Thai Drama Review: Ruk Patiharn
So, NeeNee has been on a Thai drama kick, aka lakorns. I reviewed my first ever Thai drama Love Never Dies not too long ago. I went from a vampire love story to a secret identity with a Romeo and Juliet plot line. Again, in some ways Thai dramas are fresh with the language and their culture, but in others, it’s the same old, same old.
Ruk Patiharn aka Miracle of Love has a fairly typical plot in many respects. Our heroine Nichamon Chutiman’s (Kimberly Ann Voltemas) parents die and she leaves Sydney, Australia to travel back to Thailand where her grandparents live. She has never met her grandparents as her parents eloped against their parents’ wishes. When Nichamon makes it to Thailand she finds out that Grandfather Chutiman passed away three years ago. This means her maternal grandmother is the only family she has left. Nichamon then almost gets hit by a car. The man inside, Chaiburathut (Smart Krissada Pornweroj), is cold, quickly angered, and full of prejudice. He’s unwilling to believe that Nichamon isn’t a swindler and tries to take her to the police. Nichamon flees for her life and gets mistaken for a new housekeeper named Pranom. Since Nichamon has no money and no idea exactly where her grandmother is, she decides to pretend to be Pranom and work for the Sonalai family.
The plot then revolves around Khun Thut and his obsessive mistrust of both Nichamon and the Sonalai family (he believes they are the cause of his father’s suicide) and his growing love for Nichamon, the forbidden love between Thut’s little brother Rawipaat (Alex Rendell) and the Sonalai’s daughter Nammon (Mint Chalida Wijitwongtong), Nichamon trying to keep both her secrets, and Nichapaat (Jane Janesuda Parnto) and Khun Pongtep’s interference in Nichamon’s and Thut’s romance.
This show is 21-22 episodes long. I watched it straight through (it took some time as each episode is like one and a half hours), which means it wasn’t all that bad and something I needed to take a break from. That does not mean; however, that I was not frustrated very often. Why? The one thing I hate in many dramas is how long certain plot lines drag. It took 21 episodes for the big reveal and everyone to find out that Pranom is really the missing Nichamon. That was just soooo annoying. Yes, I know why our leading lady didn’t want to reveal her real name. She overheard her grandmother saying that she only wanted to find her missing daughter and granddaughter so they can sign off on their inheritance. That would definitely make you think that you were unloved and unwanted. It wasn’t the truth, unfortunately. What it really was is her grandmother blustering. Her grandmother really did want to find her daughter and granddaughter and take them back in, but she just couldn’t be outwardly as honest as she should be. Nichamon should have given her a chance a lot earlier, but no.
Then we must add to that the long misunderstanding of Nammon thanks to Paat. In order to fight his feelings and keep his distance from Nammon, Paat treated her rudely. And when he still found himself softening more and more towards her, he decides to use Nichamon (who at this time was Nammon’s housekeeper, friend, and confidant). He pretends that he has a relationship with Nichamon who can’t convince Nammon that Paat is lying. So…it takes them a long time to resolve this part of their relationship to become an official couple. Then we constantly butt up against the feud between the two families. The feud is more on Thut’s side than anyone elses. He won’t listen to reason. Again, you know he loved his father very much and was very torn up when he killed himself, but at the same time, he was completely irrational in his hatred of the Sonalai family. I wasn’t too annoyed by how long it took to wrap up the feud. That was to be expected.
I was also annoyed by the leading male’s attitude. He’s a person with a quick temper who always believes he’s right. Thus he never really looks at Nichamon or his brother to see who they really are. All he sees, at first, is his horrible prejudice against him. He ignores his brother’s good deeds and thinks he’s just a lying playboy. He refuses to believe that Nichamon is innocent and always calls her a swindler and accuses her of using herself to land a rich man. He’s not a horribly unlikeable male lead. He has his golden moments. Some of his teasing of Nichamon is priceless. It’s cute to see the softer, funner side that comes out from being in her company. Nammon and Paat have a lot of similar moments. In fact…their relationships are really so parallel its almost redundant, but it was nice to see the young couple vs. the older couple. Not that Nichamon is really older than Paat or Nammon. Thut is around 30 and Nichamon is like 20. Age gap. Not a bad one. Plus, Nichamon is very mature for her age even if she does do stupid things on occasion.
The acting in this drama was great even if the story line did lag and become repetitive at times. Kimberly and Smart were really great to watch and they had some great chemistry. I also loved seeing the rural, farm/ranch areas in Thailand. I don’t think of ranching or farming when I think of that country, so it was interesting to see and I really enjoyed it.
So, in Love Never Dies, the constant mooning of the lead couple staring at each other grated on my nerves. In this drama, it’s the flashbacks. Sure, the flashback technique is useful, but they used it very badly and awkwardly in this drama. Plus, some of the moments they decided to use in flashbacks really didn’t suit the overall mood of the scene so it did end up detracting and distracting from the emotions.
Ah, it was an enjoyable drama. I know, it sounds like I find to many faults, but like I said, I marathoned this drama in like two weeks. I can’t marathon a drama if I find it annoying and grating. So this drama did have the ability to draw me in and keep me vested. I would sit and chuckle at some of the antics of our leads and yell at my computer screen when Thut’s character was being deliberately obtuse and Nichamon was stubbornly refusing to reveal the truth. I also yelled every time Thut had a chance to discover Nichamon’s identity and it failed every time.
Besides the drawn out ending and Nichamon running away for her cousin’s happiness, it was a good drama with a happy ending all around. Definitely worth the invested 40 or so hours.
Oh, and you can’t forget about the awesome OST for this drama. The music really was great and suited the show (although they did have some music editing issues with scenes). I especially enjoyed the song “Kwam Rak Mai Mee Tee Hai Kam Wa Glua” (song #15 on their album Endless) by Instinct which translates as “There’s No Place for the Word Fear in Love.” It contrasted nicely with the more acoustic theme sung by Lula called “Ruk Pah Ti Hahn”.