Luk Mai Klai Ton is a beloved lakorn to many, and good lakorns are always up for a remake. You would think that bad lakorns should be remade into good lakorns, because why remake something that is already great and still relevant today, into something good? I’ll be the first to admit that I was wary about watching this, because there are some golden lakorns that should not be touched, like Tawee Pope, and now Luk Mai Klai Ton. How is anyone going to top an already perfect lakorn? But my curiosity always gets the best of me, and I tune in, reminding myself to think of Luk Mai Klai Ton 2016 as a standalone lakorn. Let’s see how Show reinterprets the story, bring the characters to life and make us swoon all over again.
The premier episode introduces Rasa and Chanon in Bangkok’s high traffic; cars are literally bumper-to-bumper. Rasa is pressed for time since her mother is in the hospital in critical condition. So she gets out of the cab, looking for a faster alternative. However she nearly walks into Chanon’s car, and snaps at him for not being careful. Chanon’s hackles rise because he obviously is a responsible person and he immediately places her in the terrible-women category, reserved only for the pretty and innocent faced women with black hearts. But Rasa hails a motor cab, wanting no money and leaving Chanon rather confused about it all. Then he nearly RUNS into another woman – LOL! – And his reaction is hysterical – “AGAIN?! Are they working together?” Hahaha. He spots a man chasing the woman and worries for her safety. Our hero is a gentleman after all. He goes after her and rescues the damsel, who happens to be his very own distressed mother! Talk about action in the first few minutes of Show.
Mother and son recognize each other after the fact and Chanon furiously wonders why the hell she resurfaced when she left them to be with her lover. We are given a flashback of Little Chanon noticing mom making eyes with the jewelry maker, and sometime later, she left to be with him. He always thought mom was lovely and kind, until her true colors reared its ugly head, she left them without a backwards glance. When mom stops him in front of his house in present day, he ignores her, but follows her back to her home, where he learns that she has never repented. He overhears her talking to her now husband (the man she cheated with) that she will try to ask her ex-husband and Apirat for money since they are easier target than the astute Chanon. Our hero is livid, his distrust in the female population has been renewed.
That is why he’s especially sensitive when he spots Rasa waiting for Khun Chalerm in the lobby, hoping to have a private conversation with the owner of the jewelry business. He wonders what her game is this time, scam artist, solicitor, terrible woman who didn’t quite fall in line with his perception? Ha. But Rasa on the other hand, finds out about her birth father on the same day she loses her mother. Mom was tricked by her son Manat into believing that Rasa owes the loan shark a lot of money for her business, so mom could only do what she thinks is best, confess about Rasa’s birth father and hope he can help her financially. But Rasa listens to her mom’s past and is abhorred at Khun Chalerm’s actions: mom was a maid at his house and he tricked her into believing that her husband was in jail and needed bail money. Mom was willing to sleep with the boss in order to pay the bail, but turns out, that wasn’t needed. In the previous version, Khun Chalerm actually raped mom so this is an improvement of sorts.
Rasa is furious on her mother’s behalf and is determined to make Khun Chalerm bow on her mother’s grave, she wants nothing to do with neither his family nor his wealth. She only wants to ensure her mother rests in peace and that rich people don’t get away with bullying poor people. Righteous, indignant AND tough? That’s my kind of heroine. But in this version, Rasa who is played by Min, has a softer and more comedic edge to her character. She’s determined to see Khun Chalerm and it’s funny that she always manages to sneak around the security guards and even Chanon. She has to get creative this time around because Khun Chalerm is pretending like he doesn’t know anything, and asks for evidence that she’s indeed her mother’s daughter. And that ring! Mom tells her right before her death that there’s a ring that will identify her. Unfortunately her no good for nothing brother, Manat, who is as bad as he ever was, stole it. Some things never change. Rasa has to find that ring and make the old man beg for her mother’s forgiveness, all in a good day’s work. But also, she has to contend with her father’s daughter, Wan, who doesn’t want another person to take a piece out of her inheritance. She’s already struggling to produce an heir, and the threat of losing the inheritance to her sister Saksi – should Saksi get married with Chanon and produce a child – and so Rasa’s timing could not be any more worse for Wan.
What really worked for me in the previous version was the familial relationship between Chanon, his dad and younger brother Apirat, the hopeless romantic. I really felt their love immediately and wanted only for them to be happy. In our new version, we’re introduced to Chanon’s bias about “bad woman” so quickly, that it’s coming off too strongly. I miss that gentle side of Chanon – he was so well written and had so many facets to his personality- that he felt real. The torture, the gentleness, and the fierce protection he has for those he loved. Currently, Chanon is showing only the angry, bias side of him, but I hope Om can channel other emotions for Chanon, since each person in Chanon’s life should show us the different sides of him. Because really, his character is one of the main reasons why Luk Mai Klai Ton is such a beloved lakorn. WE want Chanon for ourselves at the end of the day.
It’s still early yet (I’ve only seen episode one), but what I can say is that I am intrigued. Min and Om have that chemistry right off the bat, and both do not back down from a challenge. Chanon should use more words and less force, while Rasa can continue doing what she does best, stare down and incinerate. I’ll be keeping my eyes on this one, and see if it’ll make a great lakorn good, or relegated to the corner of the room along with other failed remakes. There’s hope yet that Rasa won’t only swoon from exhaustion and stress, but that she will swoon over Mr. Perfectly Flawed too. I’ve made my bed with this show, have you?