The three previous sweet installments of Supaburoot Juthathep series paved their way for Khun Chai Ratchanon, a romantic adventure lakorn centering on the fourth Aristocratic brother, Mom Rajawong Ratchanon Juthathep (aka Khun Chai Lek), a civil engineer who opts to station in Nong Khai to avoid matrimony with Sineenuch. He is second to the last chance that his noble grandmother could fulfill her son’s sacred promise to his friend. This time around she is more determined to see it through, and thus evoking a higher stake (and much desperation) for this story.
But Khun Chai Lek is a man who prefers to create his own path in life, thank you very much. Even though he is an easy going, flirtatious (the notorious rake) and goofy to boot, Khun Chai Lek doesn’t believe that any woman could capture his heart. Until fate and his excursion through the mystical forest of the Northeastern Province brings him toe to toe with a feisty, strong willed, slip of a woman named Soifah, and he is a goner.
Towering at 6’2, Tanin “Bomb” Manoosilp plays Khun Chai Ratchanon, his debut drama alongside skilled actress Taew Nataporn as Soifah. In this Act Art production, we are given a meatier plot, an adventurous undertaking, and a different love story than the previous Juthatheps. One must stay alert, do not blink, because you don’t want to miss the connection between the various subplots and characters. In essence, we are given a new playing field, one that allows this lakorn to be anything but boring.
The onset of the drama brings us to the heart of the matter. This is the time of serious upheaval in Wieng Phu Kam, a neighboring country to the Northeastern province of Thailand. A king, Jao Luang Suriyawong was dethroned 18 years prior and found refuge in the mystical forest of Thailand. A spell casted by the village doctor provides a veil of cloud to protect the clan until they’ve gathered forces. A man referred to as Por Yai is the leader of the clan and they are determined to find and help the King regain his throne. Soifah is Por Yai’s daughter; she’s trained in all aspect of battle and prefers to help her father protect their village. Yet Por Yai wants her to study and be knowledgeable in the event they return to Wieng Phu Kam.
Little did Soifah know that her Por Yai is actually Jao Luang Suriyawong, who has been separated from his wife and son. During the flee from Wieng Phu Kam, Jao Luang was only able to save his daughter, while watching the queen and prince get separated from him. He has been on the lookout for them ever since. Due to this traumatic experience, Soifah has had nightmares that she never understood. (Another particular individual has had nightmares as well ever since he was little. Chatchavee, a pilot officer, and one of the Thewaproms, who is considered as inferior because of his murky background. His father is noble but his mother is rumored to be lowly, and until this day, his father hasn’t given him information to convince him otherwise, even though the older man said that his mother is a kind and good person.)
When Khun Chai Lek arrives at Nong Khai, he is fascinated by the natural resources and decides to embark on an adventure in the forest. Never short of surrounding himself with pretty ladies, Khun Chai Lek saves Jantha (the daughter of wild food booth man) from vile Wieng Phu Kam soldiers. In an effort to show their appreciation, the father decides to be his guide in the forest. Chai Lek finds Jantha as pretty as a princess and is not afraid to tell her so. Even Jantha’s past is murky as well since she is not aware who her birth parents are. On their excursion, they get accosted by Wieng Phu Kam soldiers who came back to seek revenge.
During this same time, Soifah is concerned that the veil of protection around their village is fading and keeps a very close eye on any intruders. She spies on some forest trekkers, Khun Chai Lek being the main one, to ensure they don’t have evil intentions. One day she finds Chai Lek being gunned down by Wieng Phu Kam soldiers and saved him from their wrath, as well as dragging his body from the river. Her sidekick and partner in crime, Joi, saved Jantha from the soldiers as well. Chai Lek and Jantha is taken to Walahok village to heal, where Chai Lek is revered as good and bad luck, depending on who you ask. The village heads surmise that he may be the missing crown (prince) since he is able to see through their protection veil, but that they must keep a close eye on him. Soifah on the other hand, sees him as a threat because ever since he showed up, bad things kept happening- probably in terms of her own reaction towards his proximity. Heeh.
She’s a fierce one to be sure. An untamed princess (who obviously doesn’t know she’s a princess) and meets with a noble Casanova. But in his words, he did tell her that he never deceived a woman. He has never thought that he would meet a woman who he thinks could capture his heart. Well, until he met our warrior princess, that is, who will give him a run for his money. Now who’s going to be taming whom? Furthermore, Khun Chai Lek vows to help Soifah and her village return to Wieng Phu Kam. He tells her that she risked her life to save his, and won’t hesitate to do the same.
And the village head is right, a blueblood like Khun Chai Ratchanon will be hailed by his brothers, who will open a rescue mission once they’ve learned that he has been missing. So Nong Khai, the village and those Wieng Phu Kam soldiers should be prepared and alerted when the five lions of Juthathep, along with the pilot officer Chatchavee, step foot onto their sacred grounds. There is nothing that they wouldn’t do to protect their own. Not to mention, messy love conflict because Nuch and Rampa are planning to tag along on this rescue/search mission to Nong Khai.
Khun Chai Ratchanon’s cast is filled with veteran actors, Kik Mayuree (as Chat’s step mom) when she plays bad, she’s so bad. I wanted to slap her and tell her to shut up. Off Pongpat is wonderful as always, as Por Yai. The newbies who play Jantha, Joi are natural (Jantha is as cute as a button! I think she will pair with Chat.)
But the biggest and obvious question remains, how has our main pairing fared together? Although Tanin looms over her (and just about everyone else) he is quite compatible with Taew. His goofy one liners and flirtatious attitude is needed towards such a fierce leading girl. But his all seriousness and manner in speaking (his voice) is believable. Their encounters make me laugh and despite wondering where I’m going to be led to ( in regards to their romantic story and subplots) I’m enjoying it so far. My eyebrows did raise on the cave scene where Chai Lek professes that he could see himself falling in love with her. Well. That was a little fast. At least he didn’t say that he was in love with her. It’s a start to something. It sets the stage of awareness, and we’ll get to see how Soifah deals with the attraction.
There will definitely be some angst to come. Taew is so amazing during dramatic crying scenes that I’m already sucked into her acting. When she cries, she makes you want to cry. So many questions left unanswered (the plot of redeeming the throne), many revelations awaiting (reunions) and finally, how will the two find their happily ever after? What we do know is this: it’s going to be one adventurous ride, one tumultuous courting of our gentleman to his warrior princess. There’s not much time left to savour the Supaburoot Juthathep Series. So I’ll be watching, and cheering on the rest of this wonderful five part series.
Khun Chai Lek and Wieng Poo Kam Princess, in her Northeastern, traditional attire.
A dip by the refreshing waterfall. Soifah had been spying on him and couldn’t help but stare :)
She’s reprimanding him for flirting with her. Heeh.
His handsome side profile.
Hey, we are a cute pair.
The civil engineer, Khun Chai Ratchanon Juthathep
Chat, Nuch, Jantha and loyal guard
The 5 Lions of Juthathep
They clean up nicely.
(Pic cred to Tanin’s FB, Instagram, Sanook)