Fun Fueng

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Fun Fueng

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I just finished watching ONE HD’s Thai drama Fun Fueng, which means Daydream. The drama was 16, 86-minute, episodes and aired in November, 2014. It starred Put Puttichai (Push) as Rattrawee/Wee and Warattaya Nilkuha (Jui) as Montira/Monta/Mon. It also starred Kangsom Tanatat Chaiyaat as Athit and Mo Monchanok Saengchaipiangpen as Wilailuck/Wilai.

The drama is about two sets of couples lying to each other about their identities and their backgrounds, and falling in love despite those lies. The rest of the story is how they untangle the web they have weaved and find their way to a happily ever after.

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Rattrawee (Wee) is the son of a rich family; his father is high up in the navy (?) and his mother owns a jewelry store. He has just returned from Canada, where he was studying. He has come back to join the family business, and is the perfect, dutiful son. The only worry his mother has is that he does not have a girlfriend.

His driver, Athit, grew up with him, and is almost like a brother. Athit is in the habit of fooling women by pretending to be rich. This habit may or may not be coupled with his desire to marry into money and become someone to be respected.

Montira is a rich heiress, her parents long dead. She lives alone, with a bevy of servants and is followed around by a sycophant, Puwadech, who wants her for her money. She has one aunt who is protective of her and wants to find her a good husband. Montira has spent time studying in Ohio, but has now returned to a life where she spends the day taking cooking classes and the nights going to parties.

Montira’s favored servant in the house is named Wilailuck (Wilai), who also likes to pretend to be rich. She conveys that impression by posting pictures of herself on social media sites surrounded by Montira’s wealth, and secretly dresses in Montira’s clothes and goes out to fancy restaurants.

Athit meets Wilai at a shopping mall, and it is insta-lust of the wealth they see in the other, and maybe insta-like of the other’s appearances. The drama calls it love at first sight. They become Facebook friends and plan on meeting. They then realize they’ve been lying to each other and the truth will come out.

The two pull both Wee and Montira into their game. Wee pretends to be Athit’s driver and Montira pretends to be Wilai’s nanny, Monta, to help along the illusion of wealth. Wee is immediately attracted to Montira and begins hitting on her, which she finds strangely compelling. The two go out on dates, and then Montira finds out who Wee, the driver, really is. Rather than revealing her own identity, she decides to play with Wee and test his love for her.

Wee is being forced by his mother to marry a rich woman. In her quest to find the right daughter-in-law, she orders Wee to go on a date with Montira, the heiress. He goes on dates with both Montira and Monta, and ends up deciding on dating Monta because he loves her. He tells his mother that he is in love with a servant, and his mother threatens to disown him.

Wilai and Athit have a dramatic relationship with many misunderstandings. Athits pretends he is rich due to habit with the wrong woman, Ingorn, and she becomes obsessed with him. In her quest to get Athit, she makes Wilai doubt Athit over and over again. The two are hurting over these doubts and are tired from lying to each other. They run off together, choosing to prove their love to each other by getting married. Yet, neither party tells the other the truth about their identity.

Slowly, the truth comes out. Montira’s aunt finds out what Montira has been doing. Wee’s mother and father discover that Montira is Monta, the servant, and Wee’s mother jumps in to aid Montira’s quest to test her son’s love. Wilai’s family and Montira discover Athit’s truth. Ingorn and Puwadech discover the truth about how Wee is being fooled and how Athit fooled Ingorn. And Athit finally finds out the truth about Wilai and Montira.

And yet everyone still hides the truth from Wee. On their engagement day, Puwadech takes great pleasure in telling Wee how he has been fooled by every single person in his life. Wee leaves, rightfully feeling betrayed by those he trusted. The others go looking for him, and finally find him at a small resort, working as the chef. Montira apologizes, but he freezes her out. She works with him, doing everything he says. And he just melts at seeing her work. He forgives her.

The two live happily ever after, along with Athit (who is now an assistant to Wee’s mother) and Wilai. Even the obsessive Ingorn and the smarmy Puwadech get their own happily ever afters.

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The drama started out really well, but soon devolved into a slow and repetitive watch. When the couples were meeting and having their first interactions, the screen was crackling with Push’s and Jui’s chemistry. And it was really sweet, when we saw Wee and Montira out of their elements, thinking the other was a servant, and still feeling something and palpably falling in love. Push and Jui were also really good in their roles, but I don’t think the writer really asked these two actors for much more than being good looking and appearing pleasant. There just wasn’t a lot of drama in the relationship, and that seems to have been why the writer strung out the hidden identity trope.

The drama was a comedy, but there were moments of seriousness. The look on Athit’s face when he reveals how tired he is of lying and how badly he feels, you can see how good an actor Kangsom is. But those moments are all too brief.

I also liked the later moments between Vake (Wilai’s brother) and Googig (another servant in the home), where we see Vake’s attempts to better himself by studying. And how his attempts also help Googig to become something more.

But the problems . . .

When Montira finds out the truth in Episode 4, she deliberately makes the decision to keep the truth from him. Initially, there is no love, so it seems to be fine that she decides to play with a guy who was apparently playing her. She then continues the charade, even when we all can see that he has fallen in love with her. She continues to lie to him, even when he confesses his love to her and introduces her to his mother. She hides her true self, even when the entire world knows and he finds out in the most heart-crushing way.

Her decision to hide the truth until the bitter end soured me on the drama. We get no background as to why would she go so far. There is no trauma in her past. No reason given for how she watches this guy suffer, purports to love him, but still says nothing! Even with the writer making it seem as if she kept her silence only because her aunt and his mother asked it of her, but I felt that she owed her loyalty to him. That was not a sufficient reason. I found him forgiving her came too easily.

Ingorn’s obsession with Athit was too over the top. Ingorn sees him and falls in love. In order to get him, she gets him drunk and sends his girlfriend a video of them. She follows/stalks him everywhere. She tries to drug another of Wee’s friends, Dr Chabang, to find Athit. When she finds out the truth, she goes bunny boiler on him and trumpets his truth to the world and makes him pay over and over again. And then for her to mumble one offer of help to locate Wee, and be instantly forgiven was galling for me as a viewer who sat through hours of her bad behavior.

The character of Puwadech was a hanger on, who glommed on to Montira for her connections and money. It was never explained in the show why Montira put up with him. Why did she never tell him off until he ruined her engagement to the man she loved? Her inaction lead to Wee’s heart being broken. Puwadech was used as the comedic relief. But his continued presence in the show, when he could’ve easily been kicked to the curb with a few well chosen words just seemed to be lazy writing. And then Puwadech gets his own happy ending with another rich heiress, which was another galling fact to swallow.

And finally, the drama focused too much on Athit and Wilai, making them seem to be the hero and heroine of the drama, not Push and Jui. And their juvenile behavior and lies made the drama a painful watch. There was garish and over the top comedy, when we could have done with moments of gravity.

Due to the above reasons, I can only give this drama a 5/10. The charm of the two leads could not overcome the lazy writing with gaping plot holes. I’d say watch it for Push, but it was really nothing special.

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