Since my last blog, I got married, became a father, changed my job twice and set foot on two different continents. The thought of reviving this blog had occurred to me more than once in between, though, willy-nilly, whenever I’ve mustered the resolve to sit down and write, I’ve ended up getting pulled into the world of instant gratification offered by YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp and the like.
Late last year while I was on the trail up the hill to Eze village, made famous by Nietzsche, lapping up the exquisite beauty of the Mediterranean, I knew I still had that thing for mountains. The month long sojourn to the French Riviera was in a way tantamount to paid vacation, what with all the weekend trips to the Cannes, Monaco, the Picasso museum, Nice city and the beach side accommodation in Juan-les-Pins. No wonder France has been the epitome of arts and culture in the modern world.
Talking about arts and culture, the role of movies in propagating this remarkable vocation of human society is unparalleled. A few days back, while engaged in a discussion about the impending Oscar night with friends, I had this fancy idea of making a list of my all-time favourite movies. The idea of making such a list was always fraught with danger, in that you’d almost always look back at it and wonder if the one that you pushed in was really worth it?! Or your childhood favourite which got the axe, partly because, well after all it’s just a childhood favourite; could have been a worthy addition. Anyways, that’s how it goes – C’est la vie!
So here it goes, in no particular order, the movies that made me laugh, whimper, reflect, imagine, cringe and whatever other adjectives one could think of. I lay no claim whatsoever to being even a half decent critique and as a consequence the list is more of a case of heart over mind.
The movie I have watched the most number of times without a shadow of doubt. This movie first appealed to my innate explorer nature and transcended the realms of thriller movies. For once cricket had to take a back seat at school as each and every scene was carefully analyzed and dissected in detail during those mini breaks. The music from John Williams elevated the already captivating visuals to stratospheric levels. This may not be the best movie Spielberg had ever made, nevertheless this would go down as the movie that made him famous all over the world.
Lot of articles have already been written about this magnum opus from Christopher Nolan that it would be sacrilegious from my part to try and describe the greatness of this movie. I particularly enjoyed this which came in The Guardian. With movies such as these where the audience could get mired in all the Physics and space theorems explained to them to keep them riveted, the highlight of this movie, as far as I’m concerned, is in how the director ties everything back to the love of a father for his kids. Well, roping in Hans Zimmer definitely helped in making some of the scenes in the movie vividly memorable, like for instance, the scene when Mathew McConaughey drives out of his home with a heavy heart and the one where his capsule enters the Black Hole.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless Mind
“Meet me in Montauk” – as Kate Winslet whispers this to Jim Carrey, you are overcome with a sense of melancholy and hope at the same time. The non-linear narrative, science fiction and romance make this a must watch for anyone who loves good cinema. Jim Carrey shows us a different and amazing side of his acting repertoire and Kate Winslet just makes this movie her own. The movie has quite a lot of aphorisms which forms an essential part of the narrative. The Phone call on the eve of Valentine’s day would make your heart melt!
The Big Lebowski
The cult classic that went on to spawn a religion! The sort of movie that grows on you; explains why it was not a box office success. ‘The dude’ connects with you on many fronts, not least, your laidback nature (well, at least mine) and the ‘take everything in your stride’ attitude to life. Don’t think any other movie could lay claim to the most number of profound one-liners as TBL can or maybe, you know, that’s just, like, my opinion, man!
The Shawshank redemption
The Shawshank redemption was a bit like TBL, in that, it did not meet with box office success when it was released initially. Based on crime thriller novel by Stephen King, the movie touches a lot of facets of human life. When Morgan Freeman narrates about the Pacific, you could sense the beauty of the Pacific-such is the passion in his voice. This is the most intense movie I’ve ever watched, emotionally drains you at times, ultimately feeling grateful to have watched such a movie. This movie is said to have positively influenced the lives of many a people in the U.S. with the message on how ‘Hope’ can trump all the difficulties in life.
It would be such a pity if I wrap this up without mentioning the names of other five movies that narrowly missed out.
They are Life is Beautiful, Dead poets’ society, Perfume, Schindler’s list and Godfather – I.
These five are by no means inferior to the five in the list, however, they had to be moved out for some reason or the other. C’est la vie!