Astonishing Kiran Rao

Kiran Rao
Kiran Rao Pictures

Ahhhhh Shit! Just saw the movie Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries, 2010). Written and directed by Kiran Rao, wife of Aamir Khan. And now I think I'm in love with both husband and wife. (Insert expletives here!)

I'm already having a hard time getting over Ghajini and Taare Zameen Par, and now I have another movie stuck in my head. I LOVE IT! I love the screenplay, I love how it was directed, I love the cinematography - the display of colors and culture, I looooooove how the characters were portrayed and revealed. And the music (by Gustavo Santaolalla of the Babel and Motorcycle Diaries fame)  - ahhhhh, I keep hearing it over and over in my mind. It's disturbing! I've been re-playing all Aamir Khan movies since I saw Three Idiots. I think this one tops all of them. I love Kiran Rao! And I love her more than Aamir Khan.

The film will remind you of the movies Magnolia, Jologs and I think I saw a Korean film with somehow similar idea that starred Jung Woo Sung. The intertwining of lives - and how each person affects another in a deep and subtle way. How each solitary soul can somehow connect with another - by just understanding the depths of their being. I love how shots were made with a handheld camera - I think that was a great idea. I love the simplicity of the conversations that deeply lie about the turmoil the characters were going through. I love the windows and the looking in. I love the old woman neighbor and her role in the film as a silent witness. I love the ending - how everything was resolved but not quite. I love. I love. I love.

Dhobi Ghat is a great movie. Hollywood should see it. I think the world should see it.

Ah shit. Now I won't be able to sleep again tonight with the movie replaying in my head. I now desperately want to meet Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao and tell them how I love their art. As difficult as it is to get foreign independent films in this country, I'm gonna try and look for their next projects.

Ahhhh, fucking A! I hated getting wired up over things like this. But shit happens. What else can I do?


Stellar Aamir Khan

I am so happy to hear that Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta are going back to acting again. I loved "Tagos ng Dugo" and "Madrasta" among others and would list them as my top Pinoy films. But this post is not all about Pinoy films, although I think they deserve one and I hope to write one soon. Tonight, I wanted to write about Aamir Khan.

I first saw him years ago in Lagaan (Taxes, 2001), a Bollywood film about a small town trying to save its sad plight from high taxes by waging a cricket match against British Officers during the height of the British Rule in India. I saw it after a series of seminars on "Christ on Film" given to our Catholic community for free by the screenwriter of "Nine Mornings" Ton Sison. It was explained to us why Bollywood films take 3-4 hours and why dances and singing were essential to their films. I normally could not stand to watch a long film - I fall asleep quite easily. But Lagaan got me weeping and cheering for the Indian Team all throughout the movie. I especially loved the part where they worshiped their gods to help them win a game. That segment alone was overpowering to me and reminded me of how glorious it is to be in God's presence in quiet surrender. From then on, I listed Lagaan as one of my favorite movies, next to Amistad, Shawshank Redemption and Children of Heaven (Pakistan). Lagaan was nominated Best Foreign Film in the 2002 Academy Awards.

I didn't know the name Aamir Khan then although I found him quite a handsome young man acting as Bhuvan in Lagaan. A few months ago, I saw Rang de Bashanti (Color of Sacrifice, 2006) about a documentary filmmaker covering a story about freedom fighters during the Indian Independent Movement. This one I fould a bit overdone although I still find the film impressive. The character DJ was now recognized as Aamir Khan, the headstrong Bhuvan.

My sisters and I started to follow his films. You must have heard of the Three Idiots (2009). I blogged about it a few months ago and Aahmir Khan also played the lead role. That story strongly resonates with me - being a college dropout who feels that people have more to offer in life even without a college degree. I also love the script on textbook definitions, the demonstrations re: price of shoes, the speech about following passions - very smart screenplay.

Last week, I saw Ghajini (2008), a total impressive film that first reminded me of the movie Memento but with a different twist. It was about a man with short term memory loss and how he coped with the reason for his brain disease. Aamir played a different man here - a tortured brutal killer - and played in quite well too.

I just finished Taare Zameen Par (Like Stars on Earth, 2007), a heart-warming story about a young boy coping with being misunderstood. All my favorite people are mentioned here: Einstein, Picasso, Edison. I loved how he tells the story and how his characters develop during the film. I think there is quite a bit of exaggerated emphasis on some parts but this seems to be characteristic of all his films. Sort of like a trademark but I love that too, surprisingly, for someone who detests corny. Aamir Khan produced and directed this film himself of which he played a supporting role. Again, the quality of the movie in script, acting, cinematography and direction - stellar.

I now want to marry Aamir Khan - or at least, the roles he plays in his movies. He is  however married to Kiran Rao whom he met in the movie Lagaan.

Let's see. Robert Redford would be my favorite American male actor, Sean Connery my favorite Brit, Jung Woo Sung- my fave Korean, and Christopher de Leon my favorite Pinoy artista. Khan would be my Bollywood idol. Thank God for unreal men in movies.



I've been eating like a pig. I cannot seem to stop. If I keep this up, I'd soon be qualified for the Pinoy Biggest Loser 2. I don't know if it's depression or stress or just good food. What more, the baby broke the weighing scale by picking it up and throwing it for fun. I don't no how much I weigh and that worries me.

I'm suppose to be on a weight-loss challenge with my friends but it seems I'm going in the opposite direction. I also haven't gone to the gym or walked or jogged for a looong time. I miss my gym buddies. I miss my walking therapies. They are currently losing weight in other countries. But it's been raining and I don't like to get wet. LOL. I have exercise and dance videos which I don't touch. Running after the baby is the only exercise I'm getting. That worries me too.

I finished a whole pint of Rocky Road ice cream by myself last weekend. That worries me the most.

I need to do something about it. But that sandwich looks tempting.


eternal sunshine

I've been working since last night and finally took a break late afternoon. It's been raining hard and after a bath, all I could really do was watch a movie. I started this Korean series about assassins called Athena but didn't have the patience to wait for it to download. So instead I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Again. And yet again, I find myself analyzing every confusing moment of the movie. It doesn't help that my sister is playing classical music in the next room while the baby sleeps. The music is suppose to stimulate his mind in his sleep. So we have rain, a depressingly mind-boggling movie, no dinner and classical music.

All I can say is my mind right now has no sunshine, is not entirely spotless and that chocolate is not helping :\

Maybe I'm just tired. And need sleep. I think I should play Angry Birds. I'm stuck with game 20 and can't go pass it. Dang pigs are depressing me.

Okay enough of this. I'm going to bed early.


Call a spade a spade

There are a few valuable lessons I learned from my father. One of them is to call things as they are. It's easier to solve problems that way. We cannot sugarcoat words just to please people because that deprives us of a clearer view of how things are. And that usually blurs the process of investigation and analysis.

So you call a pirate an opportunist, a wheeler-dealer a manipulator and a bitch a BITCH. Because that's what they are.