Name: F4 Thailand: Boys Over Flowers
Writer/director: O Patha Thongpan, Mai Aticha Tanthanawigrai / Manow Waneepan Ounphoklang, Jarinee Thanomyat, PingPong Suwanun Pohgudsai
Date: December 2021
Number of episodes: 16
Genre: Manga, School Bullying, Rich guy/ poor girl, romance.
Based on book/manga?: Yes, based on the manga, “Hana Yori Dango” by Kamio Yoko.
It is simply irresistible checking out any adaptation of “Boys of Flowers”. I have read the manga and watched all the adaptations. Much to my surprise, the Thai version is probably the best, allrounder to watch. It’s modern, fresh, realistic, the actions seem more logical, and the characters grounded.
Of course, there are some shining aspects of the other versions that can not be topped, but this version is far more relatable. The Korean version was a disaster and flamboyant, so much so that it didn’t stay true to the essence of the story. The Japanese version… well no one can ever portray Domyoji Tsukasa anger issues, and strong emotions like Matsumoto Jun did. I will never forget the scene where he is so upset that he goes out alone and picks a fight – using the violence as an escape and to null his pain, and rejection. The music, and how it’s shot, is deep and conveys so much about him. And reminds us he is not some silly adolescent, but has adult burdens and deep frustrations.
Then the intense bullying and dark tones in the manga are best portrayed in the Taiwanese version.
Back to the Thai version. This feels more like a coherent, smooth story as a pose to a manga adaptation, This makes it refreshing and engaging to watch. The pace is good, and there isn’t really any cringing.
Now to the leads, Gorya is my favorite female lead. The actress who plays Gorya, Tu Tontawan Tantivejakul doesn’t overact. She has a sense of justice, but it’s not over the top. She has a natural beauty that suits the character well. Despite liking Ren, after the date Thyme, she finds Thyme endearing, and can’t help but flirt a little. It’s no secret or elephant in the room that she likes Ren, and Thyme is understanding of the situation and speaks respectfully about Ren. This little treat eliminated a lot of the angst, and I can’t wait to see how the story handles this plot line.
Also, when he waits for her in the rain, and when she finally arrives, he has the typical pitiful look as all his predecessors did, but then he suddenly whacks her umbrella away, which is so unexpected, funny, and, significantly more in line with his personality.
Bright Vachirawit Chivaaree, who plays Thyme, isn’t a superstar with super emotional scenes, but those scenes aren’t even around that often. He nails the subtleness of the character, and the way he looks at Gorya and wants to keep hanging around her… swoon worthy. He is open and confident in his desire to pursue her. The other versions, it felt more like older sister, younger brother vibe, or she was kind of patronising him. But here, it’s more equal. He acts like a man (mostly), and she sees him as one.
Just a shout out to the bus scene. It’s adorable! As well as his wink when he announces they are dating. It’s not clear if he took advantage of the situation to cancel her red card. Was dating her the only way to prevent all bullying? Or was he simply being mischievous?
Also, his mother is very intimidating in this drama. She is even the one who instigated the idea of the red card.
Who are the main characters? Which actors play them?
Gorya played by Tu Tontawan Tantivejakul (female lead)
Thyme played by Bright Vachirawit Chivaaree (male lead)
Ren played by Dew Jirawat Sutivanichsak
Kavin played by Win Metawin Opas-iamkajorn (playboy)
M.J. played by Nani Hirunkit Changkham
Kaning played by Prim Chanikan Tangkabodee (Gorya’s best friend)
Theme: Set your own agenda
What it’s good for? To watch a fresh rendition of a classic story.