[review] Tard Rak (Slave of Love)

22 Oct

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Synopsis and cast information by wishboniko

What I liked:
* Fairytale romance. What? Didn’t I just say I don’t do fairytale endings in my last post? Well, it has to do with expectations really. I know I’m getting a fairytale here so bring it on. Betrothed at birth? Check. Separated by circumstances? Check. Meet without knowing real identities? Check. Bound by destiny at every turn? Check check check. Prince Darb is the role that made me like Mart despite his limited acting capabilities because he was the only who loved without any hidden agenda. He thought he had fallen for a prostitute and while he often struggled with this fact, ultimately he chose to give up not just money but also his pride as a prince for the woman he loved. A fair warning though, he does act childishly sometimes but I still wanna squish him. :p Now for the other person in this relationship, Princess Aeyawade. In the first episode, I thought for sure she’d be the character I’d hate the most because I have low tolerance for sweet, naïve and saintly types but turns out, I kinda like her! She is a borderline saint who repays evil with kindness but she does fight back when pushed too far. Cherry was superb as Aeyawade, bringing both commanding royal presence as well as vulnerability to the character. Their romance is fluffy Disney stuff, nothing epic that burns your heart but sufficient to make me smile and go awwwww [I watched Tard Rak and Mae Ka Khanom Wan back to back so I was awww-ing over the Mart/Cherry pair for quite some time. They are now my third favourite koo kwan after KA and Ateam.]

* One of my biggest lakorn peeve is the one dimensional third party(ies) that we get in 8 out of 10 lakorns. Not that we don’t get scheming exes in dramas from other countries but most of the n’rais in lakorns exist solely to be the bitch-that-ruins-everything so it was refreshing to get a ‘third party’ in TR who has her own life and own story. I guess Ward is technically one of the lead characters but I still appreciate the fact that her motivations for getting in between the royal OTP is well-developed and understandable for her character. Out of the 4 main characters, Ward goes through the most changes and is the most well written character to me. She’s so human in her struggles and failings that I can’t hate her even when she uses dirty tricks to get Prince Darb.

*The side-kick. Again, another standard character in lakorns used primarily to provide comic relief but more often than not just end up annoying me with their over the top antics. Yet when used right – like Kom in Sood Sanaeha – they are icing on the cake. Prince Darb’s servant Kharn is hilarious with his deadpan replies and not only is he a faithful servant, he is an intelligent one and I enjoyed all his scenes. The Queen’s servant Nim can be occasionally grating but she gets some pretty funny lines too.

Kinda iffy bits

*The overall plot is on the weak side because Aeyawade’s many poor decisions are used as the main driving force for the plot instead of other more believable circumstances. Also, Aeyawade is one hellavu lucky princess, getting incredible breaks no matter how bleak the situation looks. It’s no wonder Ward complains that some people get all the luck!

* The ‘civilian OTP’ of Aong Din and Ward had the potential to have more depth to their relationship but in the end it fell flat. I felt Aong Din’s change of affections from Aeyawade to Ward was too sudden and not explained properly and Aong Din ended up a confused character for me.

I rate this: 3.5/5
Lame plot devices aside, the pacing is fairly brisk and things are continually happening which made me want to watch the next episode to find out what happens next and the interaction between the 4 main characters are well-written. If you’re still not feeling this show by the third episode though, it might not be the lakorn for you.

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11 Responses to “[review] Tard Rak (Slave of Love)”

  1. Anonymous October 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM #

    I was waiting for your review on this. I actually wanted to punch the princess lol okay I am bias. I totally ship the Aongdin and Ward couple, but it fell short, I was not convinced with Aongdin either. Same applies to the Prince. I was expecting a different route in the plot progression. I thought this could have been the it drama for historical lakorn where Ward uses her unusual herbal medicine knowledge as the plot main device lol

    • J October 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM #

      LOL. I understand your wanting to punch the Princess because she does make a lot of dumbass decisions but I can’t dislike her either. Maybe it has to do with Cherry playing her?

  2. jamieguo48 October 23, 2011 at 4:22 AM #

    Hmm, no, sorry, I can’t think of any circumstances where I would want to squish Mart, haha.

    I haven’t watched a period lakorn yet, unless, you count Manee Yard Fah. How does this compare to Roy Mai?

  3. Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 7:15 AM #

    Great review J- I thought Ward was well written too, she really spoke to me. Her emotions were raw and her character so real that I felt for her. Out of all four she got the short end of the stick and was tested the most. It was good to see that she had a happy ending but I was a little peeved at her insincere love from Aongdin. I thought it would be great if another awesome man appears, falls in love with her, and gives Aongdin a run for his money. Serves him right! I despise male characters who are babies (Prince Darb) and fickle biatches (Aongdin.) But at least Prince Darb’s love for the princess never faltered. All in all, I liked this lakorn too 🙂 -Fia

    • J October 24, 2011 at 7:49 AM #

      Aong Din’s side of his relationship with Ward was so poorly written it didn’t do justice to Ward. One minute AD was going on about how he could sacrifice everything for the Princess and the next he starts romancing Ward. Ehhh, what?
      Did you finish watching the Ken/Janie drama in the end?

      • Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 8:15 AM #

        I watched the last 15 mins of KRLJ and was glad I stopped early on, lol. I know, I’m harsh. The lakorn just doesn’t offer anything to me, no emotions, feelings, or any understanding to the couple’s “love.” It is a happy ending, they all get what they want and life goes on as it normally does, the end. I may tune into Ruk Patiharn with Mart+Kim and give them a try, who knows, maybe they will surprise me? How’s your progress with RM?

      • J October 24, 2011 at 9:35 AM #

        I like Ken and Janie individually but so far none of their lakorns together have appealed to me. Hmm, Mart + Kim? If you’ve read my review of Thara Himalaya, you know that while I like Kim’s vibe, her acting was so-so for me. Average acting plus average acting … not having high hopes. But like you said, they may surprise us.
        I finished ep 11 of RM yesterday and I’m still not feeling particularly moved or invested in the romance. >_> I want to spazz over them so much but why isn’t it working??

      • Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 9:59 AM #

        Thara Himalai is Kim’s debut lakorn so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt. I saw Kim and Mart in a commercial (Head and Shoulder) and they look so cute and comfortable together I thought, why not? Apparently propagandas are working on me- it’s in my subconscious now and I want to see how RP will play out. I won’t have high hopes though as you’ve pointed out, average + average = average? I’m not great with math.

        You know, there are times you can’t force yourself to get absorb in a lakorn, no matter how much you want to…

      • J October 24, 2011 at 10:54 AM #

        I went and checked out the teaser for Ruk Patiharn and though the plot looks fairly standard, it could be light, easy entertainment if executed right. Not bad, I think I’d want to check it out too, that is if anyone is subbing it. Mart is still, erm, very ‘Mart’. He acts the same way in every lakorn so how I feel about him depends very much on what kind of character he’s playing at that point in time.

        For RM, I’ll finish it since we’re nearing the end already. Hopefully ep 12 onwards can change my heart about it.

        You looking forward to Game Rak Game Rai? After reading the post on Lakorngods, the story seems a bit too much for me.

      • Anonymous October 24, 2011 at 11:28 AM #

        I’m not sure who’s subbing RP, I tried searching online but didn’t come across anyone’s current project. I will most likely post a recap of ep 1. As for GRGR, I peaked at LG as well, but didn’t want to be too spoiled. I know that it will be very dramatic. I will give it a shot, at least watch the first couple of episodes to see if it will “seduce” me hehe. I most likely won’t be watching it live- I guess that all depends on my weekend plans.
        I’m going to have a RM spasm, it’s starting in two hours!!!

      • J October 24, 2011 at 3:23 PM #

        Perhaps Mart’s Chinese FC will sub it ‘cos they did Plerng See Roong. Since wishboniko is subbing GRGR, I’ll also be checking it out. I think I will at least like the sweet first half? Hmmm.

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