A Prince falling in love with a girl disguised as a eunuch. Hhmm… Honestly, the plot did not interest me. I have had my fill of Korean gender bender dramas and did not want to indulge in anymore. But ‘Moonlight Drawn By Clouds’ is much more than just a regular disguise drama. It is more about finding a true connection while disconnecting all the corrupt links that plague one’s life. It is not easy to believe a Prince’s fondness for a eunuch but the two lead actors have done a fabulous job of convincing the audiences of their love. Here is my take on this sweet love cum historical K-drama.
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds/Love In The Moonlight (2016)
Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is an 18 episode long Korean drama about a girl named Hong Ra On (Kim Yoo Jung) who disguises herself as a man and works as a writer under the name Hong Sam Nom. She also works with a street drama troupe and has a side business of giving relationship advice to men. She once helps Master Jung Deok Ho (Ahn Se Ha) win over a woman by writing a love letter to her. The woman he loves turns out to be the Princess of Joseon and the letter somehow reaches the Crown Prince Lee Young (Park Bo Gum) who decides to meet the man who wrote the letter to his sister. He wants to meet the man personally to check if he is a suitable match for his sister. However, when Master Jung learns the truth that the woman he wrote the letter to is the Princess herself, he feels scared and asks Sam Nom to go meet her on his behalf and break-up with her. What Sam Nom doesn’t know is that she is being sent to break-up with the Princess.
When Sam Nom reaches the meeting place, she meets Prince Lee Young, who is dressed as a scholar. She mistakes him to be Master Jung’s love interest and breaks up with him. Prince Lee Young isn’t in the mood of breaking-up and decides to punish Sam Nom for being a cunning man trying to fool his innocent sister. Sam Nom somehow manages to free himself from Lee Young’s clutches and runs away. However, due to some unfortunate circumstances, Sam Nom is forced to live like a eunuch in the royal palace serving the King and the Prince. Sam Nom is not aware of Lee Young’s reality and meets him in the palace thinking he is someone who works for the royal family. She confides in him her plan to purposely fail all eunuch tests and leave the palace as soon as possible. Lee Young, however, wants to punish Sam Nom and ensures that she is selected as a palace eunuch and serves him as his personal assistant. As Sam Nom serves Lee Young daily, he grows fond of her and finds himself attracted to her despite being unaware of her true gender. Sam Nom/Ra On too falls for the stubborn but kind-hearted prince. However, there are several obstacles that they have to overcome together and individually in order to have a future together.
Let’s weigh this difficult, forbidden love on our show beam balance and see if Moonlight Drawn By Clouds shines or not.
Kim Yoo Jung: When you see the drama, you will not believe the fact that the lead actress Kim Yoo Jung is only 17 years old. This little girl has acted so well that she can put much older actresses to shame. Her comic timing was impeccable. Ra On is a vivacious girl and Yoo Jung played it to perfection. She did falter in emotional scenes but she compensated for it by bringing Ra On as well as Sam Nom alive in several other ways.
Park Bo Gum: Park Bo Gum, this name broke the internet just like Song Joong Ki’s did following the stupendous success of Descendants of the Sun. Coincidentally, the two actors are close pals. Park Bo Gum was simply outstanding as the spunky Prince Lee Young. His full smile can melt your heart in seconds. The naughty smirk, the twinkling eyes, and his trademark lip quiver would make my heart beat faster. I wouldn’t be wrong in giving him 60% credit for the success of the drama.
Sweet Love Story: Aforementioned, this is a gender swap drama so the love story is quite predictable. Prince Lee Yoon somehow is always there to save her and she is always the one in trouble. However, instances that bring them close are so cute that it brings a smile to your face even after the episode is over. It is only because of the chemistry that Bo Gum and Yoo Jung share. They play their parts so convincingly that you will fall in love with them.
Forced Love Triangle: Is it mandatory for every South Korean drama to have a love triangle? I do not understand how every heroine has two or three men fighting over her no matter how she looks or what she does. Even the clumsiest of women have at least two suitors ready to do anything to have her attention. This drama too has a nobleman in a one-sided love for Ra On. There was no apparent reason for such a nice man to fall for a regular girl who actually dressed like a boy. If that wasn’t enough then we have another girl madly in love with Prince Lee Young. She is so much in love with him that she agrees to help him by marrying him despite knowing that he loves another girl. Thankfully, the writers did not show bodyguard Byung Yeon in love with Ra On even though it was a possibility considering that they shared a lodging.
Aww and Wow moments
Episode 2: Lee Young helps Hong So Nam with the exams. Lee Young dresses up as a eunuch and forces Sam Nom to tick the right answers. The scene is so funny you cannot help but notice how cute Bo Gum and Yoo Jung look together. Later in the episode, Prince Lee Young, his bodyguard Byung Yeon and Ra On are drinking to together when Ra On asks Prince Lee Young to guess the Crown Prince’s nickname. He guesses something fancy when Byung Yeon nonchalantly spurts out the actual nickname i.e. Prince Dung. This scene is hilarious. And full marks to Park Bo Gum for his spot on reaction.
Episode 4: When Prince Lee Young finally comes as who he is before Ra On. Ra On’s reaction and her sudden change in behaviour is very amusing.
Episode 6: Prince Lee Young going all out to save his beloved eunuch Sam Nom. Prince Lee Young is still unaware of Ra On’s reality and risks his name to save her. Awww….
Episode 10: Prince Lee Young feels jealous when he sees Ra On’s male friends carry her when she sprains her ankles. He looks displeased by it but then goes on to plant a peck on her cheek that startles her. Later, he also gives her a piggyback ride since she is unable to walk without limping. These sweet little moments are so endearing.
Episode 11: Prince Lee Young once again rescues Ra On but this time from his own stepmother. Park Bo Gum steals the show with his amazing acting.
Episode 12: Prince Lee Young acting all strong and swift while tackling a group of intruders and saving his lady love. Aaah! The Prince with a shining sword.
Episode 15: This scene is heartbreaking. Ra On tries to push the Prince away from her by threatening him with a dagger. He instead uses the knife to cut something that used to connect them as a couple. This scene…! It broke my heart to see Prince Lee Young in so much pain as he has to separate from the one he loves.
I do not have too many complaints about this drama. It may not have impressed me greatly but it sure wasn’t bad. No doubt, it was entertaining but towards the end, I started to lose interest in it. I did not feel eager to watch the next episode. I did not feel restless on missing a new episode. At the same time, I did not jump through any episode because the show was interesting enough to hold my attention. It just didn’t manage to excite me.
I give the show 3.5 out of 5 rating. Moonlight Drawn By Clouds is that drama which will bring a smile to your face each time you think of it. It is funny, lovable, and highly entertaining. What more do you want?