Fun Rak Fun Salai ep 1 – 3

19 Jul

FRFS2

From the light hearted Nang Rai Summer I moved on to Fun Rak Fun Salai which is very much sombre in tone. P’Fia’s post piqued my interest in this lakorn but after poking around it appears there’s no interest in this by any subbing groups out there so I went ahead and watched it raw, wondering if the Thai I picked up from all these years of lakorn-watching will be sufficient to see me through. So far (3 ep in) I could catch the gist of the dialogue so if even if your Thai is lakorn-level, you can still consider giving this a shot.

FRFS deals with a subject very different from what I’ve come to expect of lakorns. Charebelle our n’ek plays Meili, a young lady facing abject poverty in her hometown. I’m not sure if Meili’s hometown is in a fictional or real country bordering Thailand, but it appears to be under some kind of military control? After seeing pictures sent home by her neighbour’s daughter of cozy life in America with food aplenty, Meili decides to risk following human trafficker Jiang into Thailand and onward to the promise land of America. After an almost deadly trek across the border, Meili reaches Thailand only to find out that she has been sold into prostitution by Jiang. Meili manages to escape and is subsequently picked up by fellow illegal immigrant Chang (First) when he finds her eating leftovers from the rubbish bin outside the restaurant he works at. Though she now has an ally,  things are not all that much better for Meili because she has to escape both the triad who wants to catch her back and also the police who will deport her. 

Navin plays a policeman (I can’t catch his character’s name cos people keep addressing him as ‘pukong’ which I think means sergeant or another police title?) who is in charge of taking down the prostitution/human trafficking ring (and also the triad? Not sure) with Bua (again couldn’t catch her character’s name) as the police chief’s (?) niece who is trying to get Navin’s acceptance to join his team.

There is a sense of desperation pervading the lakorn, with the situation looking so bleak for Meili. The triad is obviously the big bad here but even the police who would be considered a savior in most situations is another threat to Meili. When Bua caught Meili, to Bua this was a credit she could claim in front of Navin. When Navin interviewed Meili, as much as he sympathizes with her, to him she is yet another illegal immigrant to be sent home. All in a day’s work for the police but a crushing situation for Meili because going home meant hunger and poverty, going home meant all her efforts would’ve come to naught, going home meant there was no hope for the future. Even for Chang who is in a relatively ‘safe’ situation, he is pretty much at the mercy of his boss and landlord who could turn him over to the police at any time, which is why he has to constantly pacify the landlord’s daughter who is infatuated with him.

FRFS3

I know Navin/Meili is the end game (thought I’m not sure if it’s gonna be a happy end) but I can’t help but root for Chang with Meili. Not necessarily as lovers but simply to find hope and support in each other, in this harsh world where they have so very little else to hold on to. There’s an earnestness that First brings to Chang and really, how can you not get behind a man who is working hard to fulfill his dream under such trying circumstances and still have the heart to help a fellow human in need, no strings attached?

 

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