Adapted from the 1999 Thai classic directed by Pen-Ek Ratanaruang that goes by the same name, 6ixtynin9: The Series is an absurd thriller comedy. The plot, the characters, and the humor together make this Thai series a must-watch. The six episodes are compact, thoroughly entertaining, and thought-provoking. What is also interesting is the constant background commentary about an ongoing student protest (the 2020–2021 student protest in Thailand) demanding freedom of expression, amending the constitution, and reforming the monarchy. The series unfolds right after the pandemic, when the economic condition of the country was poor, and unemployment was on the rise. We are introduced to Monruedee Sarnpan, aka Toom, an employee at an insurance company who lives a routine life. Her life revolved around her job, but she felt completely helpless and clueless when she was fired at random. The employee of the month certificate no longer held the prestige and value that it once did, and Toom was forced to return to her gloomy apartment with an uncertain future.
How did Toom end up with a BAG full of money?
In the first episode of 6ixtynin9, after the awkward conversation with the nerd guy who was one of Toom’s neighbors, Toom had to figure out a way to deal with the sudden crisis. She did not have enough money to sustain herself, and the job market was unpromising. She wanted to shoot herself in the mouth and just end her painful existence, but even that was not really an option. Toom woke up the next morning, going about her routine as per usual, and while taking out her trash, she noticed a brown box. A parcel was delivered to her door that she had no knowledge of. Her instinct was to find out what was inside, and that was when she saw the money. Toom assumed someone was trying to trick her or perhaps had left the parcel at her door by mistake, and so she placed it back where it was. But immediately, a couple crossing her apartment dashed into the box and handed Toom the parcel. Toom was convinced that it was not a trick, and she decided to keep the money for herself. The couple who walked by her apartment were Tud (Teddy), a popular rap artist, and his girlfriend, Milli. They were visiting the tattoo artist who lived next door, and Tud had plans to do drugs there (a story that gradually unfolds in the six episodes).
So, whose money did Toom get her hands on? And how? In 6ixtynin9, we get to know that the money belonged to Kanchit, who ran a Muay Thai training center. He had fixed a match, and the one million was to be paid to the manager of the opponent player who conducted his illegal business in apartment 9 of the building where Toom lived. Both apartments were on the same floor; the only difference was that one was numbered 6 and the other 9. The number plate nailed on Toom’s door would often flip upside down, and it would appear to be 9. Kanchit’s men made the mistake of leaving the parcel at Toom’s apartment, thinking that it was apartment 9. Kanchit’s men, Bum and Noi, forcefully entered Toom’s apartment once they realized that they had made a mistake. They ransacked her apartment, and the moment Noi got hold of the money, Toom smacked him in the head with a vase. Bum immediately attacked her, and she ended up stabbing him. She had two bodies to get rid of, and she had gotten too deep into the mess.
How Did The Cop End Up In Toom’s Apartment?
When Kanchit’s men discovered Bum and Noi dead in Toom’s apartment, they assumed that the man they were dealing with had tricked them. According to Kanchit’s theory, Toom was also a part of the gang, and they stole one million, murdered Bum and Noi, and lied about not receiving the money to get another million out of him. Meanwhile, the person Kanchit had a deal with turned out to be Toom’s boss, Tong, who worked as a CEO at an insurance company during the day and was involved in illegal business during the night. Tong assumed Kanchit was double-crossing him and had his trusted henchman, Sompan, search Toom’s apartment for the money. The moment Sompan found the bag of money, he heard the apartment door open and hid inside the cabinet. Toom sensed someone had entered her apartment, and she was ready with a knife in her hand when there was suddenly a knock on the door. She opened the door to find a police officer who wanted access to her balcony to keep an eye on the apartment next door, where a drug party was to take place.
Busting the party and arresting Tud was a ticket to fame for John, but sadly, nothing went the way he thought it would. He noticed one of the dead bodies at Toom’s apartment and pulled out his gun. John heard a gun’s click from the cabinet and prepared to face the man hiding behind. John and Sompan came face-to-face, and they ended up shooting each other dead. Toom had two more bodies to take care of now. Things got awkward when John’s girlfriend, Jim, asked Toom for some fish sauce as a friendly neighbor. She later helped Toom bring the large chests she bought to hide the bodies into her apartment. Jim ended up staying for a while at Toom’s place and unknowingly revealed the perfect spot to dump the bodies. She was quite a curious soul, and when Toom refused to allow her inside her washroom (where John’s body was lying on the floor), she decided to spy on Toom through the exhaust window. Initially, it was all fun and laughter when Jim and her girlfriends watched Toom, but the moment she realized the man Toom was hiding in her washroom was her boyfriend, she lost her cool. She did not realize that John was dead and assumed that he was cheating behind her back.
What Happened To Sunny, Tud, John, Kanchit, And Tong?
During the course of 6ixtynin9, we were introduced to Sunny, the druglord the police were after. The police had fixed a surveillance device on Pued, one of Sunny’s men. While Pued was drowned for betraying Sunny, the device stayed on, and the police found the location of the next drug delivery. The plan was to catch Sunny red-handed. Meanwhile, Sunny was upset with Tud’s tone and decided to teach him a lesson once and for all. He mixed rat poison with the cocaine Tud had asked for. The moment Tud inhaled the coke, he dropped to the floor and died as a result of poisoning. The police arrived at the scene and asked Sunny to drop his weapon, but the druglord would not give up without a fight. Meanwhile, Kanchit and Tong met at Toom’s apartment. Unable to clear up the confusion, they held each other at gunpoint. When the phone at Toom’s apartment suddenly started to ring, they ended up shooting each other. In the next apartment, the police, Sunny, and his men lay lifeless on the floor. None of them made it, except Milli.
Toom was away at the time; she was busy dumping bodies into the swamp. Her day kept getting worse with her best friend, Fon, overdosing after a terrible breakup. Fon recovered after being admitted to the hospital but was eventually shot dead. Fon accompanied Toom to Kanchit’s place, where she went to get her fake passport, but was surprised to find Wiroj with a gun in his hand. He held Toom captive, but she somehow managed to overpower him and shoot him dead. When Toom returned to her apartment, she packed her bag with clothes and money and left for the airport. But by the time she reached the airport, the news about the gunfight started to spread. Toom’s name made the news since she was missing from her apartment. She could not leave the country, so she settled into a hotel room.
What did Toom choose to do with the money?
Toom’s life completely changed the moment she picked up the parcel left at her doorstep. Had she left it there, her best friend could have been alive, and she would not have turned into a wanted criminal. She wanted her dull life back, but it was next to impossible. Toom missed her carefree childhood days when her parents were there by her side to protect her. She needed someone to guide her now more than ever. Toom was close to her family; she had mailed them a portion of the money she found inside the parcel. It goes to show the reason behind her desperation and how important the job was to her.
During 6ixtynin9‘s ending, after spending some time alone in the hotel room, Toom decided to get rid of the blood-stained money. It destroyed her life, and she no longer wanted to keep it. She drowned the money and the rest of her luggage in the swamp. The next morning, a fisherman found the bag and discovered the money in it. Needless to say, he took it along with him. Toom got rid of her passport, her car, and the money. She walked away with just a tote bag on her shoulder. If Toom chooses to confront the problem at hand, she will have to explain her association with Tong and Kanchit. By going to the police, she will end up in trouble. Toom will possibly become a nameless entity dwelling in the city streets, accepting whatever work she can find to stay alive. Since Toom never met the angel, it is evident that she did not take her life.
John made it to the angel’s desk a second time after escaping once. Instead of becoming famous, he ended up getting his genitals chopped off by his girlfriend after she assumed he was having an affair. Sompan ended up living for 326 years, all thanks to his presence of mind. The nerd guy finally got arrested; he probably landed in trouble for making multiple calls to Toom’s landline. The police got access to his computer, and rest assured, he will be in prison for quite some time.
At the end of 6ixtynin9, you will be left wondering who the actual culprit was. Was Bum and Noi responsible for all the murders that follow after they make one terrible mistake, or is Toom the problem, considering she took the money that did not belong to her? Or, in the broader scope of things, is it the economic condition of the nation and the lack of empathy towards ordinary citizens trying to put food on the table? The series highlights how decisions are taken based on luck and fortune, further emphasizing the lack of thought behind it all. Companies are trying to get away without paying months of compensation to their employees by handing them a lump sum and making them feel fortunate for doing the bare minimum. If Toom had had her job, would she have made the same decision? Everyone around Toom repeatedly mentions how most people her age were out of jobs, so to think of it, Toom’s desperation represents the desperation of the youth of Thailand, most of whom were on the streets demanding a better life.
“6ixtynin9” is an absurd comedy thriller emphasizing the futility of everything that the world has come to believe as important. At the end of the series, none of the people involved in the money transaction survived. A random fisherman ended up with the money. The woman who tried to make things work in her favor gave up, realizing that she ultimately had nothing under control. The police officer chasing fame died the most disrespectful death, and Sompan’s blessing could well have been a curse, and we will never know. The battle for a respectable existence continues on the streets, where individuals finally realize they are more powerful together.