Nobody asked for my fave pictures but I wanted to write the list down anyways:D Looks like it is a trend. My top 10 all time favourites: (List may grow as and when I remember)
- Avatar anyday. Seen it a 100 times, may be a 1000 times. Frame by frame, scene by scene by heart. Never tire.
- Lion King. Old one. Animated picture. It is like family film for us. We got to watch it only by 1998-99 for the first time in our new VCD in Malaysia. For months, we went to sleep watching the picture. The latest one is good. But as my now 25 year old son asks, how can you better a picture that is already the best. No scope for improvement!
- Personally for me the old film ‘King Elephant’ screened for us in our school auditorium in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore – where I did my primary was a turning point. Nothing I can recall but it infused, fueled a love for wild life especially elephants in me. Now various versions are available in You Tube but I am not convinced I am looking at what I saw way back then with little girls and boys of that tender age.
- Mr. Bean, Tom & Jerry (old series), The bug life, The Dinosaur. Family favourites as we saw them as family as my son was growing up.
- Old Black & white Tamil pictures of director-producer K Balachander: Aval Oru Thodarkadhai (she is a novel or serial story common in those days in weekly magazines), heavy theme and way ahead of those times (late 1970s) (family drama)
- Old black & white tamil picture of K Balachander: Avargal (them), ahead of his times (late 1970s) (family drama)
- Tamil picture of K Balachander: Thanneer Thanneer (water, water) (1980s)
- Tamil picture of K Balachander: Sindhu Bhairavi (1980s)
- Tamil picture B & W of Jayakanthan Novel remake: Oru Nadigai Nadaagam Parkiraal (an actress watches a drama) (1970s)
- Tamil picture of K Balachander B & W : Aboorva Raagangal (1970s) (rare raag or tune) (far ahead of those times)
- Tamil picture of Bharathi Raja: Padinaru Vayadhinile (at 16th year) that saw the debut of Sri Devi, Kamal Hasan and Rajni Kanth in late 1970s. May be not debut but their second films that brought them to limelight . The trio went on to rule the celluloid screen for next 20 years. Stars were born overnight. Sridevi as ‘Mayilu’ , Kamal Hasan as ‘Chappani’ and Rajni Kanth as ‘Paratta.’ A must watch. Director Bharathi Raja and Music composer Ilayaraja too became sensations who went on to conquer the south Indian film industry.
- Tamil picture Black & white: Aval Appadi Thaan (she is like that) (late 1970s) ahead of those times
- Tamil picture of Kamal Hasan : Thevar Magan (Thevar’s son) (remade as Viraasat in Hindi with Anil Kapoor) (1990s)
- The Sound of music. We all grow up with it. Needs no intro.
- Titanic: I still cry when Jack dies. Exposes the snobbish arrogance of the rich. Magical love story.
- Pretty Woman: Love Vivian to the moon and back and of course Richard Gere. There is so much of kindness and decency and dignity in this film. The hotel manager for instance. What a character. Then the way Gere treats Julia Roberts, respecting her as a fellow human being putting everything else aside. Vivian’s head held high under all circumstances. I like that. The picture comes as a ray of hope, a promise, a dream come true.
- Shall we dance: Midlife crisis. Another Richard Gere gold. Most middle age couples can identify with this film. Susan Sarandon, a gem. Jennifer Lopez omg ! Love the Latino dances. Dances can be therapeutic. I do clumsy Zumba myself!
- A Lot like Love: Ashton Kutcher! Adore him and his sense of humour! Unfolds in phases. This kind of love is more convincing and practical and sustaining!!!
- Pride and Prejudice. Classic Jane Austen. Old is gold.
- Little Women. Girls who grow up in all-girls home not with much male company can identify with this picture.
- Troy: Omg. Brad Pitt!!! I am like that ant and he is like that walking god whose boot i can’t see, but he is a dream!!! Achilles is demi god.
- Hindi pictures: I watch but nothing is heart’s favourite because I am used to watching south Indian pictures with strong storyline, characterization, good editing and screenplay-dialogue-direction, substance sans even make-up at times. That makes it difficult for me to accept Bollywood films even though I enjoy watching a few of them time to time. Tamil pictures too sometimes don’t have logic, but they are still better. Less stupid. More realistic. And also we get to watch the originals while most Hindi films are remakes of south Indian pictures. Love Sanjeev Kumar. For no reason. May be for his smokey eyes and voice. Somehow he was and is my dream man always! Along with Vinod Mehra. Unfortunately he passed away very early. Chitchor could be my most favourite film from 1970s . Love it for its innocence and sweetness. Amol Palekar, another favourite hero. And of course a younger Rajesh Khanna. May be Shashi Kapoor also 😀 Never action heroes like Amitabh Bachchan. Tamil pictures in 1970s and 80s were way ahead of those times. Even today they may not be palatable to some. What a treat and what a feast to one’s mind’s eye. I can watch them over a 100 times even today in tv. Bollywood went into the hands of Dawood gang with the start of the 1990s that saw the Khans promoted in a big way. This has led to unprecedented levels of decay and quality destruction in the Hindi film industry.
- Shawshank Redemption: Years back recommended by my son. Got addicted to this picture ever since! Like it mainly because my son asked me to watch it 😀 also now I like it on my own!
- OMG how could I have forgotten Bahubali! India’s answer to Troy! Both part I and part II, with the picture dubbed in Hindi and other state languages. To be watched in Inox/Imax cinemas only – to do it justice. Of the same grandeur was Padmaavat. Prabhas and Rana Dagupathy from Hyderabadas hero and anti-hero in Bahubali became overnight national sensations. What a different breed from the hairless Khans of Bollywood!!! Padmaavat – aesthetically made with the beautiful dusky Deepika Padukone. Period picture. The climax!
- ‘Tare zameen par’ – i found the one Bollywood pic made by Aamir Khan who i normally loathe. You will understand this picture when you have grown up along with special children or children with learning disabilities. My mother taught hearing and speech impaired middle school girls so I could connect with the film. Teaching or training even these grown up teens with functional faculties was not easy. I bear witness. Plus I see a number of ADHD children under autism spectrum these days. It is not easy on the kids or on the parents. Can freak us out, and what must be a happy dreamy life can turn out to be a nightmare for no one’s fault. I would say, these are God’s special children and if we beget them, it means in this janam we have accepted this Karma for a reason. This is our unfinished agenda/life mission. Of course easy to give a discourse until we are in the spot. My heart goes out to the parents of special children first, because the kids themselves remain unaware of their unique condition. ‘Tare zameen par’ deals with very light ‘dyslexia’ which is just the tip of the iceberg. Like step 1 in a 10 or 20 step ladder when it comes to impaired learning/learning disabilities. Extremes are Down syndrome/cerebral palsy for instance. I see them in my life. I am connected to them in my life. I have seen the parents’ denial and then finally their lame submission to destiny. I talk to these mothers. Fathers. Dyslexia and ADHD are nothing really. Not grave conditions considering what I have seen. My heart goes out to the parents first always for their selfless sacrifices.
- There are some more like ‘Mundhaanai Mudichu’ (the marital tie – actually the tie of the sari pallu with dhoti in the wedding ceremony as the newly wed walk around the Agni or holy fire) of Bhagyaraj for instance from early 1980s. I can go on and on, but stop here. This family drama set in rural surroundings was the first adult picture I saw. Released when my mother was still around, we girls were not taken to the cinemas by our parents. I got to catch up with it in my standard 10 (rather sneaked to see it) when a neighbour bought a new VCR in 1984. How to tell an adult story without vulgarity, how to crack adult joke that won’t still make you squirm – the picture did it. Excellent screenplay and intelligent humour that became the trademark of actor-director Bhagyaraj. Every teen wanted to secretly watch this so-called hit adult picture in those days! The only tv channel Doordarshan never played it. Finally I got to watch it with peace in tv as India changed, sometime after the turn of the millennium!!! It is still stamped in my mind that this film is adult film hahaha! Watching it these days I recognize the master story telling by the director and low production costs yielding maximum revenue in those times. The way it must be.
- Now I shouldn’t be going on… ! The rest that I love, I have here reviewed. From Pariyerum Perumal to 96, the latest from Tamil film industry. Now real full stop!
As a policy, i switch off a picture if there is too much death, violence etc. Big no to horror pictures, serial murder films, scary movies etc because these leave negative vibes in our home and mind. If I am watching, even my hubby switches off tv whenever such scenes roll. Very disturbing and unsettling these could be even if only fictional. Always for positive vibes. Let’s fill our homes with happiness and contentment. Then there is no need to light aromatic candles! ( I never did that)! Good home food, good classical music and dance and cricket in tv/laptop, good books, good friends – heaven!
Funny part is watching films on tv as family. I remember that if steamy scenes were played, I would change channel. Once my son when he was 8 or 10 took the remote from me and changed channel whenever there was a steamy scene on tv!!! Kids learn from parents.