I love watching movies; the genre does not matter as long as it’s not over-the-top and irritatingly mindless. Also, watching movies is one of my time-pass activities during the weekends.
Today I am writing about a few movies I watched in the recent past (in no particular order) and liked them for reasons of their own.
1. The Reluctant Fundamentalist:-
Right from the time I saw the trailer of the movie I wanted to watch it and one fine Saturday I and my movie-going partners went for this movie.
This Mira Nair movie is an adaption of the book authored by Mohsin Hamid with the same name. Though the plot is in the backdrop of post 9/11, it is very different from movies made about this incident. It’s about a Pakistani man Changez Khan (brilliantly portrayed by Riz Ahmed, who left me mesmerized) who succeeds to live his American dream, complete with a gorgeous artist girlfriend, till the attacks of 9/11, when he faces reality check.
The movie shows what the protagonist had to go through while living in America prior / during / after 9/11. Racism has been hinted in the movie in a subtle way. Changez felt wronged by the treatment meted out to him by the Americans because of his religion. In his job, he is not judged at all owing to his religion and he continued to step up the ladder under his appreciative boss. However, due to certain incidents he decides to leave everything and return back to his homeland.
The film shows that not every one of them who had been wronged picked up weapons or bloodied their hands. It says that terrorism is not an issue that can’t be resolved; it does not justify extremism under any circumstance; it does not sympathize with the ones who had picked up weapons after being wronged…… The monologue at the end is what the movie is all about.
My take away from the movie would be that revenge can never be a solution and we all should strive to make better the lives of our as well as the ones around us, simply ignoring all kinds of negativity.
2. Bombay Talkies:-
Indian cinema (Bollywood) had completed 100 years of its glorious existence. We Indians celebrate & worship cinema in spite of the fact that at times it is over-the-top, larger-than-life. For every emotion and occasion there is a befitting song. 🙂 And so, to mark this milestone, four directors got together to offer movie lovers a potpourri of 4 stories; each of them portraying the influence of cinema on an Indian.
The movie starts with that of Karan Johar, and coming from him the story was a surprise. The plot is about a married man who had kept the truth about his sexuality under wraps and kept the desires of his wife unfulfilled. And then enters a gay male friend of hers and before they realized, their lives were turned upside down. This story deals with homosexuality & at the same time, also that music can fill the emptiness in our hearts.
Next it is Dibakar Banerjee who along with the other genius, actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui left me spell-bound. The story is about an ‘aam aadmi’ who had big dreams but lacked the zeal to seek them with hard work & perseverance. The story was kind of poetic & ended with capturing the magic of a child’s smile.
Post intermission, Zoya Akhtar transports us to the world of young fantasy & also asks the question whether we should dream for ourselves or as per the approval & the conventions laid down by our society. The story is about a boy who would rather be a dancer and move his body like the on-screen Sheila than be a footballer as his father wants him to be. After being hit by his father for dressing up like a girl, he decides that some dreams are to be kept a secret & should be revealed only at the right time. The story gives hope & happiness.
The final story is by Anurag Kashyap in which he both criticizes and celebrates cinema. It was witty & hugely entertaining. The God-like stardom of Amitabh Bachchan glorifies the glamour & the naivety of his fan adds the reality check. At the end, the story gives us a lesson. A masterstroke by Anurag backed up with a brilliant performance by Vineet Kumar.
The icing in the cake was the song at the end of the movie where most of the top shots of Bollywood came together (I missed Salman Khan, though :P). It could have been much better but nonetheless they made an effort. 🙂
3. Life of Pi:-
It is an adaptation of the book authored by Yann Martel by the same name. The story is about a boy struggling to survive in the middle of a sea, along with ‘Richard Parker’, a Royal Bengal Tiger & trying to come in terms about his relationship with God. Along with the story, I was captivated by the visual effects of the film, especially the ones in the sea.
The main character Piscine Molitor Patel, who changes his name to Pi to escape the ridicule of his classmates, was a curious boy and from his childhood days he was attracted to religion & the meaning of life. He rejects his father’s rationalism & creates a personal mix of Hinduism, Christianity & Islam. His family ran a zoo in Pondicherry & in certain turn of events, they decide to relocate to Canada. As the family set sail in a ship with the zoo animals, a terrible storm leads to the shipwreck & Pi was left stranded in the sea on a lifeboat with the Bengal Tiger. Both of them managed to survive for 227 days in the sea braving storms, hunger, a carnivorous island & many other challenges.
The film ends with 2 versions of the entire incident & leaves it up to the viewers to decide which version they would prefer to believe.
The film is what Irfan Khan (who played the elder Pi, narrating the story) had said, “Its cinema at its best”.
4. Makkhi: –
This movie in an animated action film about the revenge of a super fly & it conveys the message that bad karma hits back & that revenge come in all sizes. 😉 When I saw the trailers flashing in the TV, I was amazed. I was like, who would want to watch a movie about a house-fly? But soon everybody talking about it, I decided to give it a go.
The main plot is a love triangle between Jaani, a small fireworks maker, Bindu, a micro-artist and Sudeep, a business tycoon. Jaani is in love with Bindu and she shies away from expressing her feelings for him. Sudeep falls in love with Bindu & when he comes to know abou Jaani, he murders him mercilessly. And from here the story takes an interesting turn. Jaani is reborn; but unlike typical rebirth stories, he is reborn not as a human but as a housefly!
Some moments of the movie made it an even more fun watch, like – Sudeep insists on carrying an insect repellant in one hand all the time, Sudeep wrapping himself up like an Egyptian mummy so that he can sleep peacefully at night away from the buzzing of the fly, when the super-fly is attacked by a lethal spray, one can actually spot the chemical rinse off its body, etc.
For me the film worked because it was creative and the makers made a mundane run-of-the-mill story appealing, with some brilliant performance by the antagonist, the animation & the background score. Things from a housefly’s perspective was very well thought of and shown with brilliance. The first few scenes when Jaani reincarnates himself and reborn as a fly and discovers the world and surrounding around him is awesome. As the plot progressed I was busy cheering for the fly.
Do share your experiences / opinions about these four movies if you have watched them. I would love to hear them. 🙂
Image courtesy: Google