31 January 2005 | caaa_cc
Culture and comfort
"Hari om" is an Indian greeting and the compelling title character of the film bearing this same name(played by the wedding planner from Monsoon Wedding) greets you and takes you on a journey through the heart of southern India. There's no "Bend it like Beckham" backdrops and stereotypes, and only slight salutes to the music and dancing of Bollywood (however, the soundtrack is well worth procuring), but rather, the feel that you are seeing the real India permeates the film through the use of dozens of local residents in each scene to augment the performance of the five professional actors. Fortunately for us, Hari Om's companion is a young and beautiful French woman in search of a journey. With overtures of an "Y Tu Mama Tambien" trip toward self-discovery (without the sex and fatal disease), this beautiful film calms and brings the philosophic mind. Against the initial juxtaposition of the protagonists, all identify with traits of both and the cultural divide disappears as humanity steps in. Most succinctly put, the movie's central theme, "Everyone has a love story, don't let yours pass by" teaches us a great deal about love on a number of levels. Don't let this film pass you by!