We accidentally watched the movie before it even opened, and well, Ajoomma is a good film.
It is paced and written smartly. It is believable and yet, out there enough so that it catches your interest. It is a short movie, and doesn’t take much of you. It is bright and happy, and it is a very likable movie. Auntie Lim would remind many Singaporeans of their mother, and we know where the story eventually goes, but you’re still drawn in, rooting for Auntie Lim, Jung Su, and Kwon Woo. Even the son has a story to tell. (Call me old, but given the subplot, I am surprised the rating is a NC16.)
I find myself watching fewer and fewer movies over the years, and Covid meant a quieter movie industry in more recent years. But if you need a movie to get back into the movie-going mood, this is a good candidate.
Maybe we will learn to appreciate our families more, tolerate differences more. It is certainly not a movie for cynics. I really appreciated the theme of kindness that came out of the Auntie Lim/ Jung Su story, especially when it shows you how compassion sometimes doesn’t help. 💀 (Really, the best move would have been to stay put, or go back to the last place you lost whoever.) (And oh, I didn’t see it as a romance subplot, oops.)
“In the United States, though, convenience was everything; it still is. We were plugging anything we could into the internet, at a rate of 127 devices a second. We had bought into Silicon Valley’s promise of a frictionless society. There wasn’t a single area of our lives that wasn’t touched by the web. We could now control our entire lives, economy, and grid via a remote web control. And we had never paused to think that, along the way, we were creating the world’s largest attack surface.”
This is How They Tell Me The World Ends
Zero-day exploits, passwords, airgap systems, multi-factor authentication, attacks on the grid, spies, a market for cyber weapons… the arms race all over again.
The book induces a breathlessness, an anxiety that you do not let overwhelm you because you know we are all screwed. Because you know that some things have already bolted out the door, the likely outcome already set in motion many years ago, when the world was a more naive place. This is a sobering read, and my helpless self proceeded to pat my password manager, change some old passwords, and set up multi-factor authentication for more accounts.
“Throughout the worst of the pandemic I, like everyone, thought of the many things I’d failed to appreciate back when life was normal: oh, to be handed an actual restaurant menu; to stand so close to a stranger that you can read the banal text messages that are obviously more important to him than his toddler stumbling off the curb and out into traffic…”
If anybody has the energy in this pandemic to write about this pandemic, it would be Sedaris. A collection of personal essays, you can expect the usual offbeat observations, sometimes drily expressed. He is always interesting and given the details he inserts, it makes me want to keep a journal, an audio record even, but perhaps I am meant to live my life more prosaically.
This is a wonderful record of the pandemic years. Everyone’s experience is of course different, but some of the broader themes are there, soothing to see in the written word.
“Too much free time, and too much time together. I’m normally away from Hugh between four and six months a year, and when the pandemic canceled the tours I had scheduled, I panicked. We were in New York at the time, so I sought out his old friend Carol. “What’s he really like?” I asked her. “I think I sort of knew once, but that was twenty-five years ago.””