How Saila became the Flame Rose (Kularb Fai)
Posted on August 9, 2013
Saila (Sara Legge) never knew that she had always been the chosen one. She is much too busy being the head of the household and taking care of her two younger sisters (Da and Orn) and her younger brother (Tong.) Life handed her a lot of lemons: her father died protecting his country and her mother’s life was taken by a vicious car accident. Thus she had to drop out of college to support her siblings.
During this trying time, her boyfriend Chutchid (Nott Vorarit) had been her rock and practically saving her: buying her a home, giving her a job. Even though they were about the same age and he rose to riches and climbed the company ladder beyond anyone’s imagination, Saila was too distraught and distracted to wonder why or how. She was simply grateful.
Until things started getting bizarre, and the recurring dreams visit her every night. In this vivid dream, she’s always fighting the same group of baddies and every time they are about to shoot her into oblivion, she would suddenly feel overcome by a force field around her, shielding her. A hot fire would implode on her forehead and she would lose herself to the unlimited strength and fight them off with deft skills. She would wake up confused each time.
Much to her surprise, the dream starts creeping into reality. Saila has a second job as a Tae Kwon Do teacher and unbeknownst to her, she picked an outdoors area to train her students that happens to be the same spot in which a certain Police Captain Teratorn (Art Pasut), is plotting to take a baddie down. Saila gets held hostage, she had been successful fighting him off earlier until he held a gun to her head. In desperate times, the fire in her forehead erupts and takes over her. In a matter of seconds she has the baddie flat on his back, leaving the entire police force to stare slack jawed at her.
The aforementioned Captain became mighty impressed with her abilities. He had seen her face earlier while in the undercover van, and was mesmerized by her beauty. Now he’s quite smitten with the whole package. But much to his disappointment, his next run in with her is not of the pleasant kind. He had to aim his gun at her.
Chid runs an automotive company, buying and selling, as well as repairing. Saila was sent on an errand to pick up a car with a coworker. And this sequence flips her world upside down. They are stopped by cops and the familiar face, the Captain Teratorn alleged that they are possessing narcotics in the car. The coworker denies it, but hijacks the car and tries to evade the cop’s bullet. Saila screams at her coworker to pull over, but to her horror, he is about to ram straight into the Captain, who refused to move from his stance. The fire erupts on her forehead again, lifting the Captain over the car, saving him right in the nick of time.
This event propels Saila to question everything about her boyfriend. Chid knew what her father stood for and he knew how much she detested drugs- she had forbidden her own siblings to smoke or drink alcohol- and yet he is committing an allegedly horrible crime. What makes it worse is that Saila learns (after snooping into his office) that he has been using her for his drug trafficking. If she died yesterday, who would take care of her siblings? That makes her the most furious. Saila had to do what is right by breaking up with Chid. She tells him how truly hurt and disappointed she is.
The Captain tries to be nonchalant by entering Chid’s company and pretending to buy a car. He spies his crush walking in, but only to be told that she is Khun Chid’s girlfriend. He needed to confront her, save her from her boyfriend- trying to force his mind from categorizing her in the same category as the baddies. Heh. So he follows her when she sneaks out of the office again.
Captain Teratorn has fantastic timing. He seems to always catch her before she hits the ground. This is the third time in which her body would get weak after the fire possessed her or when a perverted cab driver tried to whisk her away. He takes her to his office and brings her boyfriend’s criminal cases to her attention. She pales from the confirmation of it all and tells him that she would think about whether she will be their witness or not.
The Captain is not certain if he could trust her 100%, despite his heart telling him otherwise, because little things start to make him question her cooperation. Could you blame the guy? Her brother has been dodging his arrests, buying and distributing drugs. And she’s Chid’s girlfriend, would she do the right thing? His question gets answered soon enough.
Saila agrees to help the police. They start by infiltrating Chid’s garage, where cartons of narcotics lay waiting for their discovery. Unknowingly she leaves a trail behind, and the baddies move the cartons before the police raids their garage. The baddies are much too smart, even discovering her safe house location and plotting to assassinate her. Her third eye appears every time she’s in danger, giving her strength to fight off the baddies, but also taking it away when it leaves her, sapping her of consciousness. Good thing Captain Teratorn happens to come around and catch her.
He decides it’s best to take her home with him, it’s the only way to keep her safe. He just didn’t know that his conniving, jealous and two faced step/adopted sister would be such a pain. His mother on the other hand is pretty hospitable.
Things took a turn for the worse in Saila’s life. She had no idea that her boyfriend had been getting friendly with her younger sister Orn all this time. Orn happens to be very jealous of her older sister, not only because Chid openly dated her, but because she’s always been the provider. The youngest girl Da, is the sweetest and plays mother hen to her big sister. She loves her so and when we watch their beautiful relationship, we know that only Da’s existence makes Saila feel calm and happy. So if anything happens to her, it would kill Saila and take the last humanity from her.
And so the heroine’s road is not an easy one, fraught with pain and anguish.
There is a bigger baddie that Chid works for. He’s scary and ruthless, and has an army of skilled minions who would do as he bids. Da gets shot in the back which sends her into a coma, and the baddies returned to her hospital bed to silence her. Saila was no match for the baddie, as he beats her to a pulp (third eye unfortunately did not come to the rescue) and our Captain is also too hurt to stop him. By the time the baddie rushed out, Da’s life has been taken.
Saila is devastated. But in her unconscious stupor, she is taken to a misty dream, where she meets the religious man again. Earlier her father was there and had asked the religious man to take her under his wings. The man, Chat, mentioned to her father that she had already been chosen and that he’s been waiting for her.
This time around, at the misty cloud, Saila spots her sister. She promises to never part with her again, but little Da replies that her time is up. Saila cries and begs for the religious man Chat to let her go with her sister, she has no one left to love her on Earth. Chat says her time is not up yet and there is much in store for her. He heals her and trains her. We’ll call him ‘Mentor’ from now on.
By the time Saila returns to consciousness, she’s bloodthirsty. She wants to take matters into her own hands and make them pay for her sister’s life. CCTV had recorded the timing of Da’s death, showcasing her sister Orn and ex-boyfriend Chid at her time of death. Yet they didn’t do anything to save Da. Saila could see that Orn cries, and Chid removed them from the scene. One too many betrayals to let the baddies slide.
She receives a phone call from a Nasuda who is a celeb and claims to be Chid’s new girlfriend. She taunts Saila that she killed Da and if Saila wanted revenge, to come see her. Saila didn’t need additional prodding. It turns out, Nasuda is the Big Bad’s fierce minion who has been sent to end Saila’s life.
Despite the third eye kicking in and giving her strength to fight them off, they hit her weakness on the spot: the third eye disintegrates and the baddie shoots her in the stomach. Saila falls to her death. They toss her body over the mountain.
Meanwhile Captain Teratorn could not get a hold of Saila, and news regarding his own mother doesn’t help matters. He discovered she has cancer (and has been hiding it from him). They start the chemo but her body rejects it, giving her only a 50% chance survival rate. His life sucks too.
Going back to a night where the two moon-watched. Saila had surmised that he’s such a positive person because he’s never had anything bad happen to him. But Teratorn begs to differ, he had plenty bad things happen, but he chooses to remember the good things.
Saila’s not naive, she knows how he’s been mooning over her. She tells him that she knows how he feels about her, but she doesn’t want him to waste his time. He asked to be given a chance, but Saila says that if she had more time, she would have considered it.
Which is true, as her body lay dead at the bottom of the mountain. Time is against her.
Mentor Chat appears at the pit of the mountain, where he saved Saila’s body from hitting the rocks. He revives her, taking her bullet wound and pain away: she’s finally face to face with him, as oppose to in her dreams.
It is like she is born again and is given another reason to live. She is the chosen one.
So we have the Flame Rose whose power is the fire eyes (nayt-ak-kee) or tri-nayt (third eye) whose duty is to protect the goodness, battle evil. Our very own, Thai Superhero, if you will.
Saila takes on this role because it coincides with her father’s ideology and she can avenge those that killed her sister and attempted to kill her. But Mentor Chat tells her that killing is not the solution to peace on earth. She must let the baddies realize/recant to their deeds and understand the true meaning of goodness. It is a task she must carry out. Mentor Chat makes her swear this before he gives her the ultimate power.
Rule #1: she must not kill. She must get the villains to recant.
Rule #2: She can’t commit sins (heh, does that extend to the romantic department too? Oy vey, sacrifices to make when you have superhero powers!)
She is forbidden to break the rules otherwise her knowledge and power of mind will dissolve completely.
Saila proceeds to train how to control and use her powers, that almost-creepy third eye.
The final night as a trainee, Saila gazes up at the mountains. She thinks about the time she and Captain Teratorn talked under the bright moon, that he wants to be given a chance. She ponders to herself, ‘If I give you a chance, will you make me regret it?’
And so Saila becomes Flame Rose, protector of all that is good against the evil of mankind. But even a super heroine needs someone to brace her when she falls. And Captain Teratorn is up for the task.
That my friends, is Kularp Fai in a nutshell, a very long nutshell if you will, brevity is not my strong suit. Airing Wednesday-Thursday timeslot, this article covers episodes 1-3 (and probably bits of 4.) The writer/director is piling on a lot of drama so we could feel for our girl who makes her way to becoming a heroine. No parents, have to be the provider for the family, her two brother and sister are crazy and doing bad things to society and to her, then her sweetest sister gets murdered. Dayam. Her life sucks.
But she meets this random religious man who doesn’t turn out to be random at all, because he’s been eyeing her and waiting for her to become his pupil. The action sequence is not top notch, but I do like that Sara and Art do most of their stunt moves. In an interview, Art mentions he’s a cop (yet again) but I really like this cop he plays. He’s totally sweet and a little naïve when it comes to wooing a girl. But his honesty works because who likes a man who knows how to play the game anyway? He’s adorable. And with the two of them together, sparks totally fly.
Regarding how she became the Flame Rose or majority of the theatrics and plot in this drama, I would advise checking your brains at the door, and perhaps take out your spiritual hat (if you have one of those.) You have to “buy” a lot of the propaganda and magical shit thrown your way. For example, why aren’t people wondering how Captain Teratorn can jump like 12 foot into the air and over a car. We are not at a circus. Why do the good guys have horrible aim? They shot at least 50 bullets into the car but it doesn’t even hit one tire. Perhaps they should find a different profession. We have received the rules to which superhero must abide by before losing her powers, but sometimes killing someone and the only consequence is losing one’s power, seems like a worthy thing. What about the rules to her third eye? Before, it would come when she needs it the most, then she would fall to the ground when it leaves. That’s a little inconvenient. What if the Captain isn’t around to catch her? He’s got work to do too, yunno. Perhaps we shall assume that she has control over her eyes now and can call it to will when she needs it and let it go without sapping her life. And the religious man, is he god then? Is he a one man show? I would think God would have a few minions working for him, I mean, heaven is big, right? So yeah, the story doesn’t delve too much into the mechanics of how things work, so I’m left to answer a lot of the questions myself.
There are definitely redeeming aspects of the lakorn though. I like the sweet/cute relationship between Saila and Da (her youngest) and was sad to see her die. But someone’s gotta die to turn Saila into a vengeful hero. I also love the romance aspect and the potential conflict that will arise because of her new “job” or reason to live. But other than that, I’m the first one to admit that I’m not a Thai action lakorn fan, because they just don’t do it well, and so I find myself checking out of that genre. But dayam, Art and Sara are hot together and they just make me smile like a silly fool.
Take it for what it is, you have been warned.
*Pic credit to kapook