Shhh! Secret Life of a Princess

Random, provoking thoughts from a self-confessed princess :: with focus on motivational learnings from the media. I hope to inspire everyone to be the best they can be

Sunday, April 18, 2010

When in Rome - My Review

I have been taking my virtual trips to a few countries recently like Kyoto and Rome while still being in Singapore. I was excited to see the view of Rome from a large cinema screen when the movie 'When In Rome' came into the cinemas. Plus seeing the sweet and affable Kristen Bell and the tall and dashing Josh Duhamel zoomed on a large screen doesn't hurt either.

In every movie, the part I liked the best is the beginning, how they captured the essence of the movie through a short introduction that will give you a prelude to the entire movie. The beginning of a movie sometimes is really important as it sets the tone and mood for the next 2 hours. It is like hearing the beginning of a song and knowing that I will or will not like it. And definitely the background music makes a huge impact to enhance the introduction.

The beginning of When In Rome did not disappoint, in fact showing Rome and Italy followed by New York in a bunch of revolving postcards set the tone of the places the viewers will see in this movie. And when the scene juxtapose to scenes of the face of the President on a Romanian coin being tossed into water and finally we see the statue in the Fountain of Love which leads you to the main protagonist of the movie. Yes, the intro of this movie is enchanting, unlike the typical girl running on treadmill and choosing her work attire before going to work. Finally, the intro pans to the scenes of illuminating lights on skyscrapers of New York where the movie begins.....

We are then brought into the Guggenheim Museum with its eccentric but impressive artifacts like flying wolfs on ceilings and luxury cars being hung from the top of the museum to the ground floor which is the location in which almost the whole movie is filmed. As this movie revolves around an art curator who loves her work more than falling in love, I am reminded of myself as the protagonist again. (Why are all love comedies now based on female leads who are strong and workaholic nowadays? There must be a fascination for these type of women.)

And in the movie, she finally fell in love with someone who made her loved him more than her work, the exact kind of guy she was aiming for. Josh Duhamel acted quite convincingly as a goofy and careless guy who gets into accidents wherever he goes. Even though in real life he must be the exact opposite, he was pretty endearing in the movie. And who wouldn't love a man who looks like this? ;)

This is definitely a movie worth watching for its canniness, its magic and the beautiful cast. The other 4 guys whom Kristen Bell puts spells on by taking away their coins from the fountain of love contributes the comic relief. Among all the guys, Danny Devito is the only one worth loving, even though the rest did help her make it to be with the man she loves. Another light-hearted movie for the hopefuls in love.


Mortality and Living Life

Being aware of mortality makes us ask ourselves what is important in life - from Buddhism

Last few months, I have been seeing the doctors and dentists more than I see my own husband. This because I do not live with my husband and from the beginning of this year, I have been falling sick more often than so many years put together. Maybe my body is finally telling me that it is time for me to take better care of myself. That I have been torturing my body too much through rigorous work and exercise with very little sleep and food. Yes, work and achievements were my priorities for a really long time. The reason work is so important in my life is because it brings in the dough to feed my family, pay for mortgage and car. Achievement is the fuel that keeps me going everyday and makes everyday worth living.

Recently, I have been inundated with some sort of a bad news after I saw a doctor and it is only then that it dawned on me that the life I have been envisioning with money stashed up so that I can buy a nice home and start going for travels might not turn out after all. It is with the view of mortality that made me ask myself what is important in life. And I immediately knew. I will not be here. I will be in a country which I have always wanted to go but never had the opportunity to. I will start living life again. I will not live my life for others as this is what I am doing now. I can finally let go of my responsibilities and be free! I can now think for the present and not worry too much about the future. I will enhance my spiritual well-being by going to Tibet. I will climb more mountains as I know it gives me a natural high. I will not devour as much dessert as I can esp ice-cream and chocolate cakes which I have been controlling myself from doing so. I will speak to those in pain and tell them not to be afraid. Cos I am not afraid. In fact, I will live everyday like it is my last. Yet, it may really be.

Then, I think, what is stopping me from doing it now. Now, enjoy a song that speaks to everyone's heart.


Japan's Sakura Flowers in Singapore

Japan does not give you the impression of a laid-back, easygoing and leisure-seeking society. In fact everything in Japan is about commercialization and monetization that it has one of the most fastest going transactions and economy in the world. You could find the most workaholic and egotistical people in Japan as compared to other countries. So, it is with wonder that every once in a year, people from all over Japan would let go of their inhibitions to participate in the most beautiful season in their country called hanami. Hamani, or cherry blossom viewing party held in Kyoto's Maruyama Park sees thousands of people throng the park just to sit under a canopy of sakura trees. In Kyoto, the cherry trees reach mankai or peak blossom sometime in late March or early April and once they do, their moment of glory is brief, lasting only a few days. And it is with these moment of glory that travel agencies around the world monetize this event to turn it into a tourist attraction. The ritual of hanami sees men from all walks of life clutching a large blue tarpaulin, a bento lunch box and a bottle of sake, most also with a pack of cigarettes. Each uses their tarp to stake their claim, defending their turf while they slowly get intoxicated under the blooms of the sakura.

I was not as lucky as my friend who made a trip to Japan recently to witness this beautiful event. However, I was partly lucky to get a feel of the event when The Central in Clarke Quay, Singapore decorated their river with fake but quite believable Sakura trees to attract passer-bys to their Japan inspired theme party. There was even a Sakura flavored gelato (with a pastel pink color) sold at Azabu Sabo which is located next to the Sakura trees deco. Families, relatives and couples flocked to the booth to get a taste of Japan and I find it fun to pretend for a while that I was actually immersed in the fragrant aroma of Sakura flowers in Japan. There was a couple of mixed race, a family of Chinese and Caucasian and a typical Singaporean couple taking photos using their camera phone which added to the colors of the place. The colors of Singapore. And the best part is my friend who just came back from Japan's hanami narrated the whole story to me, delighted me in her wonderful adventures. This is what I call travel on a budget. :)

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