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Leuat Rak Torranong: First Look


Happy Monday dear readers! It was a whirlwind weekend and so I’ve been able to dedicate only a couple of hours of lakorn time Sunday, and that went to Channel 3’s newest weekend lakorn lineup, Leuat Rak Torranong. There were three things that stood out for me (1) I could watch Little Kratin in more episodes (sadly her cameo is done for), (2) Big Kratin, aka Diana is really pretty, and (3) Pope! Ah Pope is a BRAT in this show. What a surprise! Gone is the gentlemanly Khunchai, as we get to know Ram, the arrogant and selfish only child. 

But first, let’s backtrack. Episode one aired on Sunday, and I felt the directing and editing has a lot of room to improve, which probably has something to do with the level of experience, or inexperience depending on how you put it. The transition is choppy, abrupt and hard to watch. I know the production team can and has done better than this, one can note the rush as they’re trying to pile Putgrong’s (Tanya) backstory and events leading up to Kratin being raised in the same household as Ram in the first hour. But things do improve after an hour into the show, and let’s hope the editing smooths out over the course of the series.

The premise stayed pretty much in line with the synopsis, EXCEPT, I did not expect Pope to display his dislike for Kratin. Perhaps this only happens in the beginning and he eventually will soften towards her later, but my impression was that he hates dad’s new lady and all of the “kids” that came with her, including Soi Son and Kratin. Then his hatred and jealousy grows because Putgrong pretends to be pregnant in order to remain in the manor, and dad wants to send Ram to a boarding school in order to create peace in the house. Mae Nim, Ram’s beloved aunt, bargains for three years before sending Ram off, because she wants to work on helping Ram through this difficult time. I thought maybe Mae Nim manages to make Ram feel for Kratin, but it seems like our boy Ram has a mind of his own and will figure out when and if he’ll sympathize for Kratin.

Little Kratin’s cameo really helped solidify my sympathy for Big Kratin. This is attributed to the young actress who pulled out all of the stops for her character, Nong Anda. Her dad (Suea Khat) spent most of his time in jail while she grew up with her aunt, she’s unruly and a total savage. I LOVE it. Her language is vulgar and disrespectful, but it’s what she knows. One day, at seven years old, dad suddenly broke out of jail and takes her to the city. Little Kratin wanted nothing more than to go home. In a matter of a couple of days, she reunites with her thieving father and horrible mother who wanted nothing to do with her. Then the man she came to know as “Dad” gets shot right before her eyes, and life, as she knows it, is over. Nong Anda brought so much pathos to her character that we want to watch how this tough, little Kratin will grow up. Before he died, dad teaches her that her tears are not for her enemies to see.

Fast forward – who knows how many years – Big Kratin transforms into this beautiful, totally gentle lady, but still as tough as nails. She had been raised with the gentle and honorable Mae Nim, and regards her own mother, Putgrong, as just the boss that she needs to keep happy before she finds herself on the streets. This is exactly what we see, Putgrong tossing her pair of earrings out into the backyard and instructing Kratin to find the earrings before the end of the day, otherwise she’ll be sleeping on the streets. Kratin makes her way to the backyard and finds Ram having tea there – he’s probably on a term break from boarding school – and looking as arrogant and fine as always. Kratin ends up finding ONE side of the earrings, and Ram KNOWS where the other side is (in his teacup) but refuses to tell her. As far as he is concerned, helping Kratin is none of his business. Every one of Putgrong’s offspring is his enemy. Besides, he didn’t like it that Kratin can be soft spoken with dad and Mae Nim, BUT with him, she dare to challenge him.

So that evening, Kratin could not find the other side of the earring and is prepared to find herself on the streets, but Ram’s grandma comes to her rescue and claims that the earrings could not have belonged to Putgrong in the first place so she has no right to use it against Kratin. Ram witnessed how Putgrong is evil even with her own blood, and this makes his face fall for a minute, but he continues to be a brat with Kratin – he can save her, but refuses to. Ha. THEN, as if to pour salt on wound, he orders her to eat the sandwich where he has hidden the other earring, knowing that she will bite into it and find the earring on her own without him telling her. Just to prove a point: that he’s out to pull on her pigtails, and he wants evil mom to misunderstand her. Oh YOU.

The tone of this lakorn is also another surprise. The teaser and synopsis points to a melodrama, while the first episode is actually light and easy going. I’m sure there are angst down the road, but right now, it’s about Kratin standing up to her mother, and then how long Ram will continue to bully her before realizing that an enemy of an enemy is your friend. He’s not physically or verbally abusive, he’s just like a little boy who’s unable to admit that he’s upset because the girl he thinks is pretty doesn’t want to please him. It’s refreshing to watch Pope throwing a pout, but there’s some more growing up to do yet, and this premier is too soon to tell whether Pope (Ram) is just sensibly arrogant and proud, or just a stupid fool whom we’ll have no idea why Kratin will ever fall in love with him. Only time will tell, my friends.

What about you, what do you think?

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