Three royal songs, three short films

movie & TV October 28, 2017 01:00

By THE NATION

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The late King’s music inspires a cinematic trio from Singha and Boon Rawd



In a toast to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej – and as an appeal to people to follow his advice, including doing good deeds – Boon Rawd Brewery and Singha Corp have put together three short films based the monarch’s musical compositions.

“Kham Laew Waew Sieng … Nai Duang Jai Nirand” combines “Kham Laew” (based on and named for the King’s “Lullaby”), “Waew” (from “Echo”) and “Nai Duangjai Nirand” (from “Still on My Mind”).

Three advertising directors at the breweries Pornpipat Luksanasut, Alongod Uabhaibool and Rajit Saeng-Xuto – became movie directors and personally selected the tunes to illustrate cinematically. 

“We let the three use their own creativity,” says Nathawan Teepsuwan, the public relations chief at Boon Rawd. “We asked them to show how all that His Majesty did for the people of Thailand touches our daily lives, as if he will always be with us, always be in our hearts.”

Pornpipat’s “Kham Laew” features the tune of the same name (“Lullaby” in English) as its soundtrack, as sung by Supattra Korat. Alongod’s “Waew Sieng” taps Jaruwan Boonyarak to sing “Echo”. And Rajit’s “Nai Duang Jai Nirand” has Thanachai “Pod” Ujjin singing “Still on My Mind”.

“Because ‘Kham Laew’ actually is a lullaby, I came up with stories about families in four different parts of Thailand facing four different situations – all on the same full-moon night,” says Pornpipat.

In one, Phen struggles to balance her new job as a nurse with her responsibility towards her mother, who lives far away. In the second, a single mother in Bangkok faces the same difficulty between earning a living and raising her little daughter, Luna. 

In the third, a man from the Northeast working in Bangkok tries to keep alive his relations with his wife and daughter back home. The last story is about a fisherman’s son who has to choose between helping his dad on the boat and partying with friends.

Like Phen and Luna, all the main characters’ names mean “the moon”, signifying the guiding light King Bhumibol provided for his people.

“Lullaby” is the longest of the short films. The others are closer in length to music videos and have no dialogue.

Alongod chose “Waew Sieng” because he felt it was too little known among the royal compositions.

“I want the younger generation, especially teenagers, to appreciate His Majesty’s great talent in music, so I gave this short film a music-video feel. His Majesty wrote ‘Echo’ with English lyrics, and yet, compared with other royal compositions, we rarely hear it.”

“Waew Sieng” portrays four situations often encountered in daily life – a student is bored with studying, teenagers fight, drivers suffer road rage, and a businessman accepts bribes from contractors. 

All of these people are just about to do something awful, but then hear an “echo” from the sky and remember what the late King always advised Thais – to be good and to do good.

 Alongod has previously worked on music videos and TV commercials and directed the features “Khoo Thae Patiharn” (“The Whistle”) and “Yaak Dai Yin Wa Rak Kan” (“Best Supporting Actor”).

Rajit’s “Nai Duang Jai Nirand” takes its title to heart as well. King Bhumibol will indeed remain on people’s minds.

“His Majesty is in the wind, the warm sunlight, the rain, every moment, everywhere,” producer Buranee Rachjaibun says on Rajit’s behalf.

“The film uses natural sound sources to form the melody of the song. People come from different backgrounds and have different understandings about things, but this film portrays the various aspects of life and different places that will remind us of the late King. And, together, we have to keep going forward. 

“The lyrics to ‘Nai Duang Jai Nirand’ are very meaningful and cover a range of emotions,” Buranee says. “In the short film, the story is quite touching. It reminds us that, even though we are grieving and feel lost, we’ll be able to feel His Majesty’s kindness always and forever.” 

Boon Rawd and Singha have for several years collaborated on projects honouring King Bhumibol’s musical talent. They produced the documentary “Kitaraja”, the four-part film “Kita Rajaniphon”, and “Phonjakfah” (“A Gift”), made for them by studio GDH.  They’ve also organised Pro Musica Junior Camps annually since 2014, at which youngsters learn to play His Majesty’s compositions in classical music arrangements.

The “Kham Laew Waew Sieng … Nai Duang Jai Nirand” series can be seen on Singha’s Facebook page, Line TV and other video channels both online and on terrestrial TV.