The story took place in the Himalayan region. The three neighboring states namely, Kasik(North), Bandurath(Middle) and Danta(South), had plotted against one another for a long time. Though brilliant,it was known that the King of Kasik was extremely brutal. So when the princess of Danta, the king's betrothed, was at the tripoint waiting to be escorted to Kasik, she decided to flee into Bandurath to seek refuge. After the Crown Prince of Bandurath took her into his protection, profoundly insulted and offended, the Kasikan king sneaked into Bandurath and abducted Darshika, the princess of Bandurath, to get even with everyone. Winter was coming, the mountain passes would be blocked soon and the Bandurathan princess was alone surrounded by her enemies. There were those who wanted war, and those who preferred peace. However in the midst of this political crisis, love quietly blossomed. While pride, prejudice, profit, politics played significant roles in this world, it would seem Darshika of Bandurath was the only one who could bring peace to the region. Add Synopsis In Spanish
Cast & Credits
STORY (No spoilers)
Set in a fictional time with three fictional kingdoms just barely maintaining a fine balance amongst each other, this lakorn nicely sets the scene by immediately introducing a key circumstance which threatens to throw this fine balance off-course. The King of Kasik has engaged himself to the Princess of Danta in what looks to be a win-win situation for both countries. Bandurath, stuck in the middle between these two countries, nervously observes in anxious anticipation. On the day when Kasik was to receive the Princess of Danta at the tri-point - the place where all three of the countries were connected - things took an exciting turn when said Princess fled into Bandurath soil to escape from the marriage. Clearly a diplomatic faux pas on epic proportions, this event sets off a whole series of future events and circumstance which would impact all three royal families like never before.
Does this premise sound intriguing? If it does, then you should really consider watching this lakorn despite its 1996-age tag. Yes, the video quality is not as sharp nor as bright and pleasing to the eyes as the newer HD lakorns these days, but I have to admit that considering its over-20 year age tag, it was not a completely fuzzy blur either. The outdoor open-air scenes were more than serviceable in quality with the indoor and night-time scenes being a little more patchy. It was still a decent watch, so if this is a sticking point, be encouraged to give this show a try because it is the story that will pull you in.
Being a romance-junkie, I am naturally a sucker for fairytale romances, especially of fairytale romances done right. This one charmed me off my feet with its delightful characters and simple but nicely-developed story. The romance between our main leads was this slow simmering bubbling burn with the intensity ratcheting up a little more episode by episode, and I don't know about you but I found myself getting goosebumps from it despite its restrained and conservative nature. So delicious!
Our main leads weren't the only ones to have a love story too - there are two other secondary couples also slowly being created alongside our main one. Each couple has its own very different dynamic from the others which can make for a refreshing change to the tempo, if you like that sort of thing. I, for one, was heartily absorbed in our main leads' romance, but I did appreciate the change of scene and intensity whenever it was these couples' turn on-screen. I think I might have slowly self-combusted under the main male lead's smouldering gazes if there was not a change of scene, lol.
And on that note, it is worth mentioning that the pacing in this lakorn is one that is measured and sedate - there are quite a few scenes where the camera takes its time to pan on the scenery or on the characters, which allows the scene to sink in and sit with you. This heightens and draws out the emotional scenes but some people might also find it to be too slow and too draggy. It is definitely a directorial style and dramatic license employed by the production team but I personally think that it adds and builds on the fairytale nature of the show, and therefore appropriate.
The kingdom politics does feature itself fairly regularly in between - inevitable considering the whole setup and premise of the show. It is not too over-powering though, and not too complicated to have lost you either. While some may be tempted to fast-forward through these scenes, I would like to encourage you to try and sit through them because they're not too heavily political but it does lend the show a more weighty and rounded dimension and it gives you added insights into the internal motivations of our characters too. And some of the banter between the ministers of each of the three countries can be rather amusing too.
Which brings me to one of the best parts of the show, in my opinion: the dialogue. I love the dialogue. It's not face-value words but, like your old classic literature, there are implied things and under-tones hidden amongst what is being said, and the repartee between our main leads, or those between the King of Kasik and his two loyal bodyguards (Benli and Rajik), are full of humour and hidden, implied statements. Such witty and clever banter is such a rarity in shows these days that I particularly appreciated and enjoyed it here. And the King of Kasik's romantic lines? Goosebumps-inducing stuff.
Final word on the production value. Not very high but I personally think it was decent considering its time and the scale of the story's setting. I surprisingly liked the unpretentious nature of this show but I also acknowledge that there are weaknesses in some of its sets. Minor issue for me, but I know this is a subjective opinion.
While the show does provide generous amounts of screen-time for our main leads, it didn't forget to also allow its supporting and side characters to shine by giving them space to grow too. There are plenty of different personalities in this show, which is one of the things which make it charming for me because they add a lot of variety and spice. No real cardboard cut-out characters or crazy antagonists here. Another refreshing change from your modern-day lakorns. Each character down to the ministers, the bodyguards and the ladies-in-waiting were nicely and humanly portrayed, which helps to make this show come alive.
Spotlight on the main leads:
NAT MYRIA BENEDETTI as Darshika, Princess of Bandurath, was a good casting choice. She was beautiful and carried herself regally throughout the show, befitting her character as the intelligent, noble and strong-willed princess who captured the heart of a King. I loved her character in this show, and I loved how Nat portrayed her throughout. She was entirely believable as someone born into royalty from birth and given all the education and teaching in kingdom politics and operations so that she would be an able support and helper to her brother, the Crown Prince of Bandurath. She had the haughty dignity of her station, but could also be warm and kind to those serving around and under her. In short, she was royalty personified. Well done to Nat here.
NUM SORNRAM TAPPITUK as Rangsimant, King of Kasik, was also great casting choice. His complexion, his hair and his looks which gave him a tribal, warrior-type vibe was very appropriate for the savage reputation of Kasikans. Especially when you contrast him with the Crown Prince of Bandurath who had a very european look (the Bandurathian royal family have very european looks in this show - nice consistent casting call here).
I liked how Num was able to show so many sides to this initially enigmatic and mysterious King. There were so many rumours about him, and his reputation as a savage had definitely preceded him, so it was interesting to see whether he would live up to them or not. Num did have this aura of command, and his serious, stern facade added weight to his kingly character. But it was his ability to show how differently Rangsimant's approach to Darshika was (which was very sweet) that sold his character for me. You could see his passionate, tender and caring side through his interactions with her. The soulful, smouldering looks he gives her, coupled with his romantic lines, can genuinely incur goosebumps. His King of Kasik was my favourite character in this lakorn - many thanks to Num for bringing him to life here!
I liked the music in this show. The background score reminds me very much of the old epic HK dramas I used to watch - very much a product of its time but one which I enjoyed. I also liked the songs in this show - those with vocals or their instrumental versions. I thought the background music and score were generally very well-employed throughout the show and there were some scenes which were made a lot more impactful because of them. Nicely done.
I don't have many Asian fairytale romance dramas in my database to enjoy so this show has entered my store of shows with a very high re-watch value as a result. Dated production value aside, this show has been enthralling, captivating and charming. I wished I had more episodes of it to watch, gah.
And the actors, the main couple Num and Nat really done a great job in potraying their roles especially King Rangsiman with his childish behaviour, his love for Princess Darshika, and his responsibility to his Kingdom perfectly showed in his face and action. I'm rooting for Princess Darshika from the beginning that she can tame the King and when they both finally fall in love, it's not hard for her to control him because she know him well even more than himself. The relationship between The King of Kasik and his 2 royal guards is also one of the gem in this drama, I love their bromance(?) like how they want to advice the King but ended up agreeing with him because in their mind King Rangsiman is always have a good decision. I know from the beginning that Rajit will fall for Kravan, they both cute together. I'm secretly hoping Benli would get a better woman though. But I have a little problem with The Crown Prince of Bandurath, he is so awkward! Oliver doesn't really do a good job here. Princess Manisara was acted well, too bad The Crown Prince outshined by her even though he got more screentime.
Rewatch value is a definite yes, I will always come back to this drama maybe once a month? I've watched it twice this month actually.
Overall this drama is great, though you can get a 10 if you give me a better ending! *screaming to the dramagods, "why the hell did you give me this kind of ending?!*