Love the opening scene. Chai Phi gets home and is happy that all of his brothers are at home too. He greets everybody.
CPhi: You are all here.
CYai: (beautiful smile ever from Chai Yai) How are you, Chai Phi? When will you stop being a por phuang ma lai (an old word calling a playboy) floating back and forth?
CLek: That’s right! Where is the youngest Juthathep’s sister-in-law? I want to see her.
CRuj: Chi Phi, do you know love, sir?
CPhi: It’s a difficult topic for me. What is love like?
CYai: Love, for me, isn’t something you would fall into it like others said, but it’s like….flowers suddenly blossom around me, and blossom every time she appears.
CRuj: Love, for me, is like I’m a crazy man. When she smiles, I will smile broader than her. But when she gets angry, my heart will drop to the floor, and in my head, I will think only, if she doesn’t forgive me, I will surely die.
CLek: Love, for me, is like it’s not more or less. If it were others (girls), it might be too much or too less, but for this one, it’s just right. Do you understand?
CPat: For me, I used to believe in reasoning, but love is the only thing that I couldn’t find a reason.
Chai Phi gets up.
CPhi: Ronnaphee , who should know about love the most, turns out to be the one who doesn’t know anything about it at all. That’s bad. That’s really bad.
Later he meets Phieng Khwan, an actress, and falls for her. Due to her family’s background (dad lied to her mom that he’s single and married her, later the truth came out and mom left her dad; her aunt found her husband slept with her friend so she left him, and Pranod is her only son; her grandfather had so many wives that she’s not sure if he remembered her grandmother when he died.), Phieng Khwan doesn’t want to fall in love. She thinks when there’s no love, there will be no hope, so there will be no sorrow. After several attempts from Chai Phi, she’s now trust him enough to look at him as a man. The big problem is Chai Phi didn’t tell her that he’s a Momratchawong, one of the Juthathep’s five lions with a betrothed in his elders’ eyes.
At that time, actresses were looked down by the elders in a high society as women who dance and ram (traditional Thai dance) to make a living. The phrase that they often use in this series when mention this profession is ten-kin-ram-kin.
Pheing Khwan’s father has been looking for them all these years, and finally found her from a program on the television. He comes to her house and lets them know that his wife had passed away, so now he wants to take care of them. Both Phieng Khwan and her mother reject his help for what they’ve been through all these time. Chai Phi is trying to smooth things out between them.
Chai Phi comes home and talks with his brothers.
Chai Phi walks into the room and greets everyone. He points at Chai Lek who just came back from Wieng Phu Kam.
CPhi: Chai Lek!
CLek: Chai Phi! How are you?
CPhi: I’m fine. Wow, Soi Fah, you become darker, but are more beautiful.
Soi (in central dialect): What beautiful, I’m the same wilderness girl.
Maprang: I think we should get to the point.
CYai: Tell me about your woman. I heard it from Chai Pat but it wasn’t clear enough.
Krong Kaew: I heard she’s a leading female movie star.
Soi: And about wanting Khunchai Ratchanon to write a letter funding a knee surgery, what is it about?
CPhi: All right, her name is Phieng Khwan.
CPat: Her grandmother is sick and needs a knee surgery.
CPhi: I’m worried about her.
Maprang: Love not worried, wanting to take care of her and the hospital’s fees.
CPhi: Well, that’s the point. She’s so prideful. Besides her sick grandmother, her house has a problem with money, they can’t earn enough to cover their expenses. Phieng Khwan won’t accept helps from anyone, even from her own father.
Soi: It’s getting fun, then we should make Khunchai Ratchanon write a letter giving a fund so Khunchai Ronnaphee can become a gentleman who is behind the helping of the woman he loves.
Krong Kaew: But if grandmother Mom and grandmother On know about this, I’m afraid it won’t be fun.
MaPrang: What about Khun Wilairumpa? Where will you put her, Pee Chai Phi?
CPhi: That’s the problem. I don’t love Nong Rumpa, but I love Phieng Khwan.
All of them smile over Chai Phi’s love confession.
Rumpa wants to get in the room but Somsri tells her that an outsider can’t get inside. Rumpa gets angry and calls them a low-class. She reminds them to look at her, she’s the next Juthathep’s granddaughter-in-law and will get into that room in the future. She sneaks into Chai Phi’s bedroom and searches for a matching ring that every air force officer would have for giving it to the woman he loves. She puts the ring on her finger and says this ring will be on the left-hand ring finger of hers only. It’s creepy, isn’t it?
The movie’s producer tried to rape Phieng Khwan and Chai Phi rescued her, so now she doesn’t want to work as an actress or perform any Thai dancing anymore, and doesn’t want to meet people. There’s a Loy Kratong festival coming and Chai Phi encourages her to ram in the festival as she promised with people over there. He tells her to think of her fans and she had spent years training ram with her mother and it has become a part of her life now, she will regret it later if she gives up doing the things she loves, just like her uncle who is sad now because he got fired from being a director of his beloved movie.
Phieng Khwan finally agrees to ram in the festival so Chai Phi is taking her there on his motorbike. It’s a classic scene where his motorbike gets close to the window of a car where Rumpa is sitting inside heading to the same place. Love this scene.
Phieng Khwan finishes the ram happily and promises Chai Phi that she will continue with her profession. He tells her that he’s happy spending his time with her.
The scene at the bridge toward to end of this part.
CPhi: This ring is very precious to me because it’s the pride of an air force officer. I had to trade my talent and effort for it, without any concern of my family and who I am.
Phieng Khwan: It looks the same as the ring you are wearing.
CPhi: Yes. The cho chaiya phreuk ring is an air force class-ring that everyone must have, to give it to the woman he loves. I, Nai (Mr.) Phi, give this ring to you.
Phieng Khwan: I cannot accept it. You keep it. I told you that one day you may find the person that is more suitable for you than me.
Chai Phi: You are the most suitable one, Phieng Khwan.
Phieng Khwan: Why does it have to be me?
Chai Phi: Because I love you. I have never felt this way with anyone.
Phieng Khwan: We knew very little of each other, too little to use the word love. Someday you will regret it if you do this.
Chai Phi: I won’t regret giving this ring to you, the one I love. Please keep it.
He puts the necklace with the ring around her neck.
Chai Phi: I am a soldier. I have to fly an airplane everyday. Tomorrow, I may die……
She puts her fingers over his mouth to stop him from saying more.
Phieng Khwan: Don’t say this kind of thing anymore.
He looks at her.
Chai Phi: You are my woman.
He kisses her forehead. They both look at the fireworks lighting up the sky. (Heard from an interview that it’s a live fireworks.)
Of course, Rumpa sees them together. After she almost chokes her friend to death for indirectly making Chai Phi meet Phieng Khwan (yes, ages ago), she comes home and performs a classic villain role in front of the mirror (great acting btw). Later, she informs her father and Marathi.
Cute scene at the dock. Chai Phi fought with Yodyot (his friend who is also in love with Phieng Khwan). He tells her that Yodyot was right to get angry. He thinks Yodyot is jealous that she and him are in love. She hits him and asks when she loves him. He lies down on her lap and tells her that his mouth is still hurt. He kisses her hand.
The second leads are cute too but I will leave them be or else I won’t finish this post 🙂
Rumpa’s father tell Mom Eiet that Chai Phi is having another woman but won’t tell them who she is. Grandmother On says it’s time for Chai Phi to get married.
Chai Phi practically stays at Phieng Khwan’s house imo. Did he ever go to work? Pranod asks if Chai Phi wants to go to a temple fair. Chai Phi says he will go with them, and that he should finish his work no later than 6:oo p.m. on Friday.
CPhi: Wait for me.
Phieng Khwan: Why are you telling me? Ta Nod is the one asking you so you should go with him.
CPhi: If you go just the two of you, I will really get angry.
Phieng Khwan: Will wait no later than 6:00 p.m., if later than that, you will have to go find us at the temple fair.
CPhi: I will definitely find you, because we are soul mates (true pairing). Wherever they are, or no matter how far they stay apart, soul mates always find each other. (Aww)
Chai Phi comes home and the two grandmothers are waiting for him. Mom Eiet tells him that she gets an auspicious day for the wedding. He asks if it’s for Pee Chai Yai and Nong Maprang. He says he’s happy for them because they have been waiting for each other for a long time.
Mom Eiet scolds him for joking around, she means his and Wilairumpa’s wedding. After Chai Yai’s wedding for two weeks, it’s his wedding.
Chai Phi: But grandmother Mom, I’ve never said that I will marry Nong Rumpa.
Mom Eiet reminds him about the promise of his father with the Thewaphrom, and now there’s only him left so his wedding is necessary to keep their promise and for the honor of their family. Chai Phi gets up and says, but he doesn’t love Nong Rumpa.
Mom Eiet: Being a soldier, a Momratchawong, duty must come before love. Responsibility must come before personal feeling, or don’t you call yourself Juthathep gentleman.
Later grandmother On says Chai Phi never talked about love before and his eyes looked strange to her. She thinks he must really fall for that woman. She wonders who she is. Mom Eiet says Chai Phi always behaves adorably like a youngest grandson in front of them, but stubbornness is his true nature. She always thinks that the grandson that will be brave enough to disobey her order will be Chai Phi.
Mom Eiet comes to the air force base. She tells grandmother On that Chai Phi is a very responsible man when it comes to his line of duty so she will use his work to make him stay away from that woman.
Mom Eiet requests Chai Phi’s superior officer to send him away to work in the countryside. She tells him it’s due to her family matter. He asks if she wants him to give out an official order over a family matter. She says her family gave many plots of land to the air force to build an airport before, so she’s asking him for this little favor in return, and she hopes he will to comply.
On Friday, Chai Phi is assigned for a job and he can’t go to meet Phieng Khwan in time for the temple fair, so they go by themselves and Phieng Kwan’s mother gets into trouble with a man who used to have a crush on her.
It looks more and more likely that Khunchai Ratchanon series will end up to be the one with the highest ratings (double digits nationwide throughout the series). I’m sorry to say Khunchai Ronnaphee’s ratings is in a downward trend but I still hope it will get better toward the end.
Let’s look at the advantages of this series. It followed the popular Khunchai Ratchanon series. It’s made using HD cameras, so you will get a feeling of watching a movie (like in a theater). It has great cinematography especially for a TV-series. We’ve already seen Chai Phi for four series straight before this series, and I loved the lead couple’s acting so far. James Ma is doing a fine job for his first dramatic leading role which we have to accept that it’s difficult acting in a melodrama as it is. The production is really into the details such as Chai Phi’s uniform is an antique one for real.
The downside: I’m not sure why I didn’t fall in love with any supporting characters of this series at all. I couldn’t connect with them and I still don’t know how I should feel for them. In each episode, I was feeling there were more screen times of other characters than the lead couple. When I was about to fall in love with the leads, other subplot came up and it wasn’t fun to watch at all.
The overall tone of the series is quite dark and sad making it’s really different from its previous four series. You really have to be a hard-core Juthathep’s fans to stick around. Its slow pacing and yawning background music couldn’t help either. But then what we got so far was a unique directing that I haven’t seen in a TV-series before. I felt like watching an indie movie.
I’m not sure if it’s the directing, editing or the scripts that has made the whole series feel a little flat and dry imo. Why did everyone in series (so far) look so stiff and uncomfortable? Even the four brothers and wives came out in a monotone. So I guess it all comes down to the directing, doesn’t it? With the ending of episode 5, things are getting heated up so I hope the series will pick up its color by this weekend. I will probably stick around since this is the last one of the batch, and I can’t abandon Chai Phi now when his happiness is on the line 🙂
Pictures credit as tagged.