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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Classic Again Review: A feel good nostalgia

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Paul Tena
Paul Tena is an alumnus of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Politixxx Today and he also traverses into fiction writing in his spare time. Sometimes he goes by his pen name JPE Tena. His debut novel, The Lore Kingdom, was named an Honorable Mention in 2021 Lampara Prize. For more information, you may reach him via tenajpe@gmail.com.

Throwbacks invite memories that we’d rather set aside. However, some spark our inner child or simply bring out fond memories for us to linger. The movie Classic Again is a simple love story that helps us rekindle our own version of first love.

The remake

The Thai version of Classic Again is 2020 remake of the 2003 Korean Drama entitled The Classic. Though the Thai version remained faithful from the original timelines of the 1970s and 2000s, the Thai variety added details to make their own film unique in its own right. Like so, the remake enticed viewers to look forward for something to watch other than the story that was laid down by the original version. Surely, the parallel love stories of the mother and her daughter – from both Korean and Thai versions – truly captivate the audiences’ hearts.

Through flashbacks, the film will lead its viewers from both the past and the present. The non-linear narrative grips the audience as we travel in time to discover a similar fate of a daughter and her mother’s lost love.

The gist

Bota (Ranchrawee Uakoolwarawut) plays the lead role of the film. In the beginning, she’s captivated by the boy next door appeal of Non (Thitipoom Techaapaikhun). Bota suppressed her feelings for Non. By contrast, her friend named Poppy (Meiko Chonnikan Netjui), showed more of her affection for Non. Eventually, Poppy asked Bota to write a play wherein Non will star as the leading man while Poppy will play as the love interest. Bota did write the story that was eventually produced in a theater play. Though Bota felt uncomfortable with the situation, she pressed on and continued to hide her feelings.

A sudden twist of fate led Bota to discover something from her mother’s past – in particular, a photo of her mother’s first love. Ranchrawee Uakoolwarawut also played as the younger version of Bota’s mother named Dalah. In one short escapade, Dalah falls for a handsome but poor boy named Kajorn (Thitipoom Techaapaikhun). As teasing as the present timeline, Kajorn’s friend, Tanil (Tong Samitpong Sakulpongchai), also had feelings for Dalah. Tanil asked Kajorn to write love letters for Dalah – a parallel to the circumstances of the present timeline.

The tragic end of Dalah’s love story almost mirrored her daughter’s fate. Somehow, there were certain crucial moments that differed their love stories that will be revealed in the end.

A personal verdict

The story is neither a mind-blowing tale nor a unique concept. Fairly, it was a feel good flick that superimposed itself into dark messages of familial and teenage peer pressure. Considering that the story was borrowed by the Thais from the Koreans, we can see how challenging things can get when our family and friends step in the picture of our love affair especially in the context of Asian societies. These complexities often hurt us the most without anybody’s consideration.

The movie can also attract its viewers to question their own self experiences by relating to the characters. Thus, in my book, the movie was captivating enough to sit around and to binge-watch without the hassle of feeling empty after the film. In addition, the whole movie’s cinematography had its ease that will keep you wanting for more. Though, in totality, I have reservations with the overuse of water as an element of conveying the story. Still, it was worthwhile. So if you want an alternative love story to sit on, Classic Again should land on your bucket list of laid back Asian drama movies.

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