James Ma reunites with Pie Rinrada in Pror Rak (Because of Love) as Singh and Ring respectively. I remember seeing them as brother and sister in Chart Suea Pan Mungkorn (2018) and think to myself that they had too much chemistry being brother and sister, so here they are front lining their own show about an adopted girl with paranormal ability and an heir of an old name family. There is deep seated family conflict, with Singhbordin (or simply Singh) as the heir apparent, the top of the food chain, beloved by the Patriarch, plus the conflict of Musika (or Ring) whose special ability must forsake life as a normal woman. Ring can see the future, and her job with the family is to protect the Patriarch, but upon Singh’s designation as the next in line, she was given to Singh as his sole protector. The caveat to her ability is that she must remain pure in order to retain it, thus the Patriarch ties her to Singh in matrimony so that he could stave off other men as well as his grandson. They are to be wed in name only.
When we first meet Ring and Singh, they had been separated for six years since the arranged marriage. Ring is leading a life as a tomboy who enjoys helping the fisherman village. She is still using her vision for good cause, because if she fails to save the victim in her vision, or if someone perishes in its place, Ring suffers from momentary blindness. Her vision is a gift and a curse. Ring thinks her marriage to Singh is a thing of the past, but he suddenly appears before her six years later, looking every bit like the winking, teasing, three-piece suited angel that he is. She is supposed to be the angel, the one with special abilities, but all she could see is how perfect his hair looked, and how much she still hates him. Singh on the other hand had been keeping tabs on her, satisfied enough that she’s enjoying her newfound freedom. But danger has come after her and that is a good enough excuse to appear before her as a husband. And make his husbandly demands.
Beyond the family power struggle, we have this romance conflict of duty and love to unpack. I like how we continue to peel back the layers of an onion as the story progresses. While Ring wants to live a free life, she can no more ignore a vision of Singh dying anymore than she can ignore her own breathing. We can tell that she is terrified of anything happening to him, perhaps this is due to the ingrained duty to protect him, just as the family had raised her, but perhaps this also shows us that deep down she has feelings for him. Before they got married, Ring had overheard a conversation with Singh and his cousin, Soon, who confesses that he loves Ring and wants to give her a normal life. He felt it unfair that Ring would have to marry Singh and live like a nun when Singh could take on different wives. Singh thinks that Soon’s love for Ring is mutual and so he states that he supports their love and he did not want to marry Ring anyway. Ring who overhears this is hurt because she feels that he can just give her away to anybody else.
So their supposed marriage did not start off on the right foot. In fact, there was just too much pain and guilt between the two of them. Ring feels responsible for his parents’ death, she had seen a vision of their demise but her warnings were futile. Singh feels responsible for the death of Soon, who sacrificed his life to protect Singh. Which is why the six years apart is necessary, and their reunion all the more intriguing. The years has not taken away Singh’s cheekiness nor Ring’s stubbornness, and they pick up where they left off, but with a little less baggage, a little less layer of onion.
I do hope the show will resolve/answer some of my lingering questions as we peel back these layers: who decides she loses her vision if she loses her virginity, has this been tested? or is this a folklore just to mess with us? How did Singh develop feelings for Ring when he was seeing someone else? I know he mentioned he broke up with his then girlfriend after learning that he has to marry Ring, but I am curious if we will get flashbacks of their brief married life. Because by episode four, the man is already head over heels. I like their easy, comedic chemistry, and the fact that Singh tries to show her at every opportunity that her vision is never the reason why he wants to be with her, nor it is her greatest strength. While everybody else – whether it is his grandfather, or his enemy- would like to keep her around merely because of her gift. I hope Ring can tell the difference. I know it is hard to see past that cheeky smile, the perfect hair, and his angelic face, but a girl can try.