The last time we saw Dralla Aierken in action she was playing the character Jean in that very poignantly directed short film with the heartfelt story Mrs. Gu and Her Armchair. Jean is a highly educated woman with advanced degrees who goes to a garage sale and sees an armchair she wants to buy. The seller is Mrs. Gu and the film goes on to tell the history of the chair and why Mrs. Gu so badly wants to get rid of it.
Dralla, of course, was solid in that role as she has been in everything we’ve seen her in. Dralla’s talent never surprises us anymore but her range does. She is not a good actress – she is a great actress who has an adventurous spirit and is quite willing to take on any role in the world. And each time she takes on a different character she does it so successfully that we have wondered from time to time how Dralla manages to completely immerse and merge herself into each persona that she portrays. We wonder because her kind of talent and commitment to acting is so rare that we have only seen it a few times.
Dralla’s penchant for playing roles that force her to stretch herself and break out of her comfort level are clearly seen in the two films she recently completed. Journey To The West is based on an old Chinese legend and it is a story of love, desire and conspiracy. The legend has the Buddha detaining WuKong under a mountain for 500 years. The film is set in modern times and the mountain has become a hotel, one where you are very welcome to check in but checking out is not an option. Dralla plays WuKong’s wife and they have been married for 500 years. The trouble begins when a younger and sexier woman (is anyone sexier than Dralla?) checks into the hotel and tries to take Jade’s husband away from her.
The Policymaker, is a film about a Los Angeles Chinese gang holding a secret meeting to elect a new “policymaker.” When the widow of the former policymaker shows up unannounced and uninvited, things move in a direction that the gang members never expected. It turns out that the widow has other things to do besides mourning over her deceased husband. Dralla plays the widow and the role calls for a good deal of subtlety on the actress’ part. It also demands that she be discreet, yet bold, engaging, yet aloof and a sexy, yet terrifying “black widow.” That’s Dralla…all of those things and much, much more! We can’t wait to see both of these gems.
By: Guest Writer