by Greenlemon, March 30, 2020
46

Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat - Love Destiny

Major spoilers ahead.

Writer’s NOTES:

This article has been in the making since the drama aired in 2018, but there was always something missing, so it was postponed month after month after month

In June 2019 the article was nearly submitted to publication, but there was still something missing which I unable to pinpoint

  What was missing was Thailand. In October 2019, I visited Bangkok & Ayutthaya. Experiencing the Thai culture through the eyes of the population of Thailand, some of the kindest and warmest people I’ve ever had the pleasure and honour of meeting, was one of the most rewarding and profound experiences one can ever have in their lives. I sincerely wish that everyone has the opportunity to visit Thailand at least once in their lives! It’s worth it!

... so here it is Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat aka Love Destiny  



Love Destiny’s HISTORICAL CONTEXT:

The lakorn is set during the reign of King Narai The Great (1656–1688) also known as King Ramathibodi III, the last monarch of the Prasat Thong Dynasty and the 27th monarch of the Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

Through the establishment of diplomatic ties and with foreign Middle Eastern and European nations King Narai performed in series by Praptpadol Suwanbang, has boost trade in Ayutthaya, transforming it into a very prosperity Kingdom with the help of his favourite Prime Counsellor Chao Phraya Wichayen (เจ้าพระยาวิชาเยนทร์) Constantine Phaulkon, a Greek national performed in the drama by Louis Scott. Constantine’s rise to power is uncertain with theories pointing either towards King Narai’s request to weight a cannon which demonstrated not only his European knowledge but also his strategic thinking and analytical competencies or towards his accounting skills which earned the King’s treasury an exorbitant amount of money at the expense of foreign Persian traders. What remains unquestionable, however, was Constantine’s ability to quickly rise to power in King Narai’s court. Constantine married Maria Guyomar da Pinha, a Siamese lady of Portuguese, Japanese and Bengali ancestry who resided in Ayutthaya, performed in Love Destiny by Susira Nanna. Together they had two children.

Phra Horatibodee, the astrologer during King Narai’s reign, is the author of the Chindamanee, the first language textbook in Thailand, dated 1672 and the father of both Sri Prat, who was deported from Ayutthaya and Det, Muen Suntorndewa who later became Phraya Wisut Sakorn, an ambassador of King Narai’s court. Phra Horatibodee is performed by Nhing Nirut Sirijanya while Sri Prat and Det are performed by Natanop Chuenhirun and Pope Thanawat Wattanaputi respectively.


❤ 

Bupphesanniwat (บุพเพสันนิวาส) is based on a same-titled novel written by Romphaeng aka Chanyawee Sompreeda (จันทร์ยวีร์ สมปรีดา), weaving the concepts of soulmates, reincarnation and time-travel together that created a story that has mesmerised audiences of all ages in Thailand and across the globe.

The series also re-creates key moments in the reign of King Narai’s, i.e. his famous meeting with the King Louis XIV emissary.

In a seminar titled “A look back into Thai history with BuppeSanNivas” held in Thailand in 2018, a former Thai ambassador, Adisak Panupong remarked that King Narai “was faced with internal and external battles. But with his wise vision, he succeeded in balancing the power between his noblemen and outsiders,”

The image below depicts the meeting between Chevalier de Chaumont, King Louis XIV French emissary to Ayutthaya, the capital of Siam and King Narai in the Hall of Sanphet. The picture on the left in full colour is Love Destiny’s re-creation of the real historical events portrayed on the right when Monsieur de Chaumont attempted to deliver his king’s letter in the customary European fashion to King Narai’s in 1685. On the lower-left corner of the portrait, it can also be seen Constantine Phaulkon trying to persuade King Louis XIV emissary to raise the letter to King Narai’s while bowing low in a demonstration of respect.

Adisak Panupong explained “King Narai was marvellous at moving diplomatic affairs. He knew how to seek mutual consent and how to forge a compromise between the two sides.”

A contrast of cultures is evident in the mirror images. At the time in Europe, a King’s emissary represented the king and was, therefore, a highly important person. In Siam, however, what took precedence was the letter from the king, not his messenger.



Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat’s STORY: 

An archaeologist named Kadesurang suffers a car accident following an evening stroll to the ruins of Ayutthaya and goes back in time 300 years, waking up in the recently dead body of an evil woman named Karakade in the same place: Ayutthaya. Kade and Karakade are as distinctive as olive oil and water personality-wise it can be imagined how everyone reacted to Karakade’s sudden change in character, especially her fiancée Por Det who disliked her immensely.



 

Por Det never really got around the idea of an arranged marriage with a woman he despised simply because of a promise made between their fathers, especially as he fancied someone else, more demure, quieter and with good manners. Yet, he had no choice but to honour his father’s betrothal commitment.

When he meets the new Karakade aka Kadesurang, he thinks it’s a rouse for trouble. A woman could not change so much in the space of a day he thought. Similar ideas were shared by everyone else, however, time passed, and they saw that the changes were real, all too real, believing that the old Karakade and the new one were two completely different persons but unable to prove it.

As an archaeologist who has studied Ayutthaya, Kadesurang aka Karakade shows an extreme amount of knowledge about the city and quickly impresses Por Det, his father and their male acquaintance’s with it, and her assertiveness towards events that were one by one taking place in Ayutthaya and she has only read about in her history books.

Little by little Karakade and Por Det fall in love with one another. Karakade is very sassy, playful, optimistic while Por Det is a knowledgeable man who is very kind, jealous, possessive and insecure of her. 

❤ What IS INTERESTING:

An archaeologist with a keen interest in Ayutthaya goes back in time to the kingdom’s golden era to experience first-hand the events she has read about in history books

Soul swapping. The soul of an archaeologist while in a limbo dimension meets the soul of an evil woman and is asked to do good deeds on her behalf and to pray for her as a way of lessening her karma and enable her to reincarnate.

The weaving of actual key historical people in Ayutthaya into the lakorn, strengthening a feeling of nationalism amongst the Thai and showing international audiences a glimpse of the country’s rich history.



The DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LOVE DESTINY & OTHER SIMILAR STORIES:

Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat, set during the reign of King Narai of Ayutthaya visually shows key events in Thai history that have shaped the country into what it is today: a vibrant nation that has never been colonized by the European colonial superpowers.

Viewers got to watch played out onscreen the missionaries trying to convert locals to Catholicism abandoning their Buddhism roots; the arrival and presence of the Europeans in Ayutthaya and its impact within the kingdom, through the direct involvement of the main characters in those actual historical events amongst others in the kingdom and their interactions, i.e. with European diplomats, diplomats with their own agendas, i.e. Constantine Phaulkon, a Greek/Venetian national, a councillor of King Narai of Ayutthaya and his wife, Maria.

 



The LEADS & their PERFORMANCES:

 Bella Campen as KADESURANG/MAI KARAKADE

Kade is a chubby 25-year-old geeky passionate archaeologist, admired by her intelligence, history knowledge and curiously extroverted personality. She lived with her mother and grandmother whom she has always been close to. One night after visiting the ruins of Ayutthaya with her friend Ruengrit where she was hunted by Karakade’s ghost, she is transported back in time to the kingdom of Ayutthaya when a car accident where she travelled with her friend occurred. The accident was a huge shock for everyone for Kade died in the present while Ruengrit survived without a scratch, leaving him to eventually ordain as a monk.

Mae Ying Karakade was a very selfish and vengeful woman who did whatever it took to reach her goals regardless of the consequences, making her despised and hated by everyone, including her betrothed Por Det. She had no qualms hurting those who got in her way, especially Mae Ying Junward whom she was jealous of as a result of Por Date’s favouritism towards her. One day, after unsuccessfully trying to get Mae Ying Junward to drown, Karakade’s sordid plan is discovered. Por Det and his father chant a spell to punish the guilty person behind that failed attempt to Mae Ying Junward’s life, which ends up with Kade’s spirit entering Karakade’s body 300 years in the past.

Kade as Karakade had a contagious curiosity, always asking questions, trying to understand what was happening around her and confirming her pre-acquired history knowledge. Everything was new and so fascinating to her while she discovered new things, engaged in her family’s life (the way the real Karakade has never done) through, i.e. eating her meals with everyone; cooking delicious food; treating everyone with kindness and respect, she became admired by her intellect which she started to share with her family members and their important acquaintances, members of Ayutthaya’s elite.

Bella Campen’s performance of Kade/Karakade was a breath of fresh air, extremely jovial and compelling, considering both characters are as antagonistic as they get.

❤ Pope Thanawat Wattanaputi as POR DET ❤

Por Det is a foreign ministry official of King Narai’s court, holding the title of Muen Sunthon Thewa. He’s a fair, hard-working, dedicated and kind man with strong values a sense of justice and fairness, he continuously upholds.

Betrothed to Mae Ying Karakade whom he hates to Hades due to her corrupt, malicious nature, Por Det stalls their nuptials, refusing to marry a woman who was pure evil. When Kade “takes over” Karakade’s body, she acted like her normal self in the present day, raising suspicion that Karakade was possessed by a ghost due to her complete change in behaviour.

As time goes by Por Det finds himself more and more enthralled bu Mae Ying Karakade’s new self, falling truly madly deeply in love with her. He also gets appointed as a member of Ayutthaya’s envoy to King Louis XIV court in France along with a promotion to Khun Si Wisan Wacha, a high royal rank. Upon his return, Por Det raises further up in the royal ranks to achieve the title of Phra Si Wisan Sunthon.

When Por Det discoveres Karakade lying lifeless on the floor next to the Kritsana-Kali mantra book, he and his entire residence chant for days to help her return to her body. Por Det promises that should the real Karakade return instead of Kade or should she die, he will ordain as a monk for the rest of his life.

As Kade wakes up, Por Det hugs her tightly, expressing all his happiness for her return to him. Reality then sinks in, and Por Det goes and gets the Kritsana-Kali mantra, hiding it away to prevent Karakade from touching it again, afraid of what might happen if she did. He’s so scared of losing her, so afraid of not seeing her, not being with her. He loves her! She’s his priority!

Por Det and Karakade eventually marry and live happily with their children.

Pope Thanawat Wattanaputi performance as Por Det was beautiful, solid and consistent throughout the story. Det held close to his values, and his principles as a man, upholding them throughout the drama and Pope portrayed him extremely well.


❤ The SOULMATE CONCEPT:

The notions of Soulmates, Twin Flames, Karmic Partners… have been emerging in media over the past few years and culturally romanticized in fiction novels and series.

Do they actually exist or are figments of an over-anxious generation that needs to justify their emotional void? The reality depends on what one believes. The same goes for reincarnation. It’s a matter of belief and beliefs vary from person to person.

The idea of reincarnating in the past to live the life one was meant to with their true love ticks a lot of boxes in a world overly seeking for love but selfishly unwilling to be loved until forced to stop. Obsolete values and old pragmatisms that have long lost its place in our heterogeneous contemporary society fall down to give way to society more in tune with its own humanity and its own love. Love that comes from within, from the inside out and not from the outside in.

Kade and Det are the mirrors of a love that transcends time and space and exists alive in all existence to show us that believing in it is cute but being loved is ethereally beautiful, it’s timeless. This is how true love really occurs, when two people full of love independently share their joint love with one another and with those around them, nurturing love, building love and inspiring love.


The historical city of AYUTTHAYA:

Ayutthaya aka The Kingdom of Ayutthaya aka Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya was a kingdom of Siam which is currently Thailand aka The Kingdom of Thailand, a constitutional monarchy with the king as chief of state and the prime minister as the head of government.        

Located appx. 80 km north of the actual Thai capital, Bangkok was founded in 1350, Ayutthaya was the second capital of the then Kingdom of Siam, a thriving metropolis between the XIV – XVIII centuries. With a strategic location, an island walled by three rivers which connected to the ocean, canals and an intricate road network, the city has quickly established itself as one of the major cosmopolitan and affluent urban areas worldwide and a centre for international trade, global diplomacy and economic power.

Ayutthaya’s defences and strategic positioning were not enough to stop an attack by the Burmese army in 1767 which have razed and burnt the city to the ground. What buildings were left standing remained untouched as the kingdom of Siam moved downstream and established the present-day capital of Bangkok.

Ayutthaya is a UNESCO world heritage historical site since 1991 and comprises of 289 ha.

 


Writer’s NOTES:

I was very excited to visit Ayutthaya, and I couldn’t really believe I was actually going there at last, but my idea of the ancient city and reality differed quite a lot. I thought Ayutthaya was what you could see in the photo below and it was, except that old Ayutthaya is in the modern Ayutthaya so the ruins of the ancient city are spread out in the middle of the new one, and you can’t really walk from one site to the other. You need to get a car, or you can go there on a tour like I did, otherwise, it might be chaos trying to find what you’re looking for if you decide to go on your own.

Ayutthaya’s ruins emanated strong positive energy, and if you closed your eyes, you could literally feel life going about centuries ago. It was extremely powerful spiritually!

did feel a bit like Kade in the present time marvelling about the ruins of the city as the drama has inspired me to read and learn more about the history of Thailand and the particular timeframe approached in the series.

The photo below is one of the several I took in Ayutthaya and I wanted to share it with you. Hopefully one day you’ll get a chance to visit the place or places that you have heard about and loved from the dramas you have watched!  



Bhuppae Sunniwat is a rich lakorn with a crafty screenplay, exceptional performances and ingenious production wit to weave together the fictional story with key events in the Thai history.

For domestic audiences, Bhuppae Sunniwat has visually shown them glimpses of their rich past. For international audiences Love Destiny shows them a romantic time travel story set amidst a rich cultural background that introduces them to Thai history, demonstrating that Thailand should be hashtagged to heritage in the similar way that is hashtagged to amazing beaches and great gastronomy.


❤ Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat was the highest rating lakorn of 2018. ❤


Writer’s suggestions:

 Watch the lakorn if you haven’t already & preferably the uncut version.  

Enjoy

 

 Drop your thoughts & comments in the section below.  


Edited by: Yuanwei (1st editor)

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