Recognize this snack?
It's Tao Kae Noi! The fried seaweed snack we all see commercialized on TV, on the side of the rod maes, at BTS stations, and of course, right on the shelves of the 7-Eleven down the street. But do you know what impresses me more about the snack than its availability at 3000+ locations for a cheap price? That the owner of this Thai, multi-billion-baht snack brand was only 19 when he shook hands with the big bosses at 7-Eleven Thailand HQ. Oh and did I mention that at the time his family was 40 million baht in debt?
To be honest, I knew none of this before Wednesday night when I attended the pre-release (for Commarts students) of the new GTH movie, TOP SECRET: Wai Roon Pun Laan (TOP SECRET: Teenage Billionaire). The story is based on the real success of Itthipat Kulpongvanich, "Tao Kae Noi" himself. (Tao Kae Noi means Young Entrepreneur or Little Millionaire.)
Directed by Songyos Sugmakanan, an alumni of my faculty, TOP SECRET is apparently the first biopic about a Thai entrepreneur. Hopefully, it won't be the last because I do enjoy The Social Network type movies. For a film about a convenient store snack, the scenes are uncommonly artistic. But then again, this is a GTH film. One of my favorite scenes was the turning point of the story, when Ittihipat, or "Top", in the car with his girlfriend, eating some fried seaweed she brought back from the beach, realizes he wants to start a fried seaweed business. Okay, that description sounds cheesy, but it really was visually aesthetic.
In a chestnut *movie allusion*: good story, true story, GTH, Top played by heartthrob (albeit with a very 'guan teen' face) from BBA Chula, fried seaweed. Go watch it. And don't forget to buy a bag of Tao Kae Noi seaweed to accommodate the viewing experience.
|Left: the least guan teen of this movie's promotional posters. Oh, brother.|
Top is played by Patchara "Peach" Chirathivat.
The real Top will be 27 this December
The only warning I have to offer is that it'll make you feel like an unmotivated slob. I am not doing enough to make a living. Look at me, blogging for no money.