Botan Gleep Sudtai (The Last Peony Petal)
Posted on March 15, 2011
A good lakorn has interesting plots and relatable characters. But a fantastic lakorn invokes profound emotions within the viewers, allowing the viewers to finish the lakorn with a deep meaning of life that stays with them. I was left learning and feeling more than when I started the lakorn, and Botan Gleep Sudtai(The Last Peony Petal) starring Aum Atichart and Aff Taksaorn did this very thing.
Set in the chaos of the world wars, two Chinese families immigrated to Thailand and settled in the Chinese neighborhood of Yaowaraj. Ah-Cheng’s family has three sons and theoretically should be very successful and lucky according to the Chinese way of thinking. However, Ah-Cheng is prejudiced against his youngest son Ah-Joo, because he was conceived during their tough period and proclaimed Ah-Joo his cursed son. In his minds eyes, everything Ah-Joo does is wrong. Ah-Cheng then openly favors his two oldest sons Ah-Jo and Ah-Jiw allowing them advantages and money over Ah-Joo. The family owned a “Khao Mun Gai” (Steamed chicken with rice) shop and because Ah-Cheng thinks that Ah-Joo is inferior in fortune and intelligence to his older brothers, Ah-Joo must do all of the work in the shop so he will have a way to earn his living. Fortunately, he finds an ally in a boy named Ah-Nai who came to live with them and they develop friendship and loyalty.
The secondary family is Ah-Chang’s family who has three daughters. He feels supremely unlucky and ill-fated to not be able to pass on his family name. He later adopted a boy named Ah-Long and the family opened a Chinese Opera House under the name of “Changsin” in which the entire family performs “ngiew.”
Despite his father’s cold and callous treatment, Ah-Joo loves and cares for his father to no end. The main conflict of the lakorn encompasses his relationship with his father. The premise of the story itself is around Ah-Joo who is passionate about the arts of language and writing. In order to pursue his dream of studying the faculty of arts, Ah-Nai encourages him to publish his written work so he can earn additional income. Ah-Joo soon secretly writes under the pen name “Sampao Thong” and slowly his short stories became a hit and he was requested to write a novel about “ngiew” which will be segmented chapter by chapter in a magazine. In order to learn the topic and find material for his novel, Ah-Joo seeks employment at the Changsin Opera House where he hides his identity and reason to work there. The dynamic lives of Ah-Chang’s family, his underappreciated daughters and the waning interest of ngiew inspired Ah-Joo to write a novel poetically entitled “Botan Gleep Sudtai” based on their lives. His desire to do his research and write his novel became a challenge when the youngest daughter Tanyong, whom he had a previous strife with, is determined to unveil his true purpose.
Ironically writing, the one thing that Ah-Cheng finds useless, becomes the one thing that enraptured him and connected him with Ah-Joo. As chapter by chapter progressed, Ah-Cheng and the audiences go on a journey with Ah-Joo in discovering themes and values that makes this drama oh so very fantastic:
- The effects of parents prejudice love for their children
- Karma and redemption; what goes around comes around.
- Good things happen to good people
- Accepting people for who they are, not what you want them to be.
- And what being dutiful means; when you love someone you won’t want to share the bad things to hurt them.
Watch the drama to see how these values develop throughout the lakorn.
Ah-Joo: The true black sheep of the family, Ah-Joo is a hard working, patient, kind, intelligent and handsome man. He has been through a lot, especially the treatment that he endured from his father. But he has a gift in writing and tenacity. His weakness is his father because he will do whatever it takes to not hurt him, even if it means giving his brother credit for what he did. He is a dutiful son and the largest pain in his life is the lack of love from his father. He is truly a good person. Perhaps this drama should be called “The Good Son,” because one of the standout performances is Aum’s portrayal of Ah-Joo. His acting abilities have been showcased at its finest. His chemistry with his father, mother, brothers, Ah-Chang’s family was amazing- and especially with Tanyong.
This is one of the best Lakorns that I’ve seen mainly due to the script, characters, storyline and the casts chemistry. I have many favorite quotes but these stayed with me (these are all paraphrased from memory.)
Tanyong talking to Ah-Joo’s dad (Ah-Cheng): a parent may favor a particular child among the children that they have, but a child only has one mom and one dad thus love them more than anything in the world. And you should know that it breaks their heart when they hear that their parents love them less than their siblings.
Ah-Cheng: no parent loves their children evenly, they only say it.
..And the 2008 Star Entertainment Awards for Best Actor, Director, Script and lakorn of the year goes to….. Botan Gleep Sudtai!
Released in 2008
Duration: 13 Episodes
Aum Atichart as Ah-Joo/ Ah-Thee / Theeradej
Aff Taksaorn as Tanyong/ Ah-Yong
Kiatkamol Lata as Ah Long
Ploy Chermarn Boonyasak as Panan / Ah-Nan
Tah Warit Tipgomut as Ponglert / Ah-Peng
Petchlada Tiampetch as Dala / Ah-La
Setha Sirachaya as Ah-Chang
Tarika Tidatid as Ah-Sin
Ning Panita Pattanahirun as Young Ah-Sin
Nirut Sirijanya (Ning) as Ah-Cheng
Duangjai Hataikarn as Meiling
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Tagged: Aff Taksaorn, Aum Atichart
I started to watch this series on Wishboniko’s YouTube channel after I read your blog entry about this series. However, I stopped watching it in the middle of episode two because I found the storyline a tad dull for my tastes. Even though the Ateam is great in Roy Mai, I just don’t see the same spark in this series. =/
It appears we have different tastes in lakorns- but that’s the beauty of blogging right? Thanks for sharing your impressions as well as reading the entry to begin with! I hope you are able to find a lakorn that suits your taste- I’d be curious to find out what that is 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and leaving a mark Ne!
I really wanted to like BGS, but I just couldn’t get into it. Your blog reviews are well written. Personally, I enjoy watching the romantic comedies. I’ve watched Oum Rak four times and Sapai Loogk Toong twice already. The one drama I’ve watched more than once is Sawan Biang with Ken and Anne. I love their chemistry. Too bad the 365 days of love series was a flop. Any word if they’ll have another lakorn together?
I haven’t heard of any pending future lakorns for them yet. If you like romantic lakorns, you may want to try Rak Nee Hua Jai Rao Jong (Janie and Ken), Suay Rerd Cherd Sood (Janie and Film), Sood Saneha (Ann and Ken)- highly recommend to start with. Hm.. Perhaps I should organize my lakorn reviews by category?
ok….since Fia knows I’m a late bloomer in the lakorn world, I know my comments and questions seem so out o the blues since this was back in 2011….but I’m just curious why “365 days of love ” a flop? did it have low ratings in Thailand or what? I personally thought it was another solid performance from both ken & anne….and I loved it because they had more romantic scenes where they were more tender and loving with each other compared to oum ruk & sawan biang….could it be that the content was targetted for a mature audience? just wondering but I really enjoyed 365 days of love….Anne & Ken never cease to amaze me with their acting!
I’m currently watching Jarn Loey Rak and both lead actors have great chemistry which led me to this blog. Since they’re in this too and th story sounds quite interesting and your blog made me want to watch it even more.
I personally don’t like old/historical setting or whatever you call it but this one I think I can appreciate. I’m a newbie at lakorns so I don’t know which ones are good, I want something that’s not the typical drama/lakorn if you know what I mean. I like the theme of this one family relatioships more realistic though it doesn’t to have the cute too. ^_^
it doesn’t hurt to have the cute too. ^_^
@khai, Suay Rerd Cherd Sood and Sood Sanaeha that Fia mentioned above are some good lakorns to start with. 🙂
@ Fia, hey dear gal, hope your weekend was hectic but fun! take care~
@khai thanks. Botan Gleep Sudtai is not for everyone.. As you can tell I enjoyed it for its depth and meaning. There’s not a lot of romantic scenes between Aum and Aff, but when they are together, they are quite cute. If you’re looking for something that’s not ‘typical’ I would give BGS a try. A great classic that you should not miss is Sood Saneha (you can read my review on that lakorn as well).
@J, indeed my weekend was (still is) hectic but enjoyable. I saw your 2011 lakorn list but only able to read it a few times heeh and plan on commenting tomorrow. Hope you had a great weekend as well!
Oh thanks for the quick reply, I finished JLR and I had to pick up some friends from the airport and hangout at khaosan so I didn’t get enough of my lakorn pill.. I hope you guy have a good holiday I might try watching what you recommended later when I wake. And I will be an avid stalker/fan of your blogs. ^_^
Thank you for your support Khai, happy lakorn watching =)
Thanks to this review, I’ve finally watched BGS after all this years of putting it in my “to-watch lakorns” list.
And I don’t regret it one bit! I’m happy to watch it and enjoy all those dramas and laugh in the funny scenes and cry during the few last episodes.
Now I regret not watching it earlier. Oh, and the OSTs are stuck in my head and I would randomly sing/hum it sometimes.
It feels like Soraya is getting her revenge against Harit (can’t help thinking about it LOL)
I love watching everyone’s performance, and also the Ngiew drama.
Ah-Joo’s mom is cute and lovely, she’s my favorite of favorites in BGS.