The Struggle with Pride, Responsibility, & Humility
That’s the first word I think of when I think of The Eclipse.
I could spend hours breaking down the finer nuances, but instead, I want to focus on two in particular: pride and responsibility.
One of the first things pride makes people think about is the proverb: “Pride comes before the fall.”
To some extent, this is true, and The Eclipse is a spectacular example of how pride can lead to destruction and how it can hold us back from accepting ourselves. The Suppalo school and its intense, arrogant pride in the unbending rules they are determined to uphold exemplify this type of ‘organized’ pride. It is an entity full of arrogance, hatred, and prejudice, a pride that only accepts what it deems acceptable.
But pride is a nuanced emotion that can center around the self or those we interact with.
In The Eclipse, social pride is divided into two categories, the school and the protestors. By doing so, viewers get a complex look at how pride can affect those around us. While the school is an example of how destructive specific organized prideful systems can be, the World Remembrance Club is an example of how far pride can carry us when everything else feels like it’s falling apart. It’s an example of why organizations that rally behind those targeted by others are essential, such as queer pride.
This brings me to responsibility.
Like pride, responsibility is a complex feeling that often centers around duty, whether it’s a duty to ourselves or a commitment towards a bigger whole.
The Eclipse embraces pride and responsibility, taking viewers into the depths of darkness these two feelings can sink people into and how far they can lift people up. Pride and responsibility aren’t inherently bad things but can be abused.
Society often stresses the importance of humility, and while being humble is attractive, it can also be frustrating. Every single character inside The Eclipse deals with some form of pride, responsibility, and humility. Each of them struggles to come to terms with themselves and with the system they all exist under. And while this is a school drama, what each character deals with is universally relevant to the three things people around the world face daily: pride, responsibility, and humility.
No matter the culture we live in or the country we come from, what separates us isn’t the color of our skin, genders, or nationalities; it’s the pride, responsibility, and humility we’ve been raised with. We’ve all grown up under a system, each of us maturing under an umbrella of the governments ruling our countries and the families who raised us. We’ve been taught to have pride in where we come from, to be responsible to the people we’re raised with, and to be humble to those with more power. There’s unity in coming together, but there’s also division in ignoring the weaknesses in the systems to which we’re taught to give our undivided loyalty.
Hence why dramas like The Eclipse are so significant. And it has nothing to do with the genre it’s a part of and all to do with the message it shares.
Pride in ourselves is important. Bearing responsibility for our own individual actions and thoughts is important. Being humble when we know we’ve made a mistake is important. The Eclipse gives us characters who learn to take pride in themselves, take responsibility for their mistakes, and humble themselves when the situation calls for it. But it also gives us characters whose pride and responsibility provide them with the courage to stand up in the face of injustice.
The hardest thing to do is to step back from something you’ve always had pride in because you realize it is wrong.
Every actor inside The Eclipse did an incredible job portraying the characters they were cast to play. And each character represents a part of a nuanced humanity.
Akk (First Kanaphan) is a conflicted character with immense pride in his school and in his prefect position. He has confidence in his abilities and strives to be the best at upholding his responsibilities. To do this, he ignores the plights of the few to protect the rules of the whole. But he loses himself in the process. He gives up his individual pride and responsibilities to uphold something he doesn’t entirely agree with, and it begins to emotionally scar him.
Ayan (Khaotung Thanawat) is an equally conflicted character who has experienced the darkness that believing in something to the point of losing one’s identity can cause. His uncle, a former teacher at the Suppalo school, has committed suicide, and Ayan is on a quest to discover why. In the process, he meets Akk and learns that falling in love means being proud of each other while also being humble enough to understand each other.
Thuaphu (Louis Thanawin) is the head of his class. He’s intelligent, quiet, and seemingly humble, but he’s seething with anger, leading him to do terrible things in his thirst for truth. Thua is a perfect example of the lengths we will go when we feel cornered. He’s a perfect example of the damage making radical choices can cause.
Khanlong (Neo Trai) is an unassuming prefect who follows the rules but questions them. He has feelings for Thua, but he’s afraid to accept those feelings. He’s a clear example of the general population, of people who aren’t necessarily happy with the system they live under but aren’t willing to shake it up.
Wasuwat (AJ Chayapol) is the character who surprised me the most, but he’s also the one I relate to the most. He’s humble, but he’s also strongly confident in himself. He sees the bigger picture rather than a narrowed viewpoint. Like most artists, he’s tuned into the emotions of those around him. He’s quiet and conflicted but can push past both traits to open people’s eyes through the camera lens he loves so much. He’s a prime example of how influential art can be. It is the artist’s responsibility to see the bigger whole and to share that with the world in a way people can understand.
All of these characters are brought together through a bigger tragic story: the suicide of Teacher Dika and the world to which Dika’s lover, Chadok, finds himself tied. Ultimately, Dika and Chadok have the most heart-rending story in The Eclipse. Although we only glimpse the happy romantic world they shared, we see the consequences of the system that tore them apart.
I’m a fan of nuanced storytelling. As a writer, I’ve always felt it was my responsibility to convey the complexity of human emotion, whether I’m writing romance, fantasy, or contemporary. There is always a piece of myself and the world I live in inside those stories. And inside those stories are the things I’ve learned about life and our world.
The writers, director, actors, and crew involved in The Eclipse all deserve attention for the story they tell on screen.
A story full of intense chemistry, The Eclipse delivered beautiful fulfilling romances to the viewers watching, but it also went above and beyond, providing a story that I will remember most because it carefully tackled pride and responsibility. There’s power in compromise, but there is also power in knowing when compromise isn’t possible.
For a story that offers all the feels while providing a deeper look at complex human emotions, check out The Eclipse on GMMTV’s Youtube channel.