convince you to watch this rubbish, non-educational Thai drama then I’m a bad writer, and further more, a bad politician, not that I’m telling you that I am a politician. It’s just that I enjoy watching Thai drama, and I’ve seen the very first version of Sawan Biang about ten years ago and glade that there’s a new one now. About time if you ask me. However, I find that so far the characters have changed a bit in personality and I like that very much because Narin (Ann) in this version she is not weak and she stands up to Kawee—you go girl. As for Kawee (Ken) he is damn mean, but a damn hot one at that (God pulse is racing already by the mere thought of him). The baseline of the story, however, is still the same. I hope you will enjoy it, too. Warning—Might be a bit long for the IMPATIENT!
P.S. Thanks to Wishboniko for posting Sawan Biang with English subtitle in You-tube.
Here’s Sawan Biang