Turning faith into fortune

Turning faith into fortune

‘The Believers’ invites viewers to question what they know

Turning faith into fortune

Religion or profit?

What if religion became a business strategy? The trailer for the much-anticipated Thai series, The Believers, poses the question, promising a unique blend of drama, thriller and social commentary.

Directed by Wattanapong Wongwan, the series presents an unconventional narrative where faith intersects with profit, set against the backdrop of beautiful provincial Thai temples. It tells the story of three young, ambitious entrepreneurs who find themselves buried in debt after their startup fails. Their fortunes seemingly change when they stumble upon an unconventional business opportunity — capitalising on people’s faith.

The series spotlights the delicate balance between respect for religion and the pursuit of wealth. Teeradon "James" Supapunpinyo, Pachara "Peach" Chirathivat and Achiraya "Ally" Nitibhon skilfully bring the lead characters to life, navigating the murky world of religious politics and ill-gotten gains. The series also features memorable characters in Patchai "Pup" Pakdeesusuk, Channarong "Tik" Khantheethao and Paophet "Petch" Charoensook.

Interwoven in the narrative are the personal struggles of the three main characters, each dealing with their own family issues amidst their quarter-life crisis. Through their journey, the audience is invited to question their own beliefs.

Wattanapong, one of Thailand’s up-and-coming directors, took his inspiration for the series from his childhood. Born and raised in a Buddhist family, he visited temples on special occasions and learnt about the religion in school. Over time, as society evolved and his perspectives shifted, he began to question conventional beliefs, which prompted him to start drafting this series five years ago.

“At the beginning, the religion felt familiar to me, but through extensive research, I uncovered deeper insights that I had previously imagined,” he says. “As I developed the script, I observed society becoming more open-minded, with the very questions that intrigued me now emerging in contemporary discourse. Therefore, I believe the time has come to delve into the questions that have piqued my curiosity since childhood.”

When asked about his approach to the sensitive topic of religion, he shares, “We didn’t make this series to criticise religion. But we wanted to explore the questions we’ve always had and to find answers through the characters and their stories.

“Our goal is to get people to question the familiar. Viewers, whether they’re religious or not, will come away with different perspectives. If it gets people talking and debating, then we’ve achieved what we set out to do with The Believers,” he adds.

Beyond the thrilling drama and social commentary, The Believers also unveils layers of mystery and tension while exploring topics such as friendship, family, and love.

Where does one draw the line between faith and profit? Discover the answer in The Believers, premieres on March 27, on Netflix.

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