Daily Reflections

Movies that made an impression – 2017


Krishnan and I aren’t very avid movie-goers and infact this year we haven’t stepped inside a cinema theatre :). Nothing against the movie theatre, but when there is a huge selection of movies that we can watch on TV, why bother going to a theatre. The new movie channel “&PriveHD” that Tatasky has started offering is really good and many of these movies were watched on that channel.

This list of movies is not in any particular order and almost none of them were released this year except probably Bahubali 2. We learnt some important lessons from these movies and that’s why the list.

  1. The 100 Foot Journey – We stumbled upon this movie while channel surfing and stopped the minute we saw Om Puri. We saw part of the movie and then recorded it fully on another day to watch the whole movie. This movie tells the story of a feud between two adjacent restaurants in a French village, one operated by a recently relocated Indian family and the other, a lofty Michelin starred  restaurant. The biggest lesson from this movie is – cooperation beats competition anyday and Indians generally survive anywhere :).
  2. The Imitation Game – This movie was epic. I didn’t know that a mathematician had broken the Enigma code and it was with his help that the allies won WWII. Alan Turing was a mathematical genius who is considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. Read more about Alan Turing here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing. While reading about Alan Turing I discovered the great Panini, the ancient Sanskrit Philologist, grammarian and the father of Indian linguistics. How fascinating. Here is a statement from Wikipedia that connects Turing and Panini – “Pāṇini’s theory of morphological analysis was more advanced than any equivalent Western theory before the 20th century. His treatise is generative and descriptive, and has been compared to the Turing machine wherein the logical structure of any computing device has been reduced to its essentials using an idealized mathematical model.” Read about Panini here – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pāṇini
  3. The Hurricane – Krishnan and I try and watch every movie that has Denzel Washington. We find him choosing amazing roles and of course he is a great actor ! The Hurricane is like a biography of Robin Carter, the middleweight boxer who gets wrongly accused of a triple murder. Robin Carter died recently in 2014 and the movie is based on his autobiography. The movie shows the racism that existed then and how African American were generally ill-treated. That Robin Carter spends 20 years in jail for a crime that he didn’t commit is a story that’s probably repeated many times in many jails all over the world. Krishnan and I thought about Perarivalan who has spent 26 years in jail for procuring a battery for the people who were involved in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. He didn’t know they were plotting the assassination and he was just at the wrong place at the wrong time 😦 and has spent 26 years of his 46 years behind bars. Seems cruel, but such is life.
  4. Lion – This was a special movie. Abhishek had mentioned this movie last year and told me to watch it but I didn’t. We finally saw it on TV. Its based on the non-fiction book  A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley. A 5 year old child from Khandwa, M.P gets lost and reaches Kolkata. In a strange twist of fate, the child gets adopted by an Australian couple. The child grows up in Australia, learns English and goes to college. During a party with some of his Indian friends he eats Jalebi and that triggers a childhood memory and starts off his search for his biological mother. The way he finds her again is just brilliant and the whole movie is hugely uplifting. The child artiste Sunny Pawar who plays Saroo at age 5 is just brilliant. Dev Patel who plays Saroo as a grown up is of course very good, but Sunny Pawar just steals the show. Loved the movie especially because its a true story, unbelievable but true.
  5. The Way Back – Another true story and a mind boggling one. The film is inspired by The Long Walk (1956), the memoir by former Polish POW Slawomir Rawicz who apparently escaped from a Soviet Gulag and walked 4000 miles to freedom. This happened during WWII. The movie shows the whole escape – through Mongolia, Tibet, India and then to Poland. Some of his fellow travellers die and just a few make the whole trip. Its almost like a walk across the world … and a really long walk at that.
  6. Tanu Weds Manu Returns – We haven’t seen the first one but watched the sequel just a few weeks back. Madhavan is no surprise – he is brilliant as always. Kangana as the Haryanvi Datto is just outstanding. This lady packs a punch and I can’t get over her character. I never saw Kangana the star in that character. Awesome. This movie is worth watching just for Datto.
  7. Jolly LLB and the sequel – Had never seen the first one with Arshad Warsi nor the sequel with Akshay Kumar. Loved both. Both movies are quite brilliant and in many ways show how cases get twisted around and how some lawyers just make money, truth be damned… Boman Irani in the first one and Annu Kapoor in the second one are a class apart as always. Entertaining, no stress movies.

 

Besides these, we watched Bahubali’s sequel.. grand, huge movie and deserves all the money it made. What an awesome set and the special effects are comparable to the best in the world. Bahubali shows how far Indian movies have come technically.

A couple of weeks still to go for the year to end … maybe we will catch another interesting movie or two while the interesting movie called life continues to unfold.

 

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