Working my way through Ann’s old lakorns as I wait for Ya Leum Chan to air (anyone knows when that will be??) and I recently finished Nang Fah Rai Peek (Angle Without Wings) from way back in 2004. I was actually misled into downloading this one because the Chinese app I used showed Andrew Gregson as the p’ek and how could I miss a lakorn with Andrew and Ann? I realised my mistake when the guy who kept bumping into Ann in ep1 was totally unfamiliar and looked nothing like Andrew. I was disappointed and to be honest did not fancy how the actual p’ek Andy Watchara looked but trudged on anyway since it still did have Ann as one half of the couple. By the end of it though, I actually liked the p’ek more than the n’ek!
Andy plays Pupah, a rich business man (aren’t they always) who has the misfortune of being married to a woman who chose him for his moolah. Pupah’s wife is having an affair with his ex-buddy Sarung but Pupah grits his teeth and bears with this farce of a marriage for the sake of their young daughter (reminds me so much of Likit Sanaeha). Ann is Namwan, the only daughter of an airline owner and expectedly lives a cushy life. She is eager to work and begs her dad to allow her to work from bottom up, thus beginning her working life as an air stewardess. Pupah and Namwan literally bump into each other in Hong Kong and their first meeting ends unhappily but of course the world is so tiny they would continue bumping into each other in Thailand as well and their lives slowly intertwine. Colour me surprise.
We have the same set up in every other lakorn and I’m ok with that if it’s well executed and the main characters likeable but NFRP is shaky on both fronts. Namwan, though not mean spirited, is the typical self-centred Khun Nu. She would have been much easier to like if the scriptwriter didn’t find it necessary to make her act out and be more unreasonable than she probably is usually whenever she faces off with Pupah. It’s a major peeve of mine when the n’ek starts off hating the p’ek for some itty bitty thing ‘cos we need someone to make a mountain out of a mole hill at each meeting or we won’t have any conflict to keep the story going. The funniest part was near the ending when Pupah told his daughter that he fell in love with Namwan at first sight and I was ROFL NO YOU DIDN’T. He was definitely annoyed with Namwan for at least a couple of episodes before slowly falling for her charms ‘cos you know, she’s played by Ann and she’s the n’ek. Getting ahead of myself here … things get better after Namwan gets to know Pupah more and realises he is a good man. I did enjoy the times when the OTP spends time alone with each other (the yacht trips and shopping for Pupah’s house together) or with Pupah’s daughter. Problem is, those moments don’t quite gel with the rest of the lakorn when other characters are involved.
Remember Sarung, Pupah’s ex-best friend having an affair with his wife? Sarung too falls for with Namwan and pursues her aggressively. Namwan rejects him initially but is sufficiently taken by his glibness and attentiveness to go on dates with him occasionally. I really don’t get Namwan’s deal with Sarung. She enjoys the attention he showers on her, but she runs away when he gets too enthusiastic? Later Namwan accepts Sarung’s proposal after he went through with a dare to jump into a pool to prove his love but gets evasive when he presses her to fix an engagement or wedding date. Means it’s a joke to her and she doesn’t want to marry him right? Then when Pupah uses marriage as a condition to save her dad’s airline company, she hesitates and says she already promised to marry Sarung. So do you like him or you don’t? Do you want to marry him or you don’t? Sarung is presented as a slime-ball from the beginning and I thought he was only lusting after her beauty and heiress position but somehow his feelings became true~~ love~~ along the way??? It’s all very baffling.
Sarung takes enough screen time away from the OTP as it is but lakorn decides to give not one, but two! supporting pairing some love too. Sarung’s sister gets matched with Namwan’s cousin, while Sarung’s jilted finacee finds love again with Sarung’s nice brother. The two pairings aren’t annoying but I’m not watching for them thank you very much!
Pupah is my bright spot in NFRP. He’s serious about work, good to his employees, loves his daughter and is really a nice human being despite his aloof exterior. What I appreciate most is his decisiveness at dealing with his cheating wife once he finds out she’s been hitting their daughter and putting Namwan in place when she has her hissy fits. Pupah isn’t a groundbreaking kind of p’ek but his virtue here is character consistency! He did have a couple of ??? scenes but he made sense most of the time.
I did more head scratching than hair pulling with Nang Fah Rai Peek and while I don’t regret my time spent, it’s not a major loss if you miss this even if you’re a fan of Ann ‘cos the role doesn’t require much of Ann.
Ann sings the theme song!