“You are my heart, my life, my one and only thought”
– Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Sometimes something cinematic comes along that smacks you immediately in the face as momentous. Initially, you might not want to believe that as it is not showy, splashy, or emotionally charged. Yet, it impassions you at your core. You begin to feel its power and impact on you from its inception. It seems to sense your need.
That is this BL. It is yet again another masterpiece from two underappreciated performers who take what they do so naturally to brilliantly new heights. I am, of course, talking about Mon Wongsrisai as Khao Nueng and Oak Runapnain as Kung Ten. These two are such a powerhouse couple in enacting simply basic love stories with deep conviction and faith. It becomes a privilege to watch them as they bring life to characters in such a real, genuine, unpretentious, and honest manner. And with that a love story with equal intensity.
It begins with them being rivals for the attention of a female who spurns both. Supposed enemies now, Nueng by happenstance sits down to eat at a restaurant that is owned by Ten’s mother. Initially not wanting to serve him, his mother forces him to, as he is now a paying customer. Their journey from sworn enemies to friends to companions to lovers is an exercise in symmetry. They begin to know each other and as they do, the walls that separate them are destroyed by the percipience of one another. They realize that they are more like each other than unlike.
More importantly, they enjoy the amity within and begin to see the world through the eyes of each other. Quickly, deeper connections are a natural result of being together. Soon, it becomes evident that they are both captivating and devoted to the other, with the day beginning and ending in each other’s company. Their thoughts are focused on the other and it is soon apparent that to remain apart from one other drains the battery of their very existence. Frankly, there is no better definition of love than this.
If you watched Mon and Oak in Country Boy 1 and 2 then you know them already. While strikingly similar in temperament to Keptawan and Nabdeo, they are not those characters. However, they took that same simple basic love of living, honesty, beauty, decency and turned that into Nueng and Ten. They showed that the qualities of what makes us human can be shown in simplistic, basic unfiltered form, which can be innocent in a variety of ways. An innocence not out of naivete but out of basic wholesomeness. They are who they are. These two young men are remarkable actors who, by simple gestures, are not afraid to be or show themselves. Never overacted and always feeling like a part of who they are, are also being portrayed in these characters. I believed and felt they were Nueng and Ten. Their chemistry is a bond that hopefully is unbreakable. Watching them together is like curling up with your favorite blanket (or stuffed animal) reading a good book after having one of the most satisfying days of your life. That is how good they are. Kudos to both. You are in the pantheon of great actors!
The main cornerstone of this series is something I dare not spoil for me. You will know it. Why? You will feel it! I cried at its beauty and honesty. It is one of the most cherished connections I have ever seen in any production between mother and son. It will be memorable long after perhaps most of the other scenes fade from memory. If you do not cry or at the very least feel moved, then you are not human.
There is a special scene (for members only) that encapsulates this whole series as well as the integrity of Nueng and Ten’s relationship. In this scene, a coworker at the restaurant is with them on their bed playing video games. He says to them he was ‘sorry’ for calling them a gay couple. They smile, look at each other, and Ten says, “How do you know we are not a gay couple?” Then proceeds to kiss Neung on the check and neck with Neung playfully doing the same thing. The friend looks at them and asks, “Are you gay?” Neither one answers; only look each other and kiss. No more needs to be said or done. This is the beauty and character of this series. It is simply brilliant in how it gets its message across. They say with simple actions what we mean with words. What is more powerful?
I am drawn to stories of simplicity, pure love, and no artificiality. All three are met here. It is an understatement to say this is one of the BEST BLs in the year 2022. I dare say, for me, THE best so far. It is sharp, clear, concise, with no pretentiousness, no glitz or glitter, and no artificial drama. God, this story is so warm and loveable. I want to take it with me wherever I go. The life they have is as utopian, even divine, as is possible to imagine.
I love it! Lo amavo! Me Encanto! Nagustuhan ko! Chan chxb man! Watashi wa sore ga sukidatta!
Rating- 5 out of 5