Panthakan Rak Review
Panthakan Rak is centered around the story of Panthakan aka Pan. He is rich, educated and good looking. On the other hand, he has an awful personality, torments his father and stepmother, and is very vengeful. Pan is the furthest thing from empathetic and kind, which shows in spades.
As a child, he watched a terrible relationship transpire between his mother and father unfold. His father was often cold to his mother and treated her very poorly. After his mother’s tragic death, Pan vows to make his father and stepmother suffer greatly for the death of his mom.
Pan believes that his father was being unfaithful to his mom and took Chormuang, his secretary, as his mistress. When Pan returns from studying in America, he goes all out to make his father’s life a living hell. All he can see is red (anger) and is driven to protect his mother’s memory and avenge her death.
He pulls off some very public schemes/events to torment both his father and Chormuang. It’s quite sad and tragic that Pan is willing to go through such lengths to hurt his father. But as Pan was deeply wounded by what happened to his mother, he’s further motivated to do what it takes to make them suffer as much as he did.
It’s not right, but the saving grace of his abysmal behavior is knowing what’s motivated him to act this way.
Even more so, he wants to torment Chormuang and her grown son Ek, who also lives in Pan’s father’s house. The home situation becomes even more dire when Chormuang invites her niece, Prapai, to live with them after she loses her grandfather’s house. But Prapai is fierce is does not give in to Pan. She gives back as good as he gives out.
Prapai is a university student who studies hard and tries to sell traditional Thai candy that she was taught how to make by her grandfather. Unfortunately, her lack of income makes it extremely hard for ends to meet. After being chases around by being unable to pay gangsters and being evicted from her grandfather’s place, Chormuang decides to take in Prapai.
Pan has so much anger and hatred that he is often creating problems at his father’s company. He’s also creating problems at home due to his rage. No one can rest easy. The sad truth is that Pan has misunderstood what happened all those years ago. Pan lashes out at his father and Chormuang because he’s so hurt on the inside.
No one knows how much he hurts or even understands him until Prapai comes along. Pan gets a lot of satisfaction in creating problems for her. He’s nothing short of a jerk to her, too. It isn’t until halfway through the series that we see the good effect Pai is having on Pan.
Welcome to the jungle!
Pan is a bit pushy and handsy to say the least. He’s always pulling Prapai away somewhere and it’s usually against her will. So when he takes her away from the filming set with Bunny, he keeps driving and driving… and driving until he runs out of gas. Conveniently enough, they’re literally in the middle of nowhere.
When the two get stranded in the jungle, they are taken in by a small, nearby village. Pan shows great strides in appearing and acting more human as he looks after Pai. He is fiercely protective, and it’s here that Pai learns that Pan isn’t as bad as he tries to be. The entire time, he is helping and protecting her. Finally, we have reached a turning point!
A little one-on-one time gives big strides in character development.
We finally see that Pan is a good person deep, deep down. On the surface, he’s angry and cruel, which is his defense mechanism. But as Pai spends more time with him, even her opinion of Pan changes. Heck, Pan even saves one of the villagers kids who is falling from a tree. That does not sound like the Pan we were introduced to. Phew!
When they are finally rescued and come home, everyone immediately notices a shift in Pan and Pai. Pai goes out of her way to defend Pan and it’s a victorious moment. He may not be the best guy in the world, but Pai has helped to heal Pan. And Pan has also had some influence on Pai as well.
What I didn’t Like.
It seemed the story really fizzled out halfway through. It was like watching two different lakorns. The first half was excellent and engaging. Then there was the second half. So much scheming and focus on Pan’s father’s business. It was a bit too dramatic at times. I wouldn’t say it was bad, but I missed the lighter feeling that was present in the first half of this drama.
Bunny, Chon, and Chon’s father. There always seems to be a wicked character or two in a lakorn, but we have three of them here and it was way too much. I was singing hallelujah when we finally saw the last of Bunny.
But if I thought Bunny and her antics were awful, she had nothing on Chon and her father. Chon is mentally ill and we don’t discover it until the end. The lengths that she went through to make others suffer was a million times worse than anything I could imagine Pan doing. She reminds me of the kind of wicked that Pat (Beauty’s cousin) was in Leh Nangfah.
I just can’t believe that Chon’s father was so unbelievable that he had a doctor hypnotize and plant different memories for Chon. Of course, as he is a parent, I can understand he didn’t want his daughter to suffer. Nonetheless, Chon’s father did a ton of other wicked things to make her suffer anyway. These two were a hot mess, especially when they tried to kill Pan towards the end.
Also, there was Ek’s romantic interest in Pai. While Pai made it clear over and over again that she only sees Ek as an older brother, he just wouldn’t give up on his relentless pursuit of Pai. I did like that he didn’t give up, but as much as Ek cared about Pai from the get go, it was a bit frustrating that he didn’t bow out sooner. I gave him a pass because he fixed things in the end.
What I loved.
I particularly loved that this drama showcased the evolution of Pan. I am all about character development. If Pan hadn’t changed after all that had occurred in Pankathan Rak, I might have thrown in the towel.
Pan and Pai had great chemistry together. They both pushed each other. And while it wasn’t always pretty, they had a lot of influence on the other. I truly believe that it is up to the individual person to change. But both Pai and Pan had some positive and negative experiences that helped to shape and grow their characters. Sure, Pan could’ve and should’ve been nicer, but this is far from a slap and kiss drama, so it has that element going for it.
In the end, Pan buy’s Pai’s grandfather’s house for her to stay in. Despite some of his wickedness early on, he really changed and bought back the house that meant so much to her. D’awww.
Also, Pan and his father finally reconnected and repaired their relationship. After enduring a whole season of misunderstandings, Pan finally understands his father and learns the truth about his mother. Yes, Pan’s mother is a good person. She was just misunderstood when her crazy ex tried to frame her and threaten her family.
And let’s not forget how amazing Chormuang is. She was Saenkom’s secretary back when his wife Praethong was still alive. All along, Chormuang has been such a strong, supportive, and sweet person. She took a lot of the heat from Pan and she certainly didn’t deserve it. But she was still understanding. She understood that Pan was hurting. Heck, she even understood that Saenkom misses his wife, Praethong, and that she’s his first love.
And while Saenkom (Pan’s dad) may never love another woman like he loved Praethong, he still loves and respects Chormuang. Even Chormuang understands and accepts that. It’s such a sigh of relief when Pan stops fighting against Chormuang and begins to accept her.
All in all, I thought this was a pretty good lakorn. It had its faults, but nothing that would deter me from watching.
Where to watch?
Do you want to watch this drama? The lovely Neko has subbed this drama in English. Neko works very hard to sub, so go thank her and give her your support. You can watch Panthakan Rak here.
Curious about other Lakorns?
I have a few lakorns under my belt, but I’ve only reviewed one other. You can read my review of Leh Nangfah here. I hope to start bringing more Lakorn and Thai style drama content to the blog. Sound off below if you want to see more about Lakorns and Thai dramas.
I’ve also reviewed a few Thai dramas. These tend to be younger skewed stories and aren’t nearly as long as a traditional Lakorn. Think high school and college/university type of content. You can find those listed under ‘Thai Reviews’ on the blog’s review page.