Padiwarada- Arranged Marriage, Anyone?
Posted on January 25, 2016
The title of this lakorn speaks to what it means to be a “model” wife in historical, olden context. Back then not only is a model wife educated and skilled in the world of home making, but she must be loyal and tend to her husband’s every wants and needs. She’s the epitome of a lady on the street and a freak in bed. Initially, I was turned off by the perception of the storyline, do I really need to see another story surrounding domestic stereotypes? Is the heroine going to be bullied because she’s expected to behave in a docile, non confrontational manner? Lo and behold, this story is NOT about that. In fact, toss those impressions out the window.
Instead, Padiwarada is about a strong woman who makes the best and most of the situation life throws her way. Rin (Bella Ranee) was orphaned at birth, left for abandonment by a rich person’s property. Luckily, those rich people took her under their wing, and although she was not adopted to be another daughter (and she performs all housekeeping duties, servant like if you will) she is embraced as one of their own. Rin was trained from the best and was offered education rare to women in that time. Despite her status, she is as good, if not better than the hi-so ladies. She is kind but stands up for what she believes in. Beautiful but strong. She aptly compares herself to a jasmine flower, easy to grow (easy going), doesn’t draw attention (people may pass by the street without even noticing). But what she doesn’t point out is that jasmine also symbolizes sweetness and elegance, a flower that releases an addicting, powerful fragrance. Beautiful, but serves a healing purpose too.
One does not come to appreciate it, but the trace of its scent follows you. Certainly Saran (James Jirayu), our gun slinging Ballad, can attest to that. Our hero has also encountered some tragedy in his life, Saran finds himself- at around high school age- going from riches to rags. His wealthy father fell prey to bad business decisions and lost all of his wealth. Distraught he ends up killing himself, leaving Saran and his mother destitute. Much like Rin, Saran makes lemon out of lemonade. Things got real, fast. He was sent to live in the pagoda for schooling and lived a life of a poor temple boy. But his hardworking, and natural talents land him in government work, where he vows to be an honest Ballad who look after the people. But he also has to make a living too. Saran has a devil may care attitude about his life, he simply puts his life on the line to catch bad guys, but so that he can earn the reward money too. Mainly so he could buy a ring and propose to the love of his life, his best friend and lover, Duangsawat (Mint Natwara).
Little did he know, (well maybe deep down this only confirmed his self realization thoughts), Duang was arranged to be married to a richer, titled gentlemen, and she intends on following through with her parent’s wishes. This came out of left field for Saran, this is the woman he intends on spending the rest of his life with. Heartbroken, Saran decides to take on the biggest bad in a far away province. Unable to witness her son’s depression, mom decides to bring in the big guns- redeeming a betrothal promise from his father’s best friend. Apparently one of his father’s buddies promised his daughter to Saran. (This is a normal practice.) Mom never intends on actually seeking out the promise, since Saran already had a girlfriend, but she believes that the only way to get over somebody, is to get under somebody.. wise woman.
Turns out, Saran’s father’s best buddy is Rin’s employer/hero/surrogate father. He has two daughters, both of marrying age. But he’s a warm and loving man, although he intends on honoring his vow to his bestie, he still considered his daughter’s feelings. It’s not something that is forced, but the respect and love for their father would entail any one of his daughters to willingly comply. Mom, Rin’s heroine, is distraught over this arrange marriage and the possibility of sending either one of her beloved daughters to a man they know nothing about. Rin feels at a loss on how to help, but feels badly for everyone involved. She wishes she could help, at least find a way to repay her surrogate-like parents for her gratitude.
You guessed it. Rin agrees to the arranged marriage with Saran. She figures it’s the best way to repay them, and besides her “mom” was arranged to be married to her “dad” and they sure ended up well, what’s the worse that could happen? Dad already did some research on Saran and doesn’t have reservations on what type of a man the younger man turned out to be. He feels rest assured that he can send any one of his daughters, including Rin. The caveat, or deceptive part is that in order to make it seem like Rin is actually his daughter, she needed to change her name and surname to the oddest daughter’s name, and no one must know of her upbringing.
It is agreed that Rin would travel to the rural province and live in the same house with Saran (his mom as chaperone) a month before the wedding. Lots can happen in a month’s time. Saran didn’t actually think that the older man would honor his promise, who in their right mind would send their daughter to live in a dangerous province and with a poor Ballad? He was wrong, but it doesn’t mean he has to like it. Their first impression was not to Rin’s expectation, heck she didn’t know what to expect, but certainly not this. Not only did the man forget to pick her up at the train station, when she first met him, he had a gun pointing at her face. He suspects that she’s lying to him, because just a few months earlier, his best friend had pointed him out to the eldest daughter with the same name as Rin, but she’s actually a different person. He knew immediately that he was being duped. Feeling insulted and correct in his original assumption that they would never send their daughter to him.
Rin couldn’t help looking guilty at him, it’s as if she’s conning him. But she is still determined to make the best of it and hold her end of the bargain with her “parents.”
For the first time, in a long time, we have characters who are lovable, in line with their characters and they totally do things that actually make sense. Imagine that! Rin is kind, respectful, but not a pushover. When she notices that her future husband keeps slighting her, she gets to the bottom of it. As if she can read him, in the middle of his unkind rebuttal, she throws a comment that takes the wind out of his sail. She surmised that he is less than thrilled about their marriage because of another woman. He is still in love with her and vows he would never give his heart to someone else. This gives Rin at least a measure of understanding for her future husband. He wasn’t being nasty because he’s a jerk, but he’s just heartbroken. She figures her future will not include love- although her mother in law truly believes that a broken hearted soul requires the most love, and at its weakest state, is the most susceptible to love. She believes that Rin’s daily actions: cooking meals with love, gardening with love, weaving yarn with love, will circle Saran with so much love, he could not resist. Her daughter in law made the house a home.
That is one of the strongest case that this show is trying to make. And it’s an argument that even though some people may not agree with, the show does such an excellent job proving it that one simply cannot deny that it works for this case, this couple, and this period. This story is written with an end goal, with meaning. The events and the conversations that occur truly felt thought out. More so than the thoughtful story, the characters are so well written, they’re three dimensional, conflicted and developed. My favorite part is following our main character’s relationship, this lakorn is romance centric (while other Lakorns can be focused on family drama, action or comedy), Padiwarada is a story about an arranged marriage that can possibly work but will be challenged by outside factors, until our main duo start to realize how they feel about each other. Saran is a stubborn man, but a hurt man who starts to see the colors, smell the fragrances, and hear the birds again now that Rin has entered his life. But things are getting complicated because his ex girlfriend has resurfaced and wants to get back with him (her marriage didn’t turn out the way she expected, her husband lied about his financial situation), which causes Saran to question the way he feels and who he truly wants to be with now. Like his mom questioned, which type of woman do you love, and which type do you want in your life? Now that’s a real question that is so relatable.
Meanwhile, Rin truly believed Saran when he said he could never love another woman. But she has to stay married and do her best. I love that Saran can ruffle her feathers and make her do things she wouldn’t normally do, like lose her temper, make her feel jealous, and most of all, make her feel the heart flutter. I love that the two can relate with each other in some experiences (like being abandoned) and are so compatible that under normal circumstances, could easily have a happily married life. But in lakorn world, that happily ever after has to be earned. Otherwise, what’s the meaning of watching Lakorns anyway? The overall story about catching the big bad and doing right by the people is also interesting.
Acting wise, both Bella and James own their characters. I love both together and individually, whether they’re defending themselves against others or against each other. Each scenes are addicting and propels the story forward, making me eager to find out what’s going to happen next. The characters also manage to surprise me and go against so much of the typical lakorn tropes. Misunderstandings are quickly resolved (if there are any at all), the verbal banter is like watching a tennis match, and even the antagonists are relatable and being totally human. I love this story world, but I am also left not feeling too comfortable with what can happen next. Your guess is as good as mine, I’m just asking that our duo earn the right to be happy together, forever.
This lakorn will suck you in, fast forward button need not apply. Let’s see how this love story between two strangers who are arranged to be married unfolds, just know that this lakorn’s take will be refreshing, challenging, and totally addicting. Padiwarada, the model wife, will win her husband over with her homemaker skills, her excellent communication skills, her no nonsense attitude, but most of all, her ability to heal and awaken his broken heart. Just like a jasmine plant that is beautiful with healing qualities.
Last but not least, forgive me if I left out the obviously most important part, Bella and James are wonderful together. They make such a great pair, and with the storyline and characters, there’s nothing else left to do but to tune in.
Padiwarada airs on Primetime Channel 3, Weds & Thurs. Pic cred to owners.
Tagged: Bella Ranee, James Jirayu, Padiwarada
Reading your post makes me so excited to watch this lakorn.. Thnx a lot P’Fia..
I so enjoy your writing. I was not really interested in watching this Lakorn but I think I will give it a try. I’m so glad that your still posting and giving us updates on current lakorns, I know it’s hard to keep up especially with a baby. I hope all is well;-)
This looks good! Not a fan of arranged marriages (I mean who is!) but I love the different take on it. I look forward to watching this, thank you! Take care 😊
I was bored after my mon&tues routine with Tam Rak Khuen Jai pondering on what to watch next as my drama was coming to an end this week and decided to click on the first episode not knowing what it was about. I was hooked immediately! I guess I secretly like arrange marriages and how they can grow love without knowing each other. The only thing I don’t like is the 3rd wheels always fighting to be in the picture but so far I love mama who is fighting off bad omens to have her son and daughter-in-law live a blissful drama-free marriage. I also love Bella’s strong character. She’s not weak and she finds better things to do to kill boredness. Looking forward to weds&thurs now. =)
yes !!!!!!!! i LOVE your review !!!!! And the one that you write about are actually the lakorn that i like a lot !!! say no more, I’m going with your words.
something for me to look forward to after “Tarm Rak Keun Jai”- Nadech+Mew.
Thank you so much for the review Fia !! I’m so glade you did a review on it b/c
sharerice.com didn’t have much info on it.
So readers, PLEASE tell me where i can find this with english sub.
This is a very good lakorn that I haven’t see for a while now. I enjoy every single episode and it always keep me anticipation for the next. Everything in the lakorn is so beautiful – the story, the cast (yeah, JIRANEE), the scenes and customs. It fit perfectly. I always like Jiranee from Khun Chai Puttipat and I must say they are only getting ether. They fil each other so well that you can feel their chemistry sizzling. and Bella, she’s gotten a lot prettier as well. So nice to watch them again
I saw the show available in English subs for 2 or 3 eps so I was in dilemma whether to watch or not. However after reading your review, I have motivation to try it out. James seems to have great chemistry with Bella. He was awful with Yaya in another lakorn. Their acting was bad and both of them look very uncomfortable on the screen. Bella seems to get a lot of good dramas now.
I really want to watch this now. I’m a sucker for arranged and contract marriages. Plus, I loved James and Bella from Suparburoot Jutathep-Khun Chai Puttipat.
I started watching this just because of your review. I am only at the first episode but enjoying it so far. I am a little disappointed by Rin’s “mother.” She seems to be willing to trade Rin so easily to guarantee her biological children’s happiness. I get it that the mother loves her two daughters more, but after all that Rin does in the house for everyone it seems a little ungrateful…
Me encantó, gracias por la sipnosis…
I only read this now and I really love how you put things into words. I am obsessed with this Lakorn, I mean, I was obsessed with Khun Chai Puttipat now I can’t even watch that because Padiwarada is better overall in terms of acting and story line, dialogue, etc. (although of course, I still love Khun Chai Puttipat). The big improvement in James’s acting is clearly visible and the story is so well put together, I was so sad when it ended. I hope you’d share your thoughts on the rest of the episodes. I really love the parallels they made for the characters here between Duangsawat and Rin – then there are also parallels between Saran and Rin. I really applaud the screenplay writer. I wish they would make more lakorns like this.
@gretutay Hello! One can truly write a novel about the parallels in this lakorn! It’s one of the best ones I’ve seen in the last couple of years. I agree, I sure hope we get more quality lakorns like this, but it seems only every now and then, a lakorn happens by and knocks our socks off. I think if the lakorn world can focus less on remakes and more on original/adapted screenplays (novels), we would be in better hands.
That was a great review, I totally agree. At first I was iffy because I thought it was going to be a drama about a loyal wife who is weak but turns out not. The cover photo didn’t hook me either but I gave it a try cuz I ran out of dramas to watch, lol. So glad I watched it, James and Bella have undeniable chemistry. My first time watching both actor and actress and I’m just so in love with their characters. The plot is good, theres a bit of comedy relief and watching their love develop, makes my heart flutter.
I really love your post on this show! You described everything perfectly, exactly the way I feel about this lakorn.
This is truly a gem among lakorns and one that I already have rewatched several times..and am fact doing so right now again. 😀
James and Bella have amazing chemistry and they really made me forget that I was watching a lakorn.
This was my first lakorn after getting bored with kdramas and cdramas.. The lead pair have awesome chemistry and the story has been wonderfully executed. This lakorn had set my benchmark and it was such a pleasure to watch. this still one of my favorites
Indeed, this one had writing, directing and acting in spades. I loved this show to pieces. Glad to hear that you found it just as wonderful. It’s not everyday you find a lakorn that gets it right.
Hi, I just recently started watching lakorns (have just watched two) and your site is a great help to select new one. Arranged marriages is one of my favorite premise to watch in a drama. I just love how they show the progression of a relationship. Even so, I was still skeptical as to watch it or not. But Thanks to your review, I’m definitely going to watch it!
Thanks Fia, for your review. You nailed it with this arranged marriage plot being different from the others. It sure is. Bella & James they’re like in a delicate dance as they discover bits about each other. Rin circles him with femininity, softness and the sometimes forgotten ways of our (modern 2017) times, in an era when it’s natural that a woman makes the home a haven in every sense for her man, her family. I’m glad they didn’t come up with a sideline that she got pregnant & suddenly he’s got to love her. Throughout the story it’s just the two of them on this voyage of discovery and that’s beautiful to see. Rin blossoms through the marriage but you see the distinct changes when Chalat realised she’s his long lost sister, & isn’t he a sensitive soul – he sent in the family’s couturier. Bella never fails to let her beauty shine and in this story, she glows. Her hair, make-up is perfect, sweet. Love the part she tried to seduce Saran to spend the night, pretty that scene she’s got this silver-blue eyeshadow on. Somebody complained Saran’s uniform isn’t it a wee bit too tight, but I thought he looked great!! Men in uniform – don’t we love them all? Though he might have a bit of a problem explaining to his team why all his clothes right down to underwear has this flowery jasmine roses potpourri scent ….haha
James’ character, Saran, is a prideful, steady young man, he took it hard about being poor against friends such as Chalat – and never forgotten it. I was a bit afraid he would never be happy with Rin because there’ll always be this great money divide between them. But the script did it so well how he subtly overcome that mindset – it was in that thing he said about the 41 days; made it all seem so right.
Love their sweet chemistry in this story, both did wonderfully here. Makes you believe in love all over again.
The only question is – is there really a sacred mountain, and can the fog really comes on in real life? Some of life’s mysteries that one. But from start the story’s been so real & commonplace in everything from people to places, situations, that I didn’t expect that last magical curve.
Here I go again. Have typed a long comment to post but got deleted! Argh!
Anyways, after I got crazy with James and Taew (Game Sanaeha) now I am loving James and Bella too!
I actually loved the part when Saran knew his wife’s real identity. He was disappointed, hurt but he tried to understand her. I loved it. Evidently saying he loves her that much b/c all he can say while she was trying to explain was, “just sleep”. He doesn’t want to argue anymore because his love for her is higher than his own complicated principles. Khun Chai Pat and KrongKaew – Saran Sivavet and Rin Rapeepan. I love James Ji and Bella really!
Hi great reading yyour blog