Sunday, January 20, 2013

Movie Review 'Stoning of Soraya': No Escape, For Victim Or Viewer.

Directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh; written by Mr. Nowrasteh and Betsy Giffen Nowrasteh, based on the book by Freidoune Sahebjam; director of photography, Joel Ransom; edited by Geoffrey Rowland and David Handman; music by John Debney; production designer, Judy Rhee; produced by Stephen McEveety and John Shepherd; released by Roadside Attractions and Mpower Pictures. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes.
Characters: Shohreh Aghdashloo (Zahra), Mozhan Marno (Soraya), Navid Negahban (Ali), David Diaan (Ebrahim), Parviz Sayyad (Hashem) and Jim Caviezel (Freidoune Sahebjam).
A tragic true story that needed to be told.
The Stoning of Soraya M is a 2008 American movie adapted from the book La Femme Lapidée by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam. It is based on the true story of Soraya Manutchehri (played by Mozhan Marnò), an Iranian woman who was stoned to death by her village for being wrongly accused by her husband of adultery.
A journalist visits 
Freidoune Sahebjam, played by James Caviezel, was traveling through Iran and happened to stop in Soraya’s village, the day after she was stoned to death. Soraya’s aunt, Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo), approaches the journalist with the story of what happened. As secretly as possible, she sits down with Freidoune and tells him the story of what happened, which he records.
Zahra recounts her niece’s troubles, which began with her abusive husband Ali (Navid Negahban) when he decided that he wanted to divorce Soraya in order to marry a “younger woman”—a 14 year-old girl. However, in order to be approved a divorce, he needs permission from the mullah of the village.
The accusations begins
When Soraya begins working for a man in the village who was recently widowed, Ali devises a plan to spread rumors that Soraya is being unfaithful to him with the widower. Through further lies and manipulation, Ali succeeds in convincing the village and the mullah of Soraya’s “unfaithfulness,” as it the word of three men against the word of a woman.
Zahra does what she can to try to persuade the village mullah to let Soraya live, but after a tricky plan by Soraya’s husband and lies on behalf of other men in the town, Soraya is convicted of the crime and sentenced to be stoned to death.
Telling the story
Freidoune barely escapes with the recording of his interview with Zahra as the mullah orders a guard to stop him at gunpoint. But Zahra saves the day, and the hope of letting the whole world know what happened is realized.

The violence of the stoning scene at the end is quite unspeakable, and was certainly viewed not without tears, especially when Soraya’s two young boys throw stones at their own mother; however, the slow motion shots of Soraya being hit by stones were an unnecessary over-dramatization of something that is on its own very dramatic and horrible, and did not need any extra effects from Hollywood to make its point.
With the exception of that one bit of criticism, The Stoning of Soraya M tells a fascinating and true story that is definitely worth seeing.
What did you think of The Stoning of Soraya M? How do you feel about issues being raised in this film? Watch this movie and give comment la.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Synopsis & Review on Serial Autumn in My Heart.

Autumn in my heart is a Korean serial movie directed by Yoon Suk Hoan and produced by Yoon Hong Sik  which is a heart touching movie of Endless Love. Yoon Joon-suh and Yoon Eun-suh grew up as siblings but Eun-suh was in fact from a different family as there was a mixed up at the hospital where she was born. The switch came to light when Eun-suh was involved in a car accident and it was discovered that her blood type was different from her parents. Eun-suh's life took a complete turn when the 2 girls were returned to their respective families. Soon after, the Yoon family left for the States and Eun-suh was left living in disgusting condition with her real family in Korea. Years after, Joon-suh returned to Korea and by chance the two former siblings were reunited.
The story is this. Two siblings, Yoon Joon-Suh and Yoon Eun-Suh, are very close. They love each other very much to the point that both the brother and sister stick together like glue. It's rare to see them separated unless in school and even there, it's hard not to see that they'll always be together. In addition to the love they have for each other, they have the love of their lovely wealthy parents. They are the children of a rich professor. On the other hand Choi Shin-ae can only dream of a life like Yuh Jun-Suh and Yuh Eun-Suh, however, her life is their complete opposite. Her brother is a thief and her mother owns a restaurant and is abusive towards her because of their financial problems created by her older brother and her deceased father. Shin-ae, unlike Eun-suh, is the smartest student in the class even though her life is so unbearable.

And then Eun-Suh got into an accident, and in the result of the blood transfusion, they discover that they are not siblings after all. There's been an accidental baby switch in the hospital. Eun-Suh is actually the daughter of a very poor and very troubled family.  Eun-suh and Joon-suh and Eun-suh's world completely changes. And Shin-ae's life is also completely changed after Eun-suh's doctor reveals her blood matches neither her mother nor her fathers. So then they decided to switch the children back and cut all ties to one another. I mean, after raising a child for 15 years, you suddenly cut all ties to that said child and just switch them back as easy as that? Really? Following that revelation, a heart wrenching separation occurs and even later, the introduction of “forbidden love.’’ After switching back the child Yoon Joon Suh family left states where Eun-suh is left behind with her real parent. What will happen to Jun-suh and Eun-suh's glue-like relationship?

Years pass, and both siblings are now grown up. After Yoo Joon Suh return from states they meet again through chance and become close, then fall in love. But they pretend that they are just a close sibling to everyone else. Eun-Suh even calls him brother. But certainly it's not a melodrama without conflict. The parents were against them, Joon-Suh’s girlfriend threatened to commit suicide; Han Tae-seok tried to get close to Eun-Suh, and then in between Eun-suh caught illness called Leukimia, a cancer. Soon after three month Ensue died since doctor could not transplant bone marrow as it was late. However she died at the back of her lover where he also commit suicide. All in all, there's a LOT of crying in this drama. It's exhausting. They died. They both died. How great.

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I couldn't help but cry a lot during this drama. The story was sad and moving. It made me feel like everyone can overcome all obstacles as long as you stick together. Of course the romance in the drama can be considered "forbidden love" but it's really a love you wish could be accepted. It was beautifully played. With so much affection from all the characters, the realization of wrong, and the wishing that the past could be changed, created a story was very good.

There was innocence, concern, anger, revenge; there was everything in this drama and each character's personality was portrayed perfectly. Eun-suh had a very innocent and pure look to her and she was unbelievably sweet in her role. Each time she shed a tear, I found myself shedding one too. If I'm correct, this is the actress's first major role in a drama and I was not left disappointed. Eun-suh’s ability in the story really moved me. Apart from being incredibly handsome, Jun-suh showed great acting. You could see the emotions in his face and you could see his confusion and desire to be with the one he truly loved. Han Tae-seok without a doubt was a brilliant and gorgeous. I feel in love with his generosity and his willingness to let the woman he loved go to give her happiness. Enough with the characters I loved…now for the ones I HATED! Who played as Shin-ae was so good at being the villain, I just hated her (in this case it's a good thing)! When she was jealous, you hated her, when she acted in revenge, you hated her, when she showed up and opened her mouth, you hated her! I hated her and damn, she played a good villain! The next one was Jun-suh's fiancé Shin Yu-mi she pissed me off trying to destroy a love that could not be imperfect in the past. Her ways to keep her man from leaving her were just plain wrong, but it did bring more drama to the story.

The drama was 16 episodes. Which in each episodes you are moved by the drama. Autumn Tale provided good drama and romance. I was really rooting for the love between characters to be accepted regardless of how wrong it may have been in the eyes of society. The love triangle that was established was well focused on and there weren't many interruptions from another character to make it confusing or less serious (emotionally). The problems the characters faced brought a lot of drama to the story. But it was good drama, the kind that will cause you to use up about half of your tissue box. Since the drama is sorrowful, the background music played well with the drama and blended in with the season, autumn. The music is morose and smooth that even without watching the drama, you feel depressed listening to it because your imagination (at least mine) goes off on tangents with glimpses of sorrow.

I liked this drama. It really moved me since the story dealt with "forbidden love." The two characters were beautiful together and the fact that their being together made other people in their lives uncomfortable made me feel that they should keep fighting! I'd recommend this for the ladies. This drama is a bit sentimental; if you know what I mean, so get those tissues ready. I would recommend the guys to watch this with their girlfriends because it'd be pretty interesting but the turn off is that the girls might expect too much from the guys afterwards, remarks such as, "Why can't you be more like him?" or something of the sort might be thrown out there. Guys probably wouldn't want to be compared it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I can ride cycle now.

After my coming for study in India I have to do everything and work equally like what other do. I never thought of riding cycle when I am coming from Bhutan. Actually I am used to for walking as if it is in Bhutan. The distance between my department and hostel in my university seems very short to me and I always walked. Sometime I have to run when I am late and sometime my friend they help in carrying me. After a month here in the university I met one Tibetan friend who is kind enough to me who always want me to learn cycle and he always carry me. I never listen to him saying that I will walk as I am young and energetic.
One day I slept late because I have class test and I study till late night. That morning I was in deep sleep and when I woke up I was late. I don’t know what to do as I am late for my class test. Then after quick washing of my face I ran to department and luckily there wasn’t professor. From that day to my mind it came up that I should learn cycle. I know everybody stare at me at a road side while I am walking and make fun of me. I requested my friend to teach me although there wasn’t much more time for my main exam. In three days I could ride cycle but I never get confident in riding on the highway.
After my exam I got a friend from Bhutan here for some work and he taught me how to ride cycle. We always have some hour spend on practice every day. One day we went near railway station where I first took my riding cycle on the highway. Nothing happen and I got confident. He took me to main market once where nothing happen that day also.
Today was the day where my real learning of cycle took place. I was riding cycle on the highway for second time with full of confidents that I can do it. Unfortunately today I fall off from my cycle and thank god nothing happen to me other than some scratches on my knee. I remembered when I was in school my Director always say that you will never learn cycle until and unless you fall off twice or thrice. I was just wondering it should happen while I am learning but it was after I learned to ride cycle. I realize this was because of our carelessness when you are confident and I never fall of while learning because I was so careful during those times that I will fall off. It was lesson for me too that I should not be carelessness.
However now I have learned to ride cycle and it is easy for me. I don’t have to walk and it saves my time. Thank you so much for my two friends who taught me to ride cycle and thank you for those friends who help me in carrying till now. Thank you all and I will cherish this moment for life time.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dawa Chunipa losar.

Today, the 1st day of the 12th month, is celebrated as buelwa phuewai nyim – the traditional day of offering. The tradition of people making offerings to the Dratshang on this day seems to have been popularized as an expression of love, devotion and loyalty to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Today is also celebrated as chunipai losar – a new year. Families and entire communities, especially in Eastern Bhutan, feast and enjoy traditional sports together for several days to welcome the new agricultural season. At the end of these non-stop festivities farmers begin the hard work of preparing their fields for the new farming cycle.
About the day 
The Traditional Day of Offering has been celebrated as Losar (New Year) since Zhabdrung’s days.
It was on this day that representatives from all the regions of Bhutan offered buelwa (offerings) to Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in the 17th century at the Punakha dzong.  The offerings were made to express love, devotion and loyalty. Hence the day has been observed as buelwa phuewi nyim or traditional day of offering.
The penlops of Trongsa, Paro and Dagana led the people of Sharcho khorlo tsipgye (the eight eastern domains, including Trongsa, Bumthang, Lhuentse, Mongar, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse, Pemagatshel, and Samdrupjongkhar), Mangde tsho zhi (the four regions of Trongsa), Bumthang dey zhi (the four regions of Bumthang), Khengrig nam sum (the three regions of Zhemgang), Daga la gong sum (the three mountain passes of Daga) and Wang tshochen-gey (eight great clans of the Wang area, comprising the present-day dzongkhags of Thimphu, Wangdi and Punakha), and made offering to Zhabdrung in Punakha, when he first observed the day as the new-year of the country.
The chunipa losar, in the past, was celebrated for 15 days, and gave way to the great Punakha Dromchoe, a ceremony introduced to honour the two deities, Pal-Yeshay Goenpo and Palden Lhamo for their role in protecting the country from Tibetan invasions.
It is during chunipa losar that new kudrungs (discipline masters) and lopons are appointed in dzongs.
The chunipa losar was removed from the list of national holidays in the 1960s, but the late Kidu Lyonpo (home minister), Tamzhing Jagar, reinstated it, on the request of the late Semtokha principal, Lam Norbu Wangchuk.
A month after the chunipa losar comes the daw dangpai losar or the new-year on the Bhutanese calendar.  The new-year is also called the Gyalpoi losar.  This is not by royal decree, but the losar is also a day to commemorate the conquest by a Mongolian King Gyalpo Tenzin Chhogyal, popularly known as Bushkhang, over Russian provinces, east Tibet, and other local provinces.

I missed Losar this year as I am here in India far apart from Bhutan I am deeply depressed as I missed my parents, relatives, nearest and dearest ones out there in Bhutan. I was driven back to the village this morning when I woke up. I remembered my parent woke up early in the morning and wake me up telling me to wash face for Thukpa, the first phase of food for the day. Then they will cook the special food that we never eat in the year. After Thukpa I will called my friend and I remembered playing archery where my parents were proud of having son like me although I am good in nothing. I remembered I was the main singer while there was a Karey where everybody praises me.
I am emotionally sad today. I eat nothing but I have class today as I am undergoing master which I should say prestigious or some other else.  I don’t think I am matured because I always feel lonely here. May be this was the first time I am away from country Bhutan. I was in Bhutan whole day although my body was in class. I could not understand anything today what my professor taught.  Anyway I wish my Tsawai Lama and His Family, my parents, friends, relatives and dearest ones a happy CHUNIPA LOSAR.
Finally in the evening I went to Bazaar and eat chicken roll myself with full of tears……………………………. God is unfair where I am kept all alone here in India without any friend. On one part I was deeply sad that like in this samsara for filling up once stomach we have to undergo many sufferings and struggles. I am really fad up with this life.
Anyway cheer up my friends who are in Bhutan. Enjoy life as it is too short. Life is uncertain. Enjoy life when good thing happen and don’t worry when bad thing happen too. Both are impermanent and it will pass away.

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