By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

The 2022 Thai series ‘The Eclipse’ revolves around a sinister school ‘curse’ which is believed to punish students to don’t follow its norms. The first few episodes were quite weird/uninteresting and unintentionally funny, making it seem like the show is about a bunch of student prefects who behave as if they are in a cult and not a student body. There’s literally a scene where the prefects burn candles and take an oath to uphold the school’s honor. So what happens when some rebel students flagrantly violate rules, will they bear the burnt of the ‘curse’ or is it just a urban legend to keep kids in line?

Directed by Golf Tanwarin Sukkhapisit, the romantic-mystery is spread over 12 episodes, with First Kanaphan Puitrakul, Khaotung Thanawat Ratanakitpaisan playing protagonists Akk and Ayan respectively. Akk is the head prefect at the all boys school called Suppalo and is obsessed with upholding the school’s strict rules and regulations. New student Ayan challenges Akk’s beliefs and encourages a gang of students who constantly demonstrate against the administration demanding change. For example, why have jackets as part of the uniform in a tropical region?

If it weren’t for the chemistry between the two leads, a lot of viewers would’ve stopped watching it after two episodes. Although, it’s a well intended show, the writers try to show the school as a microcosm of a corrupt world, where leaders suppress the masses with bizarre diktats. But the teachers were extremely stuck up and unnecessarily harsh on students, like they are running a prison and not an educational institution. The exaggerations make it difficult to take the whole ‘students vs system’ theme seriously. The writers throw in a ‘mysterious death’ in the mix, which one of the protagonists sets out to investigate, but that sub-plot just loses steam completely.

What does work for this series is the clean picturesque cinematography. Most of the plot unfolds on the school premises or within dorms, but some outdoor scenes set by the sea are visually stunning. As mentioned earlier, First Kanaphan Puitrakul and Khaotung Thanawat Ratanakitpaisan are quite magnetic as Akk and Ayan. Their slow-burn romance is the highlight of the show and Khaoutung surprises with his nuanced performance as Ayan (he was quite unbearable as the lead in Tonhon Chonlatee), an intuitive student who isn’t afraid to question those in authority. It was refreshing to see the teen Ayan being straightforward about his crush on Akk. He doesn’t indulge in silly shenanigans or mind-games, instead he blatantly flirts and makes his intentions clear. First Kanaphan is sincerely convincing as the head prefect who simply follows rules like a puppet until forced to look at the injustice of it all. His struggle with his emotions and sexuality were realistic and poignant. Louis Thanawin Teeraphosukarn and Neo Trai Nimtawat as the secondary couple Thuapu and Khanlong have an unnecessarily long sub-plot to themselves.

Watch this series for First Kanaphan Puitrakul and Khaotung Thanawat Ratanakitpaisan. You can stream it for free on Youtube.

It’s a 6/10 from me.

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