Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat (Love Destiny) is a 2018 Thai romantic drama that tells the love-story of a female archaeologist who travels over 300 years into the past.
In full disclosure, I am rather new to Thai dramas. I watched only about five dramas so far; thus my review is also a “first impression” sort of article. I was aware that some Thai dramas were very popular among the international public, however I was reluctant to give them a try. From what I was reading, Thai television series are, in general, soap operas. I am not a fan of soap operas.
One day I came across the action-romance drama Padivaradda (Beloved Loyal Wife, 2016). I admit that the titled intrigued me and I decided to watch one episode. Needless to say I finished watching it. It was a pleasant surprise! Such a refreshing and well-told story about the love and loyalty between two spouses of an arranged marriage. Above all, the acting of the female lead, Ranee Campen (of Thai and British descent) was outstanding; so, when I read that she starred in a time-travel drama, I decided to give it a try. Hence, here I am writing a review on the Thai sensation “Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat” (Love Destiny).
The story starts in the modern day era; but most of the action takes place in the past, in the second half of the 17th century, under the rule of king Narai. During his reign, the relationship between Thailand (Siam) and France (under Louis XIV) intensified greatly. Thailand had signed numerous commercial treaties with the West. This had a beneficial impact on the prosperity of the country; however, the heavy presence of French officials at the court caused discontent with the local aristocracy. This situation of tension eventually led to the Siamese revolution in 1688. Our time-travel love story takes place during these historical events.
Premise of the Story
Kadesurang is a young archaeologist who is fascinated with the archaeological discoveries from the 17th century. One day she gets into a car accident and travels back in time. She wakes up in the body of Karakade, a young woman from the 17th century who died. Karakade was engaged to Date (the son of a public official and renowned scholar) since they were children. After her father died, she entered the household of her future in-laws, while waiting for the wedding ceremony. However, the soon-to-be groom is appalled by Karakade’s behavior and personality as she is manipulative and vicious; therefore, he refuses to go through with the wedding.
When Karakade kills a person in the attempt to murder one of her rivals, the family resorts to a spiritual incantation aimed to punish the murderer. As a result, Karakade dies. On her way to hell, she encounters the archaeologist’s soul (while she was travelling to the past) and pleads with her to make amends in her stead after taking possession of her body. In short, Karakade asks Kadesurang to make spiritual offerings for her soul so that she could save her soul from eternal damnation.
From being a promising star in the archaeological field, Kadesurang wakes up as a 17th century girl engaged to the son of the household she lives in. Passionate about history and archaeology, Kadesurang is thrilled for the incredible adventure she goes through and for having direct access to a historical period she only knew from history books.
On the other hand, her fiancé and his family are in a daze to witness the total transformation of her character. She is bright, intelligent, gentle and honest, opposite in every way to what she used be. Date is very cautious, but he cannot help but feel mesmerized and drawn to his renewed bride-to-be.
This 15 episode drama is a romantic story; however, although it portrays a beautiful love-story, I had the distinct sensation, while watching it, that the romance was a mere, yet sweet excuse to talk about one of the most prosperous periods of Ayutthaya kingdom – a time period that brought irreversible changes to today’s Thai society. The romantic elements intertwine harmoniously with the historical events preceding the Siamese revolution, which gives an overall solid structure to the drama.
New to Thai drama in general and exposed to Thai historical drama for the first time, I was simply captivated with the new world I was introduced to. Everything, from costumes, architecture, rituals, values and spirituality was so foreign to me. Even as an avid consumer of Asian dramas (mostly Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese), the society depicted in this Thai drama was something completely new that I have not witnessed in dramas coming from other Asian countries.
Every little detail was a new discovery: the way families were constituted, the principles they held dear and the values according to which they were leading their lives, the situation of the servants in the household and their relationship to their masters, the influence of the old aristocratic families and their role in the court; also, the first impression that the Thai representatives had when they visited Europe for the first time. All these details, along with the heartwarming love story made me enjoy this drama quite a lot.
“Love Destiny” is a very good drama I would definitely recommend watching. Although it has some flaws here and there, this drama tells a great story about destiny, human failure, amends for past mistakes and, of course, plenty of love and friendship. If you never watched a Thai drama before, but you are curious, I think this drama could be a good start; although I confess I enjoyed “Beloved Loyal Wife” even more.
Some say that they don’t watch Thai dramas because they cannot get over the sound of the language. I find Thai language suave, melodic and very pleasant to the ears; so much so, that I think it can actually have a calming effect on you if you watch a Thai drama when you are stressed or tired. My reason for not watching much Thai dramas is rather because, as a rule, I stay away from soap-opera-like dramas. Fortunately, apparently there are very good Thai dramas out there that do not fall into that category and are worth watching; and, without a doubt, “Bpoop Phaeh Saniwaat” is one of them.