Four new television dramas reflect on the late monarch’s wisdom in helping his subjects face up to their problems
Four new television dramas will show next week on Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS), each paying tribute to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej through their story lines.
Part of the “Saeng Jaak Phor” (“Drama Guiding Light”) series, two of the dramas are based on reallife tales, one featuring a female prisoner and the other an elephant mahout. The other two take their cue from the late King’s guidance.
“The ‘Saeng Jaak Phor’ series started at the end of last year and took shape at the beginning of August. The series presents four characters who applied the King’s guidance in their daily lives and used his wisdom to solve their problems. Our mes¬sage is that even though our father is no longer with us, his light shines on and supports us in everything we do,” Wilasinee Phitphikul, director general of Thai PBS, told the press during the recent launch at Siam Paragon.
“Each of four dramas has the word ‘saeng’, meaning ‘light’, in its title representing His Majesty the late King’s guidance. The characters in each of those dra¬mas have seemingly intractable problems but eventually over¬come their adversities and accomplish their dreams.”
The first drama, “Saeng Lang Fon”, showing on Monday at 8.30pm, is directed by Boonyawat Thongtong and stars Siriphan “Noon” Watanachinda, Patiparn “Mos” Pataweekarn, Panadda Gomaratat, and Poompandin “Nong Pandin” Rucha.
It is the inspiring real life story of a female prisoner who has trouble fitting back into soci¬ety after receiving a royal pardon from King Rama IX for no other reason than she is still branded a jail bird. Unable to find work, she contemplates suicide until a chance meeting with a widower, who plays music by night, shows her a way to turn her life round.
“I play Mai, a musician and father whose young son is going blind. I have to find ways for him to live without his sight so that he will be one day able to achieve his independence and live alone without his dad,” says Mos.
“I portray Fon, a female pris¬oner who is granted a royal par¬don by HM the late King after being sentenced to three years only to go home and discover that she has been cast out by those around her. The most important message in this drama is learning how to forgive our¬selves,” says Noon.
“Saeng Nai Marn Mok” airs on Tuesday at the same time. Directed by Sarasawadee “Nai” Wongsompetch and Phanpan “Note” Songkham, it stars Rong Khaomoonkhadee, Lalana “Jeab” Kongtoranin, and Anusorn “Yong Armchair” Maneetes.
It is based on the reallife story of Uncle Kaew Butrachart, who served as an elephant mahout for King Rama IX at Khao Kheow open zoo.
“Acting with an elephant, even a baby one, was very hard,” says Rong. “Every time I sat on its front leg, it would put its trunk round my neck!”
“I play a veterinarian called Pete,” adds Jeab. “Dr Pete is a new graduate who holds herself in high esteem and thinks she knows how to treat an elephant. In the end, though, she needs Uncle Kaew’s intervention to get near the animal.
“I’ve worked with animals before, in fact I was bitten by a horse last time I filmed with Nai. This time I get punched by an elephant!”
On Wednesday night, viewers can watch “Jud Sud Saeng”, which is directed by Prawit Treemek and stars Worradech “Dan” Danuwong, Phatchatorn “Ploy” Tanawat, and Chanon “Non” Rikulsurakan.
“I play a filmmaker whose first movie flops and leaves him feeling hopeless. Then he finds the late king’s camera and when he looks through the viewfinder, he suddenly sees where he went wrong in the past.
It’s a very moving story and one that illustrates the monarch’s message of persever¬ance,” says Dan.
The series closes out on Thursday with “Thien Mai Sin Saeng”, which shines the spot¬light on the work of Thailand’s bomb disposal experts. It’s directed by Kan “Pink” Hongrattanapon and features Chinawut Indracusin in the lead role.
“I play Pokpong, an explosive ordnance disposal specialist sol¬dier who has a brother, Pokpak. Both of us are following in the late father’s footsteps,” says the actor and singer.
“This drama also teaches all Thais about the EOD unit and what their work entails.”
DIFFERENT WAY TO WATCH
- The “Saeng Jaak Phor” series runs on Thai PBS from Monday to Thursday at 8.30pm.
- It is being live streamed on www.ThaiPBS.or.th/DramaGuidingLight also at 8.30pm, on Line TV at 9.10pm, and on www.YouTube.com/ThaiPBS at 9.40pm.