The Cunning Love (Paen Rai Phai Rak) – First Impressions
Posted on March 21, 2013
Monday nights just got interesting again. Brought to us by Master One Production, Paen Rai Phai Rak (The Cunning Love) features the unassumingly beautiful Matt Peeranee together with the infamous Film Rattapoom in a rom-com lakorn that challenges love in the eyes of a flight attendant, Kemmik. She is jaded, anti-men, and the epitome of a hot mess. In her extracurricular activities, plus side job, Kemmik uses her beauty and talents to test the population of deceitful and amoral men. Essentially, ladies hire her to test if their man is faithful to them. Kemmik doesn’t mind it over much, because it serves to prove her point over and over again- the lesson that men are scums and that only lust exist in their cursed hearts.
She has valid reasons to be a man-hater. She certainly doesn’t go around snarling at men, mind you, but she certainly places judgments and has severe distrust in them. Could you blame the girl? Firstly, her father ran off with his mistress and left her mom. He soon dies, leaving her mom with nothing because the mistress was legally married to him. So she has to quit her studies abroad to return home to take care of her mom, get a job and pay off the debt that her father and his mistress incurred. Then her mother gets with this scumbag of a boyfriend, who uses her and abuses her. And finally, Kemmik thinks that she might have met the one, he’s a captain with the same airline company she works for, but he breaks their engagement claiming that he fell in love with another woman. Turns out, he’s just after the other woman’s wealth and just days before the wedding, he keeps coming after Kemmik, deeming that he cannot forget her. Whew, what a mess. There are many reasons for her to cry when it comes to love and life.
But she has a good head on her shoulders. Quick witted, sarcastic and feisty. Some times, they get her into trouble. One day, she sees her ex-boyfriend again, and learns that he’s the future CEO’s son-in-law, she bawls her eyes out. Then proceeds to scream, “I hate men!” when coming out of the airplane cabin. She bumps into a passenger. Not your average passenger, he’s just as cunning- or formerly cunning. It’s our leading man, Mr. Pisang. He has just as messy of a background. He used to be a playboy back in the day, but has reformed, probably due to some heartbreak along the way. He nurses his wounds in Hatyai at the farm, preferring to raise pigs. But has to step foot in the city for his sister’s wedding.
Kemmik meets her match, as far as being sharp tongued and bad-mouthing goes. She misunderstands that he was staring at her boobs, then insults her by calling them small, so she punches him in the face. Today isn’t certainly her day. It turns out, he’s the boss’ son. Staying under the boss’ radar isn’t her forte, because even the daughter has a vendetta against her. She happened to hire Kemmik to test her boyfriend, and when he turned out unfaithful just as Kemmik proved, the daughter blames Kemmik for causing their breakup. Yeah, that didn’t make any sense. But she’s a spoiled tutu. So now to the boss, Kemmik has this long list of transgressions.
Due to receiving a wake up call (religious intervention?) Kemmik decides that she will quit her extra job, the one that causes her to break couples up. This came with the combination of poorly trying to crash her ex-boyfriend’s wedding. She merely intended to sashay in and embarrass them, but it turns out to be something so much worse. Especially having another run-in with Mr. Pisang, who irritates her to the core. He caused her to ruin the wedding cake and thereby jeopardizing her job at the airline.
The boss is none too pleased with her. But despite taking an immediate dislike to Kemmik, the boss still respects her talent in a certain arena and would like to hire her services for them.
You see, the boss is quite displeased with her son. He’s her only hope, the male heir to her everything. But what does he do? He becomes a hermit at the farm, refusing to return to the city. Then he has this vermin of a secretary that sets her caps on him. That is not only the worst part, because the vermin’s mother happens to be a former ex to her own husband. She runs a tight ship at home and at work, and she needs it to stay that way. Also, she wants Pisang to marry a minister’s daughter. So being conniving and underhanded, the boss summons Kemmik into her office for a chat. Kemmik is freaking out that she may just lose her job, and who’s going to support her mother and pay down the debt? But she’s tough stuff, she can find another job elsewhere. The only problem is, the boss threatened to blacklist her everywhere. And her words are true. In order to preserve her job (and earn extra money for the debt) Kemmik must break up Namwan (Mr. Pisang secretary) from Mr. Pisang, then make him return to the city to help with the airline business.
Sounds like a huge feat, seeing that there’s definitely something mysterious underlying Mr. Pisang’s journey of from playboy to farmer. Kemmik refuses at first. Until she learns that her mother has cancer. That puts everything into perspective. Obviously based on the premise, she will agree to take this job and will go head to head with Mr. Pisang, a man who’s just as snarly, just as witty and a heart that needs some mending like hers. Together, perhaps they can learn what true love really means?
I thought the introduction to Kemmik’s history is necessary to build on her character, but I found that, as well as Pisang’s intro somewhat boring and didn’t get hooked immediately. However, the minute they encounter (that’s half way into episode 1), the “I hate men” and “that is so small” comments, combined with their chemistry, got me invested. I’ve always been a fan of them separately, but now, I find them so cute together. Who wouldn’t want to see a nang’ek trying to make the pr’ek fall in love with her? There’s bound to be hilarity, bickerings and whaddayaknow, romance?! There’s something to be said with Matt’s refreshing expressions. She certainly wears her heart on her sleeves. She’s sexy, dorky and hilarious. I also adore their best friends. Two episodes in so far, and it’s keeping my Monday-Tuesday’s lakorn watching pretty entertaining.
Yeah, this is our pra’nang. It’s going to be a funny scene.