The Lost Star (Dao Long Fah Phu Pah See Ngern) has been remade from its inception in 2001, about a Sama Princess and a Thai Officer. There is an inherent obstacle of status difference in their romance setup and I remember watching this show on Channel 7 and recalling a longing, sad love story. It’s not a tragic love story per se, but one where they part ways in the end. So as a fair warning, the original Princess Jasmine did not get her happy ending. Here’s to hoping that this 2016 Princess finds a loophole.

Another aspect where I felt that The Lost Star truly had a longing and status difference feel is because the actress who played the Princess, is an actual royal family member in real life. Khun Ploypailin is the granddaughter of the late King Bhumibol. Imagine being Por Nattawut and the writer. The story made it feel even more real. The Queen of Sama (make belief country) was against her daughter marrying a Thai commoner because she had been the Thai commoner who married the Crown Prince against all odds. She had disappointed the people of Sama greatly, and did not want the same dishonor to fall upon the Sama people for a second time, since they only have one bloodline to take on the throne. The King argues that love cannot be forced and that he feels true love can conquer all, like their very own love. Unfortunately the Queen laments that Princess Jasmine is still very young and could still grow to love Nathan, the chosen Sama citizen.

Though Princess Jasmine questions why love doesn’t matter in her marriage and why she has to “try” to love someone, in a moment of selfless and “grownup act” she lets her love go in the end. I felt the great melancholy love lost from Por Nattawut, who played the hero Arin in 2001, but he knew their love could never be. According to the script, Princess Jasmine were to study abroad in England and she had asked Arin (the Officer) to wait for her, but Arin opted to let her go instead because she was just too high for him to reach. The lakorn ending played out somewhat differently, in that both reached a conclusion that they both could not be together. And it literally felt like she is too high for him, maybe because they want to base it on reality and make us yearn.

But in actuality, a happy ending is totally feasible. Khun Ploypailin is not in the line of succession because her mother relinquished her royal title to marry a foreign commoner. Khun Ploypailin goes on to live a normal life and marries her beau, a normal person. Thus I don’t feel that the story’s ending (which is fiction) was necessary. Regardless of who she marries, Princess Jasmine will be the reigning Queen, simply because no one else will succeed her. So by mom choosing not to marry her crown princess to a Thai commoner, it goes to show that she wants to keep the bloodline within Sama (which is a moot point anyway because the crown princess is not pure Sama), which makes this at the end of the day, a racial issue!

I’m hoping that because we have an actress who isn’t part of the royal family and a writer who could contemplate a better ending, that we procure ourselves an ending befitting a princess story (and happily ever after). Why is it that when it comes to a crown prince story, he seems to find a way to have his cake and eat it too? There’s got to be a rule bending law out there that Princess Jasmine could get her hands on, otherwise we’re now talking feminism and being utterly unfair. Because if dad is right and we’re really arguing that true love conquers ALL, then it goes without saying that an ending should overcome status and racial differences.

Needless to say, that is why I am curious about this year’s The Lost Star. Will our princess have the maturity and the tenacity to find her own happy ending? Stay tuned for Natalie Penalee, newbie actress, who is bringing us Crown Princess Jasmine. The original story is that Princess Jasmine along with her cohorts Emma and Nathan, sneak out of Sama to tour Thailand. Princess Jasmine couldn’t wait for her own father, the King to free up some time to take her there, so before she has to really grow up and continue her studies, Princess Jasmine wants a quick jaunt in Thailand. But problems arise when they get there, such as getting their money and items stolen and they had to keep the princess true identity under wraps. Obviously, they couldn’t call the King to come rescue them. So Princess Jasmine goes by “Mali” which means Jasmine in Thai and she takes on a piano teaching role in the interim.

Arin, starring Denkhun, is a hard working and stoic officer. He’s working on some big cases as well and suspects that Mali is in cahoots with the bad guys. He keeps his eyes on her thinking that she’s a spy, pretending to be his sister’s piano teacher. Conspiracy theorist much, Arin? But of course he eventually softens towards her and they fall in love. Now the “bad guy” wants the King of Sama to free his people who are held prisoner there and plots to kidnap the Princess for ransom/negotiation. He does end up kidnapping her and taking her back to the desert, whereby Arin and Nathan follow their trail to rescue her. Arin realizes that he has misunderstood Mali for being the bad guy and also belatedly realizes that she’s a Princess.

I started episode one of the currently airing lakorn and one thing is certain, the visuals are breathtaking. The cinematography is beautiful. But unfortunately the acting is still rough around the edges. As a first encounter, Arin and Princess Jasmine got off on the wrong foot. Arin goes to Sama and he meets the beautiful maiden, but quickly acts like an asshole tourist. You know, the kind that puts their nose in other people’s business and ignore other’s cultures. Since she acted suspicious (trying to get away from the palace guards), he thinks she’s in a gang or up to no good, even though a second ago he was mesmerized by her beauty. He immediately tries to stop her and basically becomes the annoying guy. Here’s to hoping that acting improves as the story progresses (for both of them), because even a good visual isn’t going to save a story with bad acting.

At any rate, Princess Jasmine is going to sneak out of the country and we’ll see what other debacles will await her when she arrives in Thailand. The bickering is just the beginning. Story wise, will history repeat itself, in that will the old script get dusted off and procure a sad ending, or will we wake up to the new progress and find a way to overcome status and racial differences? And I’m just sitting here hoping of all hopes that this one sucks me in. The struggle is real for good lakorns these days. I’ll even throw in a Hail Mary.


The original lakorn in 2001

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DLFPPSN aired on December 7th, taking over Weds-Thurs primetime slot on Channel 3 by Kantana Production.