With another long week ahead waiting for the next episodes of Bupphae Sanniwat, I thought I’d share some of my thoughts from one of the most stressful scenes in this most recent episode.
Scene Setup: After over nearly a year of radio silence, Karakate reappears tearfully upset over the romance developing between Katesurang and Khun Phi Daed. She accuses Katesurang of betraying her and breaking their deal by falling in love. Declaring she doesn’t trust anyone, Karakate hovers around long enough to have her fears confirmed. However, Katesurang remains firm to her conviction to help Karakate, vowing to never make her sad and promises not to marry Khun Phi.
Meanwhile, Phor Daed anxiously pushes the wedding forward, consumed with his own fears and worries regarding Katesurang’s feelings. But when the elders gather to announce their intentions, Katesurang is hesitant and distracted. She solemnly retreats to her room only to find a furious Karakate berating her for breaking her promise and stealing the man she loves. Confused (and concerned) by her troubled reaction to their marriage, Phor Daed follows Katesurang back to her room and lets himself in.
Katesurang: Khun Phi… Don’t come in here.
Phor Daed: What suspicions do have about me?
Katesurang: Khun Phi, please leave.
Phor Daed: Answer me first.
Katesurang: Please let go of me.
Katesurang: Please leave now. Trust me.
Phor Daed: No matter what you may think, you can’t run away from me. And I won’t ever let you go either.
Phor Daed: I will never break my words.
Scene Thoughts: I actually thought this was a beautiful scene because it has three of our main players present. And this is the only kind of love triangle I am ever willing to give the moniker to. For each stem is stretching toward the other in some type of intense feeling or emotion. The scene is wrenching and complicated but in a very real way, full of love and commitment.
While Phor Daed and his confessions are always wonderful, I loved this moment mainly because of the conflicting emotions of Katesurang. For it’s not truly until this episode that all she’s thinking and feeling bubbles to the top. She is torn between two people she’s obligated to and cares deeply about what they both think. Therefore, she’s unable to bring herself to dismiss Phor Daed’s sincerity and lie, nor ignore Karakate’s pain and tell Phor Daed the source of her distress. Yet, even here in an instance where she should collapse and give up or give in, she’s still putting others above herself. At this point, she needs Karakate to know she’s on her side but she’s not sure what Karakate might do in a fit of anger and doesn’t want herself or Phor Daed to be misunderstood by her. And since we all know what tends to happen when they’re alone, it’s not hard to assume she’s terrified anything Phor Daed says to her may hurt Karakate even more. Her anxiety is so pulsing, it’s painful to watch her struggle to protect them both.
Simply put, Phor Daed is in love and that’s his motivation for getting married, regardless of how many twinges of jealousy he succumbs to. Therefore, I believe he chooses this path to stop his own wavering. In that, as the man, he believes it his responsibility to make the first move and make his intentions clear. However, there are several other issues between he and Katesurang (mainly why he suggested marriage in the first place) that could be the cause of her reluctance. With all of that, he’s done his utmost to be as overt as his time period and personality allow to help her feel secure in his heart for her.
He mentions on more than one occasion (ep6 and above) that he won’t let her go and initially, I viewed this as a man smitten, believing her existence to be a blessing and seeking to keep her. But in this scene, he goes a step farther by calling her out on trying to run away from him. His delivery is knee weakening because he’s searching for understanding and confirmation. He’s given his heart away and isn’t sure the woman he loves deems him worthy.
That’s also what makes his reintegration of his words beautiful. For, he doesn’t retract but extends himself again for clarity. Not only is he promising to never leave her or abandon her as her fiancé and later husband, it’s also staunchly clear that what he’s saying now is included in that promise. That no matter what, she can rely on him. The thing is that he’s not trying to wear her down or hold her somewhere she doesn’t want to be, but rather explaining there is no escape from him because though he may not be entirely positive about her feelings, he knows what he wants and he’s unwavering from that decision. Therefore, he won’t allow her to deny their reality and plans to keep every word he’s said and wait until she feels safe.
Reactions, Ramblings and Remarks
I found it interesting that this episode highlighted the importance of promises and what an impact our word has on ourselves and other people. For any vow, promise or pact made or given is only managed and maintained by the trust that is formed, developed or decided by each party. Any relationship, of any type, unravels without trust— though not always predicated on the trustworthiness of the individuals involved but rather, their willingness to build and acknowledge its necessity. Both Phor Daed and Katesurang declared to their Karakate that their promise(s) to her would not be broken. And while I’m certain their motives reflect the same desires, in both cases, trust is the largest barrier.
And while Karakate and Katesurang are both guilty of the same “indiscretion,” one comes from a place of reasonable apprehension and the other, dark suspicion. Karakate is a person that knows how evil people can be, how manipulative and self-serving, not only because that describes herself, but because she learned those habits from past experiences. She had no other choice but to relinquish some control and extend a type of agreement/understanding to Katesurang in order to reach her goal, but anything beyond that, is not innately within her nature. And I seriously doubt she’s trying. She doesn’t want to accept her reality and let go, or empathize and that keeps her unable to believe that anyone could have good intentions toward her. Which in turn, I’m sure is another reason for her inability to disconnect from this world, regardless of any spiritual tie to Katesurang or their love for the same man. Karakate thinks she loves Phor Daed (and she may) but she’s never once reflected its true nature in life nor now in death. For she has yet to learn that love does not claim ownership, it actually does the exact opposite.
And that’s also our greatest indication that Katesurang most certainly loves Khun Phi (almost) as much as he loves her at this point. Throughout this entire episode, Katesurang wrestled with what to do about the two people in this scene and her grave concern for both leaves her emotionally exhausted. Katesurang has never wanted to carry all this responsibility alone but is possibly terrified at what telling the full truth will bring. She has no clue of the extent of Phor Daed’s feelings for her (and right now, I’m not sure that would be much consolation). However, her problem is not a complete lack of trust, but rather the vulnerability that comes with laying herself bear. It’s telling that she wants Phor Daed to confide and share with her, because it reflects a desire for intimacy and partnership, yet when he mirrors that sentiment, she can’t comply. No one could truly blame her reticence but let’s just be honest, while Katesurang has been searching for her best friend, there’s only one person she should bare her soul to and I can’t help but love that there is that underlying message here, especially in regards to Khun Rueng. That no matter how close she and Rueng are or ever appear, Phor Daed is the solace and security she truly needs.
And he’s painfully aware that the distance between them has everything to with her choosing not to confide in him. For earlier in the episode he remarks that she doesn’t trust him the way he believes in her. The way I understand that is he doesn’t question her motives or intentions but rather wishes she’d feel comfortable with him.
Once again, I think on the surface, these issues seem impassable, in that they appear to oppose one another and either Phor Daed or Katesurang will have to relent in order for true happiness to be fulfilled. But if you take a step back, I don’t think that is truly where the answer lies.