To show gratitude to her adoptive father, Rin Rapee accepts to disguise herself as his real daughter and marry Saran, to keep the promise their fathers had made in the past. Saran is a cold-hearted guy who suffers from his previous love. Although he knows that Rin's adoptive family has deceived him, he does not wish to return his bride, since he gets to know her beauty and kindness. Love slowly grows. But soon their love is tested, when Duangsawad, his ex-lover, returns to him, while Rin also feels guilty with the secret she is hiding from him. Edit Translation
Cast & Credits
STORY (No spoilers)
For me, the idea of a couple gradually growing to love each other through an arranged marriage is an appealing concept because I am someone who carries the belief that while passion and romantic love is great for its drama and high tension, it doesn't stand the test of time. What stands the test of time is the love and devotion that comes from slowly knowing a person for who he/ she is, faults and all, and still choosing to forgive and accept the person into your heart, and to strive to make things work. Warm, gentle love vs explosive passion = warm gentle love wins for me. So, the fact that this is not your average dramatic, explosive slap/ kiss Thai lakorn, already makes this a very different beast.
The story is set in a sort of 1950s setting - love the period feel of it with the fashion and the sets. The pace might be a bit slow for those who are used to fast-paced, snappy, dramatics. By contrast, it has a relaxed, dreamy feel here. The show takes it sweet time in showing us the background of the main characters, and bulk of it is focused on your everyday living during that era.
However, this show is not exempt from the some of the usual drama tropes of bitchy second female lead. I am honestly shocked at her outrageous and ridiculous behaviour. And I am not sure if it is dramatic license or not, but some of the scenes with her come across incredibly unrealistic to me. There is also a running plot through the series of a criminal group which the main male lead is supposed to apprehend. The leader of the group, the White Tiger, practices black magic and uses it for nefarious purposes. Some of this will probably seem rather far-fetched to a viewer who does not subscribe or believe in this sort of thing, but as I come from an Asian/ Oriental culture myself, I do know that some people really do believe in this sort of thing. So, if this aspect of the show does not float your boat, feel free to ignore or fast-forward those scenes. I certainly did that myself and found that it did not detract much from the main storyline which was about how the two main leads fall for each other gradually through living with each other and discovering more about one another.
There are other secondary couplings (the 2 sisters of the female lead), but I freely confess that they did not really catch my attention because my main focus throughout this series was on the 2 main leads. But these events certainly lend some drama and also break what some people might deem as monotonous from watching the 2 main leads interact.
I personally did not find the slowness and the gradual budding love and understanding between the main leads to be monotonous or boring in the slightest. In fact this was really the sole reason I kept watching this series to the end because, as I mentioned earlier, I am a sucker for gradual building of love and trust, and for gentle and warm love.
I also particularly liked the sort of themes the show explored, about the type and kind of person one looks for in a life partner, and the kind of flexing and compromising one has to make in a relationship in order to make things work. Because life can be long and paths can be difficult, and it is good for the characters to examine what sort of life partner they would want to have with them as they make this sort of journey. Not many lakorns explore such wide, over-arching concepts and values, so this lakorn has more depth and dimension in itself, compared to loads of others out there.
PS: The editing can also be rather choppy - one of the negative things about this show. Scenes are abruptly cut with the accompanying background music also suddenly ceasing and before you know it, a completely new scene and background music jumps in. This makes for a jarring watch, especially when it happens at particularly emotional/ poignant scenes. The editing could definitely do with more work.
PPS: On hindsight, those sudden breaks of scene could very likely be due to advertisement breaks during the show's airing.
As I was mainly fixated on the 2 main leads, this will be my main review point.
BELLA RANEE - who plays Rin aka Brulalee, did well in portraying her to be the sort of noble gentlewoman of high society. Generally restrained, gentle and refined, I enjoyed her character and personality very much. I also like that she comes across very hands-on with the housework (though who really cooks in the kitchen with those outfits?), and is not a wilting wallflower when she feels strongly about something. Rin is not a one-dimensional character, and I like that she is relatable and realistic (unlike the caricaturish second female lead).
JAMES JIRAYU - who plays Saran, looks rather young to be a Deputy Sheriff and the male lead, but I warmed up to him because unlike your alpha-male dominant character, Saran comes across confident but not too aggressive or over-bearing. He is also humanly flawed. What I do like about this lakorn is that Saran rather quickly warms up to Rin and is willing to give her a chance and make things work out with her early in the show. James makes it easier to like his Saran character and understand his conflicts. He has a sweet smile and can carry the occasional cheeky look, which makes his character rather cute at times.
Also, I thought that the 2 main leads looked good together and there is a comfortable natural-ness to their acting which makes their love and warmth believable. It is on the strength of this great chemistry that I enjoyed the series as much as I did, so well done to both James and Bella for their portrayal of their characters in making me like them and root for their happy ending.
I actually like the soundtrack and thought that it suited the mood and the pace of the show very well. There is this slow, dreamy mellow feel to the music which is very reminiscent of the period itself. However, towards the later half, I thought the theme songs for Rin and Saran were starting to get over-played. it would have been nice if they had changed the songs from the second half of the show onwards to prevent song-fatigue.
I probably would not re-watch the entire show again but I may re-watch certain bits of it for the Saran/Rin interactions because they were lovely and sweet. Overall, it is a lovely, sweet, warm and slow-build little show. If you like this sort of style and premise, then you really should consider giving this a try - it certainly won't disappoint you on that front.
Rin was a good female protagonist, had great sense and presence. From beginning to end I admired her and, to be sincere, if I ever come to marry I hope I'll be able to be at least 30% of the wife she was. Even when the female rival plotted against her and Saran's wedding, she always acted accordingly with elegance. It's hard to find a main character like her in dramaland in general, so I was really surprised to find one in a lakorn of all things.
I think some of that also applies to Saran. From the moment he started opening up to Rin (what happened really early, another good surprise) he was really sweet. The only thing about him that made me a little mad was that he was too gentle for his own good at times. His first love didn't deserve 1% of his consideration towards her... That bitch really irritated me.
Now, besides the usual bitch character that is always present in any romance drama there is, the only other thing that I must complain about was the "White Tiger" and his magic thing. For me, that part of the lakorn was totally unnecessary and what would cause me distress if I ever were to recommend this to someone who isn't really into dramas and lakorns in special. Watching that part made me extremely silly, I wasn't even believing what I was watching at times and every time someone would enter my room I would simply stop watching out of embarrassment. I mean, really... Magic powers and all that in that kind of setting was horrible. This wasn't supposed to be a fantasy drama!!
The OST didn't really stand out to me. I would rewatch this only to see Saran's and Rin's beautiful relationship develop again. I just wish there were more kisses on the mouth instead of kisses on the forehead (which was seriously over used... I mean, there was this one episode where I counted at least five of them!!!)