I think it is quite preposterous when someone asks me – What is your favorite movie? The simple reason is that a movie is predominantly based on a topic, and topic necessarily needn’t be our favorite one at all! Yet there will be dozens of movies, which we will relate to, mostly because we get connected to its emotion.
The first example is none other than the favorite movie of most people – The Godfather. If someone says that their favorite topic is about a coldblooded murderer and a plotter of murder of many others, many of us would definitely take a deep breathe about him/her. Yet, how many times have we all watched this movie with great respect to each of its main characters and filmmakers? Psychologists wouldn’t mind saying that animal instincts haven’t pervaded us humans, as we all bask in the glory of Michael Corleone’s rise as The Godfather. Incidentally, one of my most interesting moments of Cinema belongs to this film.
Moment from The Godfather: When Michael chances upon the plan that his father’s enemies are plotting to kill his oldman, even after their first attempt to kill him failed, he teams up with an ordinary guy to pose as his father’s security. The killers fall for this charade, assume that there is still some security left at the hospital and leave immediately. Michael’s friend, breathes a sigh of relief, knowing completely that he just missed a date with death. He goes for a cigarette, and tries to light it up with his lighter. His shivering hands make it hard for him to light it up. Michael, instinctively, takes the lighter and lights up the cigarette. It is after this moment he sees that unlike his good friend’s, his hands aren’t trembling in fear and that he has in him the same coldblooded monsterous genius that resides in his father too!
And you still wonder why you like this film? Hail Coppola!
Moment from Maya Bazaar (Telugu, 1957): In Maya Bazaar, when Lord Sri Krishna brings along gifts for the family of his elder brother, no one would have been prepared for a gift called Priya Darshini – a gift that would show people their favorite ‘things’. For a proud man the visual of his disciple bending down in complete devotion is soothing, while for a middle aged woman the sight of jewellery and money is relaxing. And for a young girl, finding her lover on screen, so close to her makes her fly. What way of establishing characters, and what unique imagination when Free India was not even into its teens!
Moment from Dil Chahta Hai (Hindi, 2001): While the relationships between man and a woman, and sometimes only between women, have been explored beautifully on screen – never before male bonding looked beautiful, fun and charming at the same time. Farhan Akhthar’s debut not only took India by surprise for its chic urban evolution in India, but that men, in between them, share great chemistry too. Standing on a boat in a sea, when Aakash, Sameer, Siddharth, each with different mindsets, each on the verge of a ‘sea’ change in their lives, look into horizon seriously, they catch themselves staring into nothing and laugh at each other. I’m not sure if this was a planned shot, but even if it wasn’t – it is simply brilliant.
Moment from Amelie (French, 2002): For a second, Amelie, a waitress who enjoys simple pleasures in a delightful corner of Paris, wonders how many people could be having orgasm in that very moment. And then we see… what – a montage of shocking visuals, with different people, each with different sound, who have just had an orgasm. That is heights of realistic, voyuerstic, and innocent imagination; and in the world’s first fulllength digital intermediate work film – it was plain beautiful!
Moment from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (English, 1977): It is almost impossible, somehow not to have Steven Spielberg in any list of mine that pertains to cinema. A kid, who seems to have been kidnapped by aliens, is returned to his mother, in a visually stunning, and emotionally titillating scene. In the context of the scenario the way the kid looks back at the aliens, tells us that they didn’t treat him too badly, and that to some extent he would miss them. Now conveying that unknown emotion through a single look is what makes this scene touching to the point of shaking you internally!
Note: Remember these are not shot compositions, or visuals that I was talking of, but plain emotional moments that seemed to make an impression on me. The fact that I personally liked each film mentioned here, might have had its own measure of impact on my decision-making to an extent.
So much for asking me what my favorite film is. My answer would be none, or just too many to remember!