There is an old Thai proverb “luuk mai lon mai glai dton” which means, “the fruit does not fall far from the tree” or the English expression “like father like son.” In this particular lakorn, the old proverb is used to indicate its opposite meaning: the child is very much unlike its predecessors.

Which encompasses the characters and theme of this lakorn quite well, a story bound with family, relationship and social conflicts.

We have Rasa (Suwanant Kongying) who grew up in a struggling family, her mother used to be a maid for a wealthy family and her brother is a no good for nothing son who pesters his family and wife. He also believed that she was adopted because they don’t share any resemblance (appearance or behavior). Upon his constant badgering, their mother’s health declined. Before she passed away, she revealed a dark, scandalous secret to Rasa’s ears: Rasa was the illegitimate child of her mom’s former master, who had raped her and shamed her during her last few days of employment.

Horrified at the injustice done to her mother and scandalized by her own illegitimacy, Rasa vowed to make her birth father beg for forgiveness at her mother’s funeral. No stipulations and no requirements that he accept her as his daughter. She felt it was her duty to see that her mother’s spirit will rest in peace.

But demanding his presence or let alone meeting him, became a challenge in and of itself. It turns out he is the owner of one of the most successful diamond business in Thailand, with a family and lots of security to boot.

Can our tough and stubborn Rasa convince her birth father of his past discretions? Can she maintain her facade amidst life’s altering events? Can she remove herself from her family ties completely? Because like her best friend said, the love that is developed in a family is not due to blood ties, but due to involvement and connection.

Then we have Chanon (Andrew Gregson) who takes up the other side of this lakorn coin, if you will. He has to overcome his own monsters and prejudices that are buried deep within his heart. At the age of seven, his own mother, whom he deemed perfect and beautiful, left him, his younger brother Rat and devoted father for another man. Her abandonment traumatized his views on life, especially his views on the female population. Chanon is overprotective of his younger brother who wears his heart on his sleeve. Chanon also believed that it is better to judge someone poorly first than to love and be disappointed later. The surprising factor however, is that Chanon has a girlfriend. Their relationship is more of a steady, passion-less romance. Perhaps Chanon had not realized that he is capable of love? At any rate, she is Sasikarn, who turns out to be Rasa’s half sister. Chanon’s family business also partners up with Sasi’s. Things are going to get interesting.

I really liked how they met. It’s not a typical lakorn first encounter. They didn’t fall on top of each other and stared deep into each other’s eyes, they didn’t try to take one another’s product that the other was going to buy or they didn’t immediately bicker and feel the need to one man up the other. It was nice actually.

It went something like this: Rasa and her best friends just bought a clothing shop together and at 22, life is filled with possibilities. She just needed to take care of one thing: getting her biological father to bow at her mother’s grave. Her first attempt was to confront him at work. As she asked the front desk to see Mr. Chalerm, Chanon was waiting for Sasi. He peered over his newspaper and noticed a persistent woman asking to speak with the president of the company and refusing to indicate why. Because Rasa was so adamant, the eldest of Mr. Chalerm’s daughter, Wan, immediately hated her. She felt that Rasa was a con artist, trying to haggle money from them.

It was a powerful first impression, immediately Rasa was thrown into an intense chaos, her half sister threatened to call the police, strangers gave her evil glares, but Rasa remained cool under pressure. It showed that she’s tough, stubborn. We also gleaned that Wan is a psycho, her husband is an idiot, Sasi is sweet and Chanon is still contemplating her character. From this moment on, we know that Chanon is going to be wary of Rasa, distrustful. Because who in their right mind would appear at a multi million dollar business, demand to speak with the president and tell everyone that the reasons are personal? That screamed scammer! And everyone is in for a surprise.

The drama in this lakorn is done right. The acting, intensity and characters are spot on. It is rare to find a lakorn now a day that gets it right. This period (anytime before 2005- this was filmed in 2000) channel 7 to me was the one to beat. They made the best lakorns, had the best actors and writers. But unfortunately, the skills have waned significantly over the years. Luk Mai Klai Ton also brought Andrew Gregson and Kob’s chemistry to the limelight. Kob had always been popular; she was ch.7’s sweetheart. But for Andrew, it showed off his versatility, fabulous acting chops and boy did he make you cry when he cries.

It is also the lakorn that made me notice Chompoo Araya. Even though it was her debut drama, she was compelling when she came on screen. Her fresh face, costume and sweet character made you pity and love Sasi. She loved Chanon, loved her half sister and gave it all up when she learned that they were meant to be. Awe.. my heart goes out to Sasi. She needed a diversion- if only they can introduce another guy for her!

The brother’s relationship felt so real with Chanon and Rat. Chanon cared more about his brother than he ever himself. Gotta love the brotherly love!

The whole conflict surrounding LMKT is really about money and greed. Her brother is scandalous and will do anything to get money. Her half sister Wan hates her and will do anything keep her own inheritance. Although the value of the lakorn is a typical Thai lakorn theme, we do take away lessons from Rasa. She didn’t care about money, she didn’t care about being part of a rich family- all she cared about is doing what’s right. Another reason to love this strong female protagonist.

Which will take me off on a tangent for a bit. I don’t know about you, but I mainly watch a lakorn for the pr’ek’s character, his ability to make me love him, and his chemistry with the n’ek (in exception to Sood Saneha because Anne alone made the show.) As for the n’ek, I have a simple requirement: I want to like  her. If she’s going to be a bitch, she better have a good reason why. I like my n’ek to be reasonable.. to be, well, likable? At least by me and other fans. Don’t you hate to watch a lakorn and scratch your head at a n’ek’s stupid, unreasonable behavior?

LMKT gave me what I wanted. Both Kob and Andrew satisfied my romantic heart. Be sure to check out Luk Mai.. Klai Ton for the intense 20 episode drama, characters and top professed love scenes! Who doesn’t love a good lakorn that is still relevant today?

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