Paap Ataan review 1.0

7 Dec

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Props to Paap Ataan for managing to throw me a final surprise in the last episode. I’ve seen behind-the-scenes photos from Charebelle’s instagram of her, Pong and Yayaying with a fake skeleton, which by the end of  ep16 I could infer belonged to Ting, Prayong’s loyal servant whom she chained up and left for dead to forever seal Ting’s lips on who really caused Mae Orn’s deadly fall down the stairs. When Prayong cast a spell on Chetta and trapped him in the same hidden room with Ting’s remains, a second skeleton is revealed to belong to Tan Jao Khun! Perhaps there were hints dropped on where Pratt ended up but with my limited understanding of Thai I at least didn’t pick up any and was genuinely surprised at how far Prayong went to keep Pratt with her and still would to bring her Tan Jao Khun back. I still remember how pure and lovely the young Prayong was at her first meeting with Pratt, how her eye lit up when looking at him, how they promised to wait for each other but ultimately they loved themselves the most. So even after marrying Mae Orn, Pratt still swears his love to Prayong while taking Gade as his side wife thus hurting all three women and Prayong chose to destroy everyone that stood in her way of possessing Pratt, even if that includes the man himself. Their soured, twisted relationship isn’t something I root for as an audience but it was a story well told. The good guys/bad guys camp are often so clearly defined in lakorn world that it’s refreshing to see shades of grey in the protagonists.

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I watched Paap Ataan for them right? So how did Pong/Charebelle fair? Pratt and Mae Orn’s modern incarnations ended up together but I was disappointed by their love line which suffered from lack of development. I kept waiting for Pratt and Mae Orn’s back story, wanting to see how they met and what made Pratt decide to marry Mae Orn instead of holding on to his promise to Prayong. But nope, we got like 30 seconds worth of flashbacks to Pratt and Mae Orn’s happier times and the story continues from when they return to the Sihamontree mansion. I guess there may have been some dialogue explaining their past but hey show, I want to see, not get a summary. Overall the past life portion was quite well handled so I let that slide but in the present life, I don’t buy how Chetta goes from the playboy who refuses to commit to girlfriend Gade, to the suddenly devoted man swearing true love to Anongwadee. In the last episode Chetta tells Anongwadee that he only loved Gade as his ‘pern’ … I was like ROFL, tell me you are kidding.

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Uh, friends?

Then there’s Anongwadee, who goes from hating Chetta for stoking her mom’s gambling addiction by continually lending her money to feeling guilty for selling him a haunted mansion to being worried that her great-grandma’s ghost would harm the guy … and somehow this led to true love? I don’t know, was I supposed to root for Chetta/Anongwadee as Pratt/Mae Orn getting a second chance? Pratt was a terrible husband but through Chetta’s recollection of the past I could feel his guilt towards Mae Orn and by association towards Anongwadee so I could understand a littttle bit how his feelings for Anongwadee changed. On Anongwadee’s end though her memories of her past life seems fairly limited and till quite late in the show she didn’t believe she was Mae Orn in the past. I couldn’t feel her feelings towards Pratt as Mae Orn being ‘transferred’ to the present life so to speak so I’m still scratching my head as to how on earth she fell for Chetta.

I also didn’t understand why the whole lot of them stuck around the mansion when there was obviously a vengeful spirit targeting them there. People were continually getting mysterious headaches, fainting spells, going missing and no one thought to ruuuuuuun for their dear lives instead of challenging the spirit? I know I would! To be fair, I did fastfoward a lot of long talking bits that didn’t involve Pong or Charebelle and I did a lot of guess work with the dialogue so who knows, I might feel differently about Paap Ataan when I get to watch it subbed.

pacap1701When Chetta and Anongwadee don’t make sense in the present life, I’d pretend Charebelle is playing Doke Soke who finally stops being stupid and returns to her Khun Nai. Haaah.

5 Responses to “Paap Ataan review 1.0”

  1. jamieguo December 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM #

    It seems like the love story is lacking, which is a pity since I find Pong and Charebelle a nice couple. I watched the 1st episode and found Charebelle’s acting lacking. But I liked the atmosphere of the drama. And I have yet to watch a spooky ghost lakorn (outside of Pang Sanaeha which… didn’t end well and it wasn’t the typical past life sort of lakorn either).

    Hmm, I’ll have to put this on my ‘maybe’ list. Are you watching any lakorns now? I’m watching Sao Noi and at episode 3, loving the fast pace. It’s 34 episodes, but only 30-40 mins? And there is a lot of story to go through so I have a feeling this will keep up the pace. I guess I’m in the mood for a period lakorn after watching the ultimately disappointing Sood Sai Pan.

    They star the same girl too, View Wannarot. I don’t think she’s a great actress, but she does seem to have great chemistry with her co-stars, so that’s definitely a bonus.

    • J December 16, 2013 at 12:27 AM #

      Yea, Charebelle’s acting can get quite stiff but I have this inexplicable soft spot for her, especially when she’s together with Pong so I welcome all their scenes in Paap Ataan whether they make sense or not. haaah. The present life parts can get repetitive but I do think the past life was a story well told and I would recommend watching PA. I’m intending to do a re-watch once it’s fully subbed.

      I’m not watching any lakorns now. Rest of my free time this year will likely be spent on On Call 2 and writing my drama look back for 2013!

  2. AnoD_Chobling January 12, 2014 at 3:30 PM #

    A lot of things didn’t make sense in PA. Initially, I hadn’t planned on watching it, but I decided to give it a shot: if the first episode was interesting enough, I’d continue it – and it was surprisingly better than I thought it would be (I had very low expectations for it). However, as the lakorn progressed, it just got worse. I actually watched this one all the way to the end, but I admit to fast-forwarding a lot of scenes because it got repetitive really fast. I think they could have sacrificed a few of the million scenes of Prayong pining for Pratt to flesh out the characters better – especially the leads – or the storyline. I kept waiting for Pratt and Orn’s storyline. I wanted to know why he married her. Was it out of loneliness? Obligation? Or did he actually fall in love with her? More importantly, I wanted more Chetta and Anongwadee. I needed to know what made them tick and that they were their own persons, not just reincarnated extensions of their past lives. I had assumed that part of the reason Anongwadee didn’t like Chetta was because as a kid growing up in that haunted mansion and seeing its past play out for her almost nightly, he resembled the man who had hurt the woman who resembled her (and whose emotions she was able to sense), but by the end of the lakorn, it wasn’t even clear whether or not she ever remembered her past life. All we know is what she says: that she has no memories of the past and she’s not even convinced she’s Mae Orn reincarnated (at least I vaguely remember something along those lines).
    Personally, I wasn’t a fan of the constant flashbacks. I was okay with it at first but later it started to give me flashback whiplash. And since most of the flashbacks were seen through Prayong or Khun Yai Noi, I couldn’t trust them too much because the memories only reflect how they saw or remembered the past, not a true reflection of what really happened or how it really played out. Plus, all the scenes were disjointed and without context. Sure, you could piece the story together well enough, but without context, you can only judge a scene by what you see in the scene, which isn’t always a true representation of the true circumstances. If this was a movie based solely from Prayong’s point of view, it might have worked, but if we’re to root for the leads, I needed more.

    • J January 12, 2014 at 5:51 PM #

      Yep, everything you said about Pratt/Orn & Chetta/Anongwadee. Also, did Orn know that her good sister Gade is sleeping with her husband too? There are just so many things not shown, not explained, not developed and it’s a real shame ‘cos this one could’ve been good. Is Paap Ataan based on a novel? If it is I’m curious as to how the story played out there.

      I personally liked that the flashbacks were non-linear and biased. It’s a different way of presenting the story and it manages to surprise me with new reveals along the way. But the editing was quite bad, especially the transition between the past and present lives that I often wonder if I had ff too much and missed something.

      Something I forgot to mention in my posts on PA… I hated Anongwadee’s styling! I figured they wanted Charebelle to look more mature as a working lady but gosh, did they really need to slap on such thick make up on her? Then the tightly pulled back ponytail they had Charebelle in most of the time was so ill suited for her face shape. Sighhhhhh.

      • AnoD_Chobling January 13, 2014 at 4:19 AM #

        I’m not totally against the non-linear flashbacks. They serve a purpose, too, such as revealing the person’s personality or thought process. I just wished there were more people’s flashbacks/memories to go on so I get a better sense of the story. If we mostly see them through Prayong, of course we’re gonna mostly see the scenes that show her in a sympathetic light. It was only when Khun Yai Noi pointed out that it was partly her fault Pratt married Orn because she (Prayong) refused to go with him to wherever it was he was sent to serve (gosh, for the life of me, I can’t remember the name of the place). It turned out Prayong didn’t want to brave the hardship with Pratt in a backwater country for 3 years, preferring instead to wait for him faithfully in her nice, comfortable mansion. Her dad warned her 3 years was a long time, and if she refused to go with him, don’t blame Pratt if he comes home with a wife, but I guess she was confident enough in their love to believe Pratt would never do that to her. I’m not saying that gave Pratt the right to marry someone else; merely that Prayong seemed to want Pratt only on her terms.

        Yes, PA was based on a novel, but having never read it, I’m not sure how it played out. It must have been good because it was made into a lakorn 4 times (with Pong’s version being the 4th version). The 3rd version was made in 1992, 22 years ago (wow, that sounds so long ago!). I never saw it, but from the cast, I only recognized the person who played Anongwadee (played by Da, who played Thip, Ran’s mother, in Hua Jai Reua Puang) and Khun Yai Noi (played by Ken’s wife Noi). I heard a few people mention that in that version Prayong’s ghost possessed Anongwadee’s body a few times. I’m glad Exact did away with that because I can’t see the proud and vengeful Prayong wanting to possess Anongwadee – unless it was to make her do bad things and have people hate her.

        I was never sure either if Orn knew Gade was sleeping with Pratt, but in one scene, Prayong approached her and told her not to trust those close to her because they have a way of backstabbing you, and then she hinted at Gade being another “wife” of Pratt’s, but Anongwadee didn’t bat an eye. That either meant she was already aware of it, or she just didn’t want Prayong to see her pain. This was exactly my problem with PA. They spent so much time on Prayong that they neglected to explain a lot of other things. I don’t understand why Khun Yai Noi killed Manut, and I don’t know why Luang Khajon chose to marry his betrothed instead of meeting Khun Yai Noi. Did he just cave in to pressure, or was he a shameless playboy, too? In the novel’s summary, they say he caved to pressure to marry his betroth, and Khun Yai Noi, hearing about it, decided to row out to see him/stop him, which caused her death. It didn’t mention that they had any agreement to run away together, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t. Either way, I can’t understand why that would move Khun Yai Noi to kill Manut, even if he is the reincarnation of Luang Khajon and his direct descendant.

        I wasn’t interested in PA initially, but after starting it and and liking it, I was hoping it would turn out good because like you said, it had the potential to be. I also did not like the style or makeup used on Charebelle. Once in a while, she looked pretty, but that was rare. I know they wanted her to look older, but I’m sure they could have figured something else out, right?

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