10 Days You Challenge : Day 4- Three Films

I am not a movie buff but there are certain flicks that I can see over and over. They may be part of the main stream cinema or just a little different. It is difficult to pick just three. I loved Life is beautiful, Behind Enemy lines, Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s list. There are hundreds of animation movies that I absolutely adore like Finding Nemo, Lion King, Aragon, Happy Feet etc. Then there are musicals and western classics. The list is endless. It is hard but let me select the three that touched my heart.

1. As Good As It Gets : I am a huge fan of Jack Nicholson and loved him as Joker in Batman. Exceptional artist and what a remarkable screen presence the guy has. A very well written and flawlessly directed dark edged romantic comedy. One of the best of its time. The greatest pleasure is the acting of Nicholson. Devilishly cuddly but at the same time in absolute control. He keeps you glued till the last scene. It is a very different role he plays here and the strong chemistry between him and Helen Hunt is exceptional. I like Hunt too. Simple and brilliance personified. My kinda woman. :p

 2Mackenna’s Gold – When we talk of western classics there are a few films that come to the mind. The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Mackenna’s Gold, Stage Coach, The Magnificent Seven, High Noon Duel in the Sun and many more. I saw Mackenna’s Gold as a teenager and instantly fell in love with Omar Sharif. Gregory Peck of course is all time heart-throb. The cinematography is amazing. Whole film is shot in Grand Canyon a place I would love to visit one day. The music by  Quincy Jones is as always exceptional. The plot revolves around the legend of  a fortune in gold hidden in the “Canyon del Oro,” guarded by the Apache spirits. It is an action packed, colorful film with a beautiful  Jose Feliciano-sung ballad at the beginning of the film, “Old Turkey Buzzard”. The aerial Photography is breathtaking. Though the movie remains one of the weak western one I still love it for the sheer pleasure of its simplicity.

3. Now to our own Bollywood.  Khamoshi is one of my favorite movies. This Rajesh Khanna , Waheeda Rehman starter was a landmark in Indian Cinema. It had a bold plot and a very courageous climax for its time. The inner turmoil of the female protagonist , the love and the dilemma made it an excellent watch. Both the lead actors gave a brilliant performance. This 1969 movie had Waheeda in all her subtle moods and Rajesh too makes one want for more. The heart wrenching story is projected very well and the music is exceptional. Some of the best songs of that time came from this movie like tum pukar lo, wo sham kuch ajeeb thi, hamne dekhi hai in aankhon ki mehkti khushbu etc.

Hope you enjoyed my selection of movies. If you are doing this tag do leave a link so I can discover some good movies.

It all began HERE 


Udaan : Movie Review

Udaan created a turbulence inside me and I am sure everyone who saw it saw some of of his/ her life reflected there. The simplicity and stark  treatment of subject is the beauty of the film.

I vote Udaan is the best film of this decade.

The coming of age , a celebration of spirit rebellious is a genre normally not dealt with in Indian Cinema. Debutant director, Vikramaditya Motwane has done an exceptionally good job with it. The screen play shared  by Motwane and the film’s producer, Anurag Kashyap is terrific .

It was slightly disturbing to see parts of our own life come alive on screen but then that’s what makes a film worth appreciating. It surely touched a deep cord somewhere.

I am sure many kids of this age group , even my elder son,  connected with the character of Rohan , the main protagonist.

Udaan is a deeply affecting story of Rohan( played by newcomer Rajat Barbecha ), his fears and aspirations, his vulnerability as a seventeen year old boy trying to find his roots. Rajat’s brilliant performance conveys that intense loneliness and frustration of a free spirited young boy torn  by his inner turmoil. His hatred, claustrophobia deeply resonates in everyone who watches it.

My son who studied for 6 years in boarding always told about boys who did not want to go back home or dreaded returning to parents who never understood them. Some longed and were homesick but their parents too busy with their lives to think of the child they had abandoned.

Rohan is thrown out of boarding school and packed off to Jamshedpur, his home town. His first visit in eight years. A motherless child , he is about to face some naked truths of life. A half-brother he is unaware of, a hostile , authoritative ice-cold father, the smothering environment of  a small industrial town.

Rohan’s dreams of being a writer are crushed brutally by his dad who wants him to follow family tradition and join his steel plant. Caged in a small house with a younger half-brother for whom he has no affection and facing his father’s hostile outbursts his depression becomes more intense .  His angst is felt very strongly throughout the movie.

The dialogs between father and son are razor-sharp. It is not uncommon to find  emotionally stunted, disciplinarian fathers who   are boggled down middle class fears and obsessions of a ‘secure’ future for their sons. The film is a complete character study of an  Indian middle class family. Stuck up father, emotional rebellious son who wants to escape the social bondage and routine to follow his dreams is representative of many such teenagers who run away from authority and uninspiring future. even Rohan’s sympathetic uncle (played by Ram Kapoor) , his petrified younger step brother who is a victim of  home abuse and his bunch of edgy friends ( from school and neighborhood) can be anyone from our dead society.

Rohan’s friends sing a parody of an old Bollywood song ” ‘Sab chote shaher ka baap ek jaisa hota hai. Family business? Very good, very good. Dream business? Very bad, very bad.’…. over gallons of rum. A pungent and pertinent remark.

I loved the way Rohan’s freewheeling poetry is incorporated in the film. Each of his poems is a mirror of his inner. Exceptionally brilliant.

Ronit Roy’s performance is mind-blowing to say the least and it is a performance based film. I wasn’t a big fan of his till now. Simple stories are hard to narrate and here each character has put life into the plot.

I loved that for the first time  the protagonist is not a run on the mill film teenager but a boy with more realistic problems than finding girlfriends and discovering sex and romance. In one of the scenes his dad even asks him ” sex kiye ho?”

India’s Neo wave cinema has come of age  with this exceptional film. Life is not all bed of roses. There is a dark liquid running beneath the nicely swept streets. definitely poignant, unyielding , very refreshing , beautifully penned story Udaan is a sheer pleasure to watch if you are a cinema lover.

The sugar-coated image of parents is shredded to uncover the dark side of parenting.  Udaan to me seemed a very confidant début. He never loses track of the main story even when dealing with crucial scenes or its ultimate goal.

Overall an enriching experience of self realization and  a lesson for all to learn. To let children be. We as parents are not controllers and our children are not puppets neither are they slaves of our expectations.

10/10 for Udaan.