Character Development in Pon Prom Onlaweng
Posted on February 15, 2013
Or the lack thereof.
Four episodes into this drama and one thing is clear, it’s cute. Made completely possible by a simple plot of a woman whose soul resides within a child’s body and she must find her way back. The child, Nong May, happens to be a little gem. She acts so convincingly well as an adult that it doesn’t appear as if a child is playing dress up. And she has excellent chemistry with Boy Pakorn.
The qualm I have with this drama is that our main characters’ have not been explored. There are opportunities to flesh out these characters and offer the viewers substance and a soul-searching experience. As of this Friday’s episode, we have yet to discover what ticks Dr. Pathawee. What are his strengths, weaknesses? What’s his goal? Apparently he is a brilliant surgeon, a great brother, uncle and potential spouse for many women who are fawning over him. Yet we still don’t know his true essence. Meanwhile, the plot centers around Tanyong who is stuck in a kid’s body and is desperate to return to her own body, which is currently lying on a hospital bed in a coma. From the brief introduction, we know she is heart broken from her fiancé’s betrayal and has a kind heart because she’s willing to go on with the charade of being a child for fear of breaking the child’s family’s heart. But we haven’t received a full story about Tanyong either.
Lovestory-wise, Boy and Bella are so compatible and their scenes together absolutely sweet. Through a child’s eyes, Tanyong is able to see how darn lovable Dr. Pathawee or Uncle Wee is and she is slowly falling for him. The many kisses he adorn, the many hugs he offers. Her mind is focused on trying to find a way to return to her body but her heart is melting. While Dr. Pathawee on the other hand, is treating his niece as the apple of his eyes, he is taking a personal interest in researching a way for Tanyong to recover from her coma. We already know that he has fallen in love with Tanyong on first sight, since that fateful day in the airplane. It wouldn’t be too surprising should their love end with fruition.
But on the same token, there needs to be a grown up development of love between the two. I’m hoping that the latter half of the lakorn will focus on that.
The subplots of BFF’s Bie and Win on the other hand, is pretty entertaining. Win seems to be known as a bit of a Casanova, but deep down he cares about kids, completely a devout Buddhist and has a soft heart for Bie. It’s interesting how secondary characters are more complete than the main ones.
Probably the most insufferable and frustrating aspect of this drama is Aunt Prang blowing bullshit stories into Nong May’s mom’s ears about her husband. Deep down Aunt Prang is not happy with her family life and wants to make everyone miserable too. But ultimately the problem between Nong May’s parents is communication. Nong May’s mom continues doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result. In Einstein’s eyes, that’s insanity. She is passive aggressive and doesn’t confront her husband or communicate with him that he needs to spend more time with his family. In a way, Nong May’s dad is always working because he has to build himself up and secondly, he’s coming home to a weak, unhappy wife. If they both just sit down and talk, they wouldn’t be so unhappy.
I wanted to see how Tanyong, in the form of Nong May, will change the dynamic of the family. What she’s actually changing, is the perspective of the household on Nong May. No longer is the little girl weak or sad. She’s tough, feisty and mature. There will be more time to explore her affect on others.
It’s a lighthearted lakorn. Enjoy it for what it is, because if you expect complex characters and profound lessons, you will be disappointed. For now, it’s easy enough to continue and watch Nong May’s acting skills, Boy and his half smile smirk, Bella’s rare appearances and dote on the secondary characters.