When the trailer for the 2021 Korean drama ‘Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding’ first dropped on YouTube, there was one comment that was absolutely hilarious, it went something like – “never thought I would live long enough to see Korea make a historical drama about two men in love”.
Set in the Joseon dynasty era, ‘Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding’ is about a political marriage gone wrong. Hours after his marriage, Ryu Ho Seon realizes his bride is a man, the brother of Hwa Jin, the woman he was supposed to be married to. Hwa Jin’s brother Choi Ki Wan entreats Ryu to go along with the charade, informing him of how his sister disappeared just before the wedding ceremony and he dressed up as the bride to save his family from losing face in the society. He promises to set things right once they locate the sister, but until them Choi Ki Wan plays wife to the modest, humble Ryu. Things get complicated when Ryu’s friend falls in love with his ‘fake wife’ and starts sending love letters his way. How are they going to get out of this t(ri)angle?
With quick short eight episodes, ‘Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding’ is a family-friendly drama, with a lot of funny moments. It’s not an intense or overtly emotional drama like some of the other historical Korean dramas available to stream. The lead protagonists are honest with each other and there are no idiotic twists to heighten the tension or create complex situations. The sets are modest and most of the action unfolds in a limited geographical area, so don’t go expecting any grand period pieces or elaborate costumes.
Actor Lee Se Jin who plays Choi Ki Wan is perfectly cast in the lead role, with his androgynous looks, it’s easy for anybody to mistake him as a woman. In an interesting decision, the makers do not make the actor fake his voice to sound more feminine and yet those around him do not question his distinctly masculine tone. Anyway, one will have to probably oversee some of the flaws in the execution of this drama, because clearly this one was made for light-hearted entertainment purposes. Kang-In-Soo is adorable as the simple & sweet Ryu, who tries his best to adapt to the weird situation at hand. Jang Eui Soo as Kim Tae Hyung offered some endearing comic-relief as the love-struck official. Actor Jung Jae Eun needs special mention, because she was extremely likeable as Ryu’s loving unsuspecting mother who wants nothing but the best for her new daughter-in-law.
‘Nobleman Ryu’s Wedding’ exists in its own breezy bubble and does not dwell into the serious implications of its plot twists. Instead, everybody is forgiving, nice, ready to move on and the story is wrapped up in a simple-sweet climax. In total, all the eight episodes add up to a film-sized runtime and can be binge-watched. It’s a 7/10 from me.
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