Plerng Toranong is a drama encompassing family conflicts, individual struggles to achieve their ambitions and romance. The premise of the story surrounds Plerngrit Chatiyotin (Mario Maurer) who lived a humble life in the fishing village of Ranong with his parents Pipat and Phongpeo for the better part of twenty years. However his life goes on a complete 180 degree turn when he learned that he is the grandson of Kon Ying Thongthra, owner and operator of Thailand’s number one diamond company, Thai Diamond. Twenty years ago, Pipat was his mother’s right hand man, controlling the family business. But the moment he fell in love with a no name woman, Phongpeo, and was forbidden by his mother, Pipat left his fortune, family and hi-so life in Bangkok behind, for a new life with Phongpeo in Ranong. This pained his mother to no end.

Upon learning that he was the cause of Kon Ying Thongthra’s declining health, Pipat and family decide to pay her a visit at the hospital and apologize for their transgressions. In a single night, Plerngrit loses his father due to a car accident and must make a tough decision regarding his grandma’s need for a new heart. Hoping that the action would allow grandma to forgive his father, Plerngrit decides to donate his father’s heart to her. Little did he know that this decision will change everything in his life. It will not only earn him a large, new family, but conflicts and new enemies as well.

Especially from one, Bussakorn (Kik Mayurin), who is Plerngrit’s father’s younger sister. She is convinced Plerngrit is after the family’s fortune and inheritance and does everything in her power to stop or hinder him. Threatened that Plerngrit will be in Kon Ying Thongthra’s good graces when she finds out that he has donated his father’s heart to her, Bussakorn schemes to have everyone promise to keep that as a secret from Kon Ying Thongthra. Bussakorn wields her power by also keeping her children Anat (Aof Pongsak) and Nari (Noey Chotika) as allies.

Plerngrit thought his ties with the Chatiyotin family will come to a close once he signs away his father’s heart for Kon Ying Thongthra. But when his grandma remains aloof and unforgiving towards his parents, Plerngrit vowed to win her over. Not only is he faced with challenges such as producing more profit for Thai Diamond than his father, but he must do it it three months. The obstacles appeared insurmountable with work and family drama, and the question remains can Plerngrit overcome them all and still keep a piece of his old self? Plerngrit also finds himself intermittently colliding with Numfon (Taew Nataporn), his cousin Anat’s fiancé. She believed the lies about Plerngrit and is determined to unsheathe him. Despite her efforts, Plerngrit finds himself fighting the attraction he feels for his cousin’s fiancee!

Smaller plots and romance stories are also interwoven, dubbed, the conflicted five people love story: Plerngrit for Numfon (and vice versa) however Lin (childhood friend) is in love with Plerng and is determined to get him. Sita (Numfon’s older sister) finds herself falling for Plerng as well and is oblivious about the secret romance between her younger sister and Plerng. Then when Numfon thinks that Plerng is after her sister (rich and beautiful) she tries to stop him. And finally, we have Chanon, an all around nice guy, falling for Sita but gets rejected. Don’t forget Anat who is Numfon’s fiancé and determined to keep her.

Which brings us to the final questions: Can Plerngrit overcome the obstacles set before him (winning over his grandma) and continue to deny the feelings he has for Numfon? How will Kon Ying Thongthra react when she learns of the secret her children are keeping from her? When will Numfon learn and believe the truth about Plerng’s character? And how will the drama and romance stories play out?

Characterization:

Plerngrit Chatiyotin – Humble, handsome, charismatic, charming, dutiful – these words don’t even begin to describe this particular lakorn hero. Hailed from the humble village of Ranong to the megacity Bangkok, Plerng is a determined and relentless man. He does not fold under pressure, and there are certainly plenty of fires lit under him. As a goal oriented person, Plerng goes to Bangkok with three goals in mind. One, make his grandma forgive his parents, two, make his grandma accept him and three, produce enough profit to prove himself. After he hypothetically achieves his goals, Plerng wanted to move back to Ranong and continue on with his life. But fate likes to play its funny games. Plerng did not know that by going to Bangkok, he can kiss his life in Ranong goodbye and that he will not be the same again.

Especially when he meets Numfon. Golly the woman tests his patience. Normally he is a kind, considerate and very calm fellow with people. But with her, he finds himself being sarcastic, manipulative and God forbid, annoying. Pretty much anything to keep her close, even though he knows that she cannot stand being around him- or so she says. Plerngrit finds himself falling inevitably in love with her, even when she’s not very nice to him. She manages to give him sleepless nights, silly grins and foolish daydreams about her. Despite his innumerable attributes, Plerngrit is a tightlipped and keep it to himself kind of man. Even though he loves Numfon, he will not tell her.

Numfon – A producer and host of a popular travel TV show, Numfon is the hi-so diva that no one messes with. She has high expectations of her staff, required everyone to treat her like royalty and no one, she means no one, dares to contradict her. Life for Numfon went along smoothly. Her mother and longtime family friend Kon Ying Thongthra decides it would be a nice tie to marry Numfon to Anat. Numfon has played with Anat since she was a child and didn’t see anything wrong with marrying someone she doesn’t love, if the elders approve of it, so she agreed.

But upon meeting Plerngrit Chatiyotin, her smooth life comes to a screeching halt and dear god, he dared to treat her like anyone. Their encounter was tumultuous at best but when she discovered that Plerng sold his dad’s heart to grandma, it added fuel to her fire. Numfon will stop anyone- especially an annoying, cumbersome man like Plerng, from ruining the lives of people she loved. Meaning, Numfon will be his “blocker” to a rich and fabulous life, or so she thinks. Unfortunately, stopping someone requires time and dedication. So as she continues to spend more time with him, she becomes more attracted to him in which she turns it into reasons to lash out at him. A conflicted individual indeed, yet a formidable opponent to Plerng. Although she loses many things that she had in the beginning, in the end, she gained so much more.

Lin – Daughter of a rich seafood market owner in Ranong, is madly in love with Plerngrit and has made it her life mission to marry him. When she finds out that Plerng is moving to Bangkok, she trails along, determined not to leave him out of sight. A stubborn, self confident individual who is like a bulldog. Because Plerng treats her like a sister, with her, it shows us that Plerngrit is a kind man. He doesn’t offer any hint that he loves her other than as a brother. Lin’s value is also in softening Kon Ying Thongthra throughout the drama. This small, petite woman teaches a grandma a thing or two about life. She also goes through her own learning curve, in that love cannot be forced or pressured and love is not worth giving up everything for.

Anat – Corrupted, temperamental and selfish individual. He is willing to sell his company and sister for personal gains. An ending that is not surprising for Anat. Why did he become this way? Perhaps it is attributed to his mother, perhaps his grandmother. Growing up in a family where one’s grandma only speaks of her oldest son, valuing on her eldest son, can be hard to swallow. Also being raised by a mother who is constantly jealous, that alone can disturb anyone.

Sita – Docile, quiet, obedient, capable and beautiful woman who runs Ananta Jewelry business- a significant business partner to Thai Diamond. Sita is also a talented jewelry designer. Impressed by Plerngrit’s business tactics and attracted to Plerngrit’s quiet and humble demeanor, Sita finds herself falling head over heels for him and failing to see that he is attracted to her younger sister. As if as a method of preservation, she is oblivious to their chemistry and constant bickering. She is hopeful that Plerng and her can have a future together, yet that comes to a sudden halt when he has to marry Numfon due to unavoidable circumstances. Sita character changes to one with self fulfilling goals to one who accepts the reality. All because she has Chanon- a man whose love she rejected, but continued to stand by her side to encourage her.

Chanon – Very much Plerngrit’s cousin, yet constantly pales in comparison- in work, love and family. Yet where Plerngrit pales- in the divulging ones heart area- Chanon shines. He is in love with Sita and is not afraid to tell her, even though it is not requited. He still manages to move on. Overtime, things worked out for him. The all around nice guy. He cheers Plerngrit on even though it breaks his heart. He is also an immense help in assisting Plerng to reach his ultimate goal with the company.

Nari – Follows her mother’s orders, a little clueless, a lot pretty and deep down has a kind heart. Nari has her own demons and challenges that she must overcome. But it is her doing that creates a bridge for Plerng’s acceptance.

Aunt Bussakorn – A force to be reckoned with. Ever since her brother left the Chatiyotin’s household, she has worked hard in keeping the family fortune where they need to be. Yet when his son came into the picture, everything that she valued and worked hard for is threatened. Therefore, Bussakorn has decided to right the wrong and get rid of her nephew and his mom- heck, they have no right to be in this household when Pipat has relinquished his hold on everything. They don’t belong here. And they are after the inheritance. It is her duty to protect what is hers. So Bussakorn sets out to stop Plerngrit in whichever way he intends to poke his nosy head. Little did she know that her jealousy and constant state of hyperventilation will only cause inevitable repercussions for her and her immediate family: son and daughter. Bussakorn learns the hard way on consequences of one’s actions.

Uncle Niroot – Everyone’s favorite uncle. Niroot is calm, understanding and giving. He knows his sister is benevolent, but she is older and he must respect her. His older brother’s son came into the picture and it is only right to share the inheritance, after all, he is family and he deserves it. He produced a wonderful, kind son as well and Niroot’s goal is to make everything work out and fair. Who doesn’t want an uncle like that? Especially when he is an invaluable ally to Plerng and supports Plerng in every which way possible. Almost like a second dad.

Kon Ying Thongthra (Grandma) – Her son’s “betrayal” pains her to no end. She is stubborn, so much so that she remains unforgiving to her son and family. Yet that becomes her greatest regret when she learns that her son’s heart rests within her. Underneath her calm facade and tough resolve, lies a kind grandma who knows her grandson Plerng so well. She must give him an obstacle, a goal that he can work towards, otherwise she will lose him. When she challenges him, not only will that help her business, it will allow her to get to know her grandson better. And he does not disappoint. He is just like his father. Kon Ying Thongthra learns many things late in life, especially how her favoring one child over the other can cause rifts and competition among her children. The events after Plerng came into her life has changed her completely.

A Quick Look at OST’s:

“A person who can sing is attractive,” says Taew Nataporn when asked why she wanted to learn how to sing on the show, Ratreesamosorn.

Indeed, a singer, when croning with conviction and evoking profound emotions from the listener, has a certain animal magnetism. The singer is capable of drawing the listener in, take them away from whatever mood they are currently in, lift the spirt, and transpose a body to another memory altogether. In short, it is a voice that makes the person who is listening, shiver, shed a tear and smile with delight, Boy Peacermaker with Piang Nai Jai (Within My Mind) is one of these gifted singers. This song brings the listener to empathize with Plerngrit, as he navigates his emotions regarding Numfon.

Each song in this drama invokes a feeling, emotion that suits the moments in the lakorn perfectly, whether it be “Ja Soo Na Ter Yang Rai” (How Will I Face You) by Punch when Numfon does something conniving to Plerng and we know that she will regret it later. Or the provoking “Pror Cha Nan” (Therefore) by Zeal in which describes Plerng’s character to a T.

Conclusion:

If you haven’t already seen Plerng Toranong, I recommend that you do and quickly. Enjoy Mario Maurer’s as well as the rest of the cast perform their roles with accuracy and emotion as their characters go through their own personal transformations and life long lessons. The storyline progression and characterization is well thought out and their consequences believable. In the end, everything is irreversible, different but.. for the best. Also, Plerng Toranong has one of the sweetest endings, so don’t miss out!

(For Recaps and OST meanings/lyrics, as well as watching “A Plerng and Numfon Series”-scenes in Plerng Toranong dedicated to Plerng and Numfon: Go to “All About Lakorns” and scroll to “Recap.”)

Released on July 9, 2011 – August 13, 2011
Duration 15 Episodes – Ch. 3
Director: Krit Sukramongkon
Production: Makers Group
Also known as Lofty Fire, Arrogant Flame (Flame of Arrogance)

Cast:

Plerngrit             – Mario Maurer
Numfon (Fon)    – Taew Nataporn
Anat                  – Aof Pongsak Rattanapong
Sita                   – Jern Warunya Charoenpornsirisuk
Chanon             – Mac Weeradon Wangcharoenporn
Aunt Bussakorn – Kik Mayurin Pongpudpunth
Uncle Niroot       – Penpeth Penkul
Pairod                – Petch Krunnapol Teansuwan
Nari                   – Noey Chotika Wongwilas

Setting:

Taken place in the breathtaking province of Ranong where blue skies and blue sea meets fresh seafood markets. As well as the bright city of Bangkok, set in a small cabin of the Chatiyotin’s garden. Quick getaways in Khao Yai and Phuket.

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