Five really nice movies that I watched in the last one year.
Disclaimer: This is not a list of must-watch movies that released last year. These released at different points of time in the past, just that I happened to watch them in the last one year. Also, the movies are not listed in any particular order.
1.The lives of others, 2006- A brilliant German movie about how experiences can change people, the experience in this case being, watching over a writer and his lover in socialist East Germany as a secret agent. The film has the right mix of drama and suspense , garnished by the right amount of beneath-the-surface- emotions. The setting and the details are very authentic and beautifully recreated. The kind of movie that would make one believe that even the most ideologically hardened individuals are more than what they seem and a little bit of scratching beneath the surface might reveal some very, very unexpected emotions and different people.
2. Loins of punjab, 2007- Indian crossover cinema always fascinated me. But, I always thought that the portrayal of the Indian diaspora was over-the-top and the characters were deliberately made caricaturish. That is until I moved here to the US. This film is a tongue-in-cheek look at the Indian diaspora in the US with their aspirations, frustrations and the entire package. I was ticking off check boxes in my mind while watching the movie, comparing the characters in the movie to the Indians I have met during my stay here. Believe me, the film is not trying to be funny, it just ends up being funny! Enough said !
3. Ernest and Celestine, 2012- I am not a big fan of animated movies. But when the animations seem like they stepped out of a children's fairy tale book (my favorite kind of books) , I'm more than just happy. With animations that seem almost poetic and a theme of unlikely friendships, beneath which lies the universal theme of love, it is pure visual delight. The kind of movie that leaves you feeling warm and happy.
4. Gone Girl, 2014- Quite the opposite of the last movie, I left the theatre with a shudder , thinking about how many layers each individual has and is hiding. It has a brilliant ending that takes the cake for this movie. The wife goes missing on a couple's anniversary and the husband is accused of murdering her. The series of events that follow, leave the viewer completely taken aback and wondering about the extent of the complexity of human minds and thoughts.
5. It's a wonderful life, 1946- A typical feel-good Christmas movie with a beautiful message. Best watched on a cold winter evening, with a cup of hot chocolate. When we often question the meaning of our existence in the larger scheme of things, we often forget what life would be like for those people whose lives we have touched in some way or the other. An angel is sent down from heaven, to make a man contemplating suicide, realize that how he has touched the lives of so many other people in his small little town. Garbed in the disguise of a feel-good classic, the movie does end up teaching some valuable life lessons.