Category Archives: Thai Movies

Top Thai Language Google Search 2012: TV Program


No other Thai TV series in recent years managed to clear half the traffic off Bangkok’s main roads, as millions dashed home to eagerly await the latest episode in the top Thai TV program of 2012, Channel 3’s soap opera, ‘Raeng Ngao’ (Power of the Shadow).

As we all know, Thai soap operas, or Lakhorn Nam Nao as they say in Thai (directly translated into English as ‘insanely depressing tear-jerking drama’) have been the happy communal centre of family-friendly homes for donkey’s years. When the family’s favourite soap opera comes on the box, it’s time for everyone of any age to gather around; and that includes half the village too if you live in the middle of the countryside.

Raeng Ngao 2012, the fourth televised remake of this story, jumped on to our homely TV screens late in 2012 at peak hour times, twice a week. Perfect timing for grandmums, granddads and grandkids to soak up the sordid action. So, for you foreigners out there who would like to read the lowdown on Thailand’s top soap opera in recent memory, in English…. well, here it is..


First, there is Mr Jenpop, a high-ranking government officer. Even though Jenpop only receives a government salary of no more than $1,500US a month, he is somehow able to drive around in the latest state-of the-art imported Benzs and BMWs. And since Jenpop seems to have more money growing out his ears than hairs, he decides to spend some of his well-earned money on other women that are not his wife. After Jenpop gets bored of playing around with more women than Howard Hughes, Jenpop settles down with the lovely Miss Mutta, a true northern virginal beauty with skin whiter than a baby’s bottom. At first, the delightful Miss Mutta had played hard to get, but after Jenpop managed to have her in a short-time hotel against her wishes, Miss Mutta is love-stricken. The only problem is, is that Jenpop already has a wife, the powerfully-possessive Mrs Nopnapa.

Besides spending a million baht a month shopping at Siam Paragon, Mrs Nonnapa’s other hobby is spying on her husband via his secretary. Making sure her husband isn’t following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton, Nopnapa has his secretary keep at look out for any naughty goings-on in his office between him and some sexy sales rep. And soon, the wicked-wife finds out about her husband and the now very seductive, Miss Mutta. The TV audience of now ten million plus is split, it’s Major Wife vs Minor Wife. Take your pick who you want to cheer.


Stomping into her husband’s workplace, like an elephant on methamphetamine, Nopnapa throws a frenzy when she sees Mutta at the top of the stairs. One slap, two slap, three slap, four slap………… Nopnapa’s footwork is amazing as she manages to smack and rip Mutta at every angle. Unsatisfied at seeing Mutta still standing, Nopnapa, from behind, pushes Mutta down 20 flights of stairs. “That was the best bitchy fight scene I seen in a long time; I hope Mutta steals a knife and gets her revenge” says Ajarn Achiraya a monk from a local temple. As for Somying, a seven year old schoolgirl, she reckoned, “Mrs Nopnapa is my idol. When I grow up if I any county-bumpkin tries to steal my husband, I’ll cut out her eyes and throw her to the crocodiles”.

The pitiful Miss Mutta, feeling such an idiot, gives up her job and goes back to her country home. And it is there that she meets up with her Twin sister, Miss Munin. Even though Munin is her twin sister, Mutta and Munin have totally different personalities. The hard-hearted wife-eater Munin is outraged when she hears the story of her once-virgin sister being deceived by a wicked womanizer and beaten senseless by some big-mouthed bully. As for Mutta, she decides that life is too cruel for her, and kills herself.


Absolutely furious, Munin decides it would be a wicked idea to dress-up as her sister and go hunt down Nopnapa and Jenpop. The nation’s TV soap opera fans are, by now, glued to Raeng Ngao and the action is about to begin. Even though, Raeng Ngao has an “Over 18yrs old” parental guidance warning, this gets completely ignored; and so it should, as Raeng Ngao is shown on-air at the prime-time of 8:30pm. Perfect timing for a family-friendly feast.

On the arrival of Mutta’s twin, Miss Munin in Bangkok, the temperature of the soap opera heats up to boiling point. Besides just womanizing, adultery, bitching, slapping, screaming and slander, Raeng Ngao now adds robbery, drink-driving, guns galore and gay-bashing to put more spice into this already fabulously fun show. After threatening to chop off Jenpop’s mojo and throw it to the ducks, Munin takes the soap opera a step further and kicks Nopnapa down fifty flights of stairs. Even though she lands head first, Nopnapa manages to survive the ordeal with her hair-do intact.


Just as the soap opera comes to an end, folks at the Ministry of Culture are flabbergasted at the lack of morals on a prime-time TV soap opera with a 20 million average audience. The ministry is also suspicious that persons under the age of 18 have been watching the show alongside grannies and mommies. And goodness-gracious-me, even nine year olds seem to be playing copy-cat. A leading Thai newspaper headlines “Nine year old schoolgirl punches and kicks her teacher and pushes her into swimming pool – Raeng Ngao Style!” The Cultural Ministry is furious that Thai society is portrayed so negatively, and decides that what Thai TV needs instead of Raeng Ngao, are programs on how proper Thai women actually behave in real life, that is…. keeping their virginity till the day of marriage, keeping their patience under control, praying to the monks everyday, and refraining from spreading gossip and talking nonsense.

And finally, Mrs Lappa a leading cultural crusader from the Ministry of Culture had this to say, “I have informed the censors to delete any unacceptable Thai-lady scene as hugging and kissing a man she is not married to. However, a woman can still be gang-raped on TV, so long as she deserves it.”

Thai Censors Don’t Like Teenagers Kissing

Sometimes I think that the Thai Censor board have their priorities all wrong. Every night, in the Thai soap operas, we get scenes of men hitting and even raping women and then finally marrying them as if that made it alright. But, according to the Bangkok Post this morning, a brief shot of two teenagers, who are seen in a movie trailer about to kiss, is too immoral for our youth to watch. Their lips don’t even touch but the Office of Cultural Promotion want this cut from the trailer. Presumably, also from the yet to be released movie.

They are objecting as they are too young and also because the girl is in her student uniform. They are worried that students who watch the movie will get the wrong idea. Are they joking? Don’t they realize that Thai teenagers are doing this and a lot more? I remember reading in The Nation last year that nearly 100,000 teenage girls give birth every year. The youngest were only nine years old. These statistics don’t count all of the illegal back room abortions that we now know is very common.

This is the offending trailer (watch on youtube). See for yourself as to whether the movie will contribute to the corruption of Thai youth. The movie is called Love Julinsee (เลิฟ จุลินทรีย์ รักมันใหญ่มาก Ruk Man Yai Mak) and is due to be released in early March 2011. Personally I think that this kind of censorship will just encourage more people to go and watch the movie. What do you think about this decision of the censors? Should they focus on the real reasons why more Thai teenagers are getting pregnant these days?

If you are interested in movies from Thailand, then go and take a look at our regularly updated blog on Thai Movies.

Khan Kluay the Blue Elephant

Khan Kluay was a smash hit Thai cartoon when it was first released in Thailand in May 2006. It was the first Thai cartoon made at international standard and did very well in the domestic market. The little blue elephant, called Khan Kluay, was very popular with Thai children of all ages. I know Nong Grace has watched her DVD version so many times that it has worn out. It is based around Khan Luay who, when he was young, got separated from the herd when he went off looking for his father. He was then brought up by some villagers who trained him to become a war elephant for the King of Siam. The climax of the movie is the battle against the evil Burmese invaders. Khan Kluay also manages to avenge the death of his father by killing the Burmese elephant that was responsible for his death. The movie teaches you that wars are sometimes necessary when you have to defend your homeland. It is the kind of patriotic movie not seen in the Western world since the Second World War.

In 2008, the movie reached a more international audience when it was given a Hollywood make-over and re-released as The Blue Elephant. The new English soundtrack had voice talents such as Carl Reiner and Martin Short. It was also produced by the Jim Henson Company. Nong Grace saw this English version for the first time yesterday. She actually loved it and watched it twice in a row without stopping. On the back of the DVD box, there is this promotional text which I think is a bit misleading:

“Follow THE BLUE ELEPHANT on a breathtaking journey, complete with endearing characters, belly laughs, and an uplifting message about the power of courage. Khan is a little elephant with big dreams of becoming a hero. When he gets separated from his herd, he’ll need the help of his new friends and a whole lot of bravery to find his family and fulfil his royal destiny. Join Miranda Cosgrove, Martin Short, and Carl Reiner, as they lend their voices to this fun family adventure!”

Judging by the comments on, some mothers weren’t that happy with the cartoon after buying it for their toddlers. Thai patriotism doesn’t quite translate across the borders. However, I think it would be a hit with children whose parents are serving abroad in Iraq and Afghanistan. It helps explain what their fathers are doing for their nation. For older kids the movie is enjoyable and in fact I also enjoyed watching it with Nong Grace during the first round. I haven’t actually seen the Thai version yet but I would now be interested to compare and to see what they had changed.

You can now follow me on Twitter @RichardBarrow. I am also doing mobile blogging from the iphone at My other new blog started a few months back is

Tarzan Goes to Thailand

Not all of the Tarzan movies are set in Africa. The ape man went to India and even New York. But, I didn’t realize that he had also been to Thailand for the 1963 movie “Tarzan’s Three Challenges”. The movie starred Jock Mahoney. Halfway through the film, according to wikipedia, Mahoney contracted dysentery, dengue fever and finally pneumonia. His weight plummeted from 220 pounds to 175 pounds. This led to a continuity problem during the movie as he was always wearing a loin cloth.

Here is the synopsis: “When the spiritual leader of Thailand dies his evil brother Khan tries to prevent his brother’s heir from assuming leadership. Tarzan is summoned to come to Thailand to protect the heir to the throne (a small innocent child) from Khan. When Tarzan arrives he must face three deadly challenges, the final one being a spectacular fight to the death with the dangerous & powerful Khan. The climactic fight is edge of your seat excitement as the two men clash with swords on a net stretched over huge cauldrons of boiling oil.” – Source

The top picture is of Tarzan fighting in front of the Temple of the Buddha’s Footprint in Saraburi. I have posted the movie trailer over at and you can see that there was a cast of thousands at this temple. Another location was Khao Luang Cave in Phetchaburi Province. Looking at the pictures below, and the proximity to the Buddha images, it makes me wonder how they got away with filming this movie. But then, didn’t they film Mortal Combat in the temple ruins and palaces of Ayutthaya and even blew up a few columns? I guess money talks when it comes to getting permission to film.

All of these pictures were taken for an article for Life magazine.

For the latest Thai Movies, with pictures and movie trailers, please visit

Strange Love

Sawasdee Krab! After a slight delay of ‘technical difficulties’ I am glad to be back in the blog saddle, with apologies for missing my usual midnight deadline. I let myself get ‘pricked’ by one too many ‘prik’ this weekend so to speak with some tasty pad bai gra pao and the combination of extra, extra spicy and my morning coffee ritual was just too much for me!

I had planned to go see the movie for this review yesterday afternoon but I had a much more pressing appointment with wallowing in bed moaning and groaning and swearing if I live I’ll never utter ‘kaw gra pao phet mahk, pom chorp Thai phet, mai chorp farang phet’ again because I was pretty much ‘mai chorp’ life for a good while yesterday until I got the fire in my tummy and my tail end put out. 😉

All this week I’ve been debating what to write for this weeks blog since I have several ideas in mind but each idea depend on me finally getting off my arse to buy a scanner. My other option was write a scathing editorial on the debacle playing out on the Gulf Coast following the aftermath of Katrina since some neo-fob made the stupid comment of calling the flooding of New Orleans ‘Our tsunami’, as if there was any comparison to what happened on December 26th last year. I’m still tempted to write about that after seeing the city breakdown into total anarchy only two days after Katrina with lootings, shootings and rape. And this is America?

However you can rest assured Thailand that at least three of your countrymen are now safe. I was watching yet another newscast this morning when I saw three Asian gentlemen being rescued from the top story window of a hotel. I was surprised to see the first gentleman bow and wai his rescuers as he stepped into the boat. Oh my gosh they’re Thai!

The other good news at least for me was the answer to my blogging prayers came Friday when I opened the local Metro Express paper to see a review for a new Thai movie called Tropical Malady playing at the local AFI theatre here in DC. Done! That’s it, another blog in the bag, check please!

I read the review and immediately was intrigued. Tropical Malady is the fourth feature film conceived by director Apichatpong Weerasethakul and produced by his production company Kick the Machine. Despite so far avoiding the commercial success of other more main stream Thai films in recent release it has won a host of film awards such as the Prix du Jury, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004. It also won the Age d’or Prize, at Cine’de’couvertes in Belgium and Grand Prize in the Tokyo Filmex in Japan that same year. The film also picked up awards as Best Film and Special Jury Prize respectively in the XX International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival in Italy and Singapore International Film Festival, this year.

As a Thai friendly and gay friendly blogger how could I resist plus I read in the reviews that the film is so unusual that you can expect half the audience to ‘get it’ and the other half to walk out!

Continue reading