These are 15 of those movies that I watch repeatedly ie more than 5 times. And I can watch them again if I want to. I wont call all of them artistically meaningful. Most of them are guilty pleasures. But what the hell- why should we feel guilty when we are feeling pleasure?
1. One Fine Day
This movie about two single parents whose lives gets accidently intertwined during the course of a single day leading to sweet consequences. In my opinion its the closest that I have come across a perfect romantic comedy screenplay. May be Michelle Pfeiffer is causing a cognitive distortion.
2. Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge
Love birds and dissenting parents were once the bread and butter of Bollywood. Here the only twist is the boy who is not ready to marry the girl without the consent of her father. Well- you can show disgust for the Bollywood formula, you can laugh at the silliness of it, you can yawn at the predictability of it, you can write essays about the sugariness of it. But… you cannot resist it.
3. Good Will Hunting
Its a well crafted movie revolving around a 18 year old delinquent mathematical genius and the psychiatrist who reluctantly tries to straighten him up. Its contains many of my favourite movie monologues beautifully rendered by Robin Williams on screen. And yes I think Ben Affleck is a better actor than Matt Damon. Shoot me.
This malayalam satire is about two brothers who belong to opposing political factions but living under the same roof. They take politics to the next level… that is into the family. Imagine every family dinner revolving around heated arguments about Chekoslovakia and Poland. Hope you get the picture.
5. Ocean’s Eleven
The greatness of this conmovie is in the way the different elements are integrated into a seamlessly intelligent narrative. Usually love story is an ingredient to sizzle up a conmovie. Here the love story becomes the backbone of the con. And the buddy bonding…its unapologetically fun.
6. Moondram Pirai
Kamal Haasan needs only last 10 minutes of this movie to establish himself as one of the greatest actors India has ever produced. He is brilliant as the young man who gives refuge to a mentally ill girl from a brothel. But he has ample competition from Sreedevi in this tamil movie.
Robert Redford is a CIA operative who on the last day of his office comes to know that his former subordinate (Brad Pitt) is in a Chinese jail. As he pulls the strings against reluctant CIA collegues washing off their hands in the backdrop of an execution countdown, he has to address his turmoiled friendship with Bradpitt. The grace of the movie is the its melancholic tone. A man who is trying to redeem himself of all his sins with one good act before curtain falls on his career- your heart will go out for him.
8. Forrest Gump
The story of the dull Forrest who somehow is always in the grace of God never fails to charm me. The power of simplicity of writing is really manifest here. I should say- this is a really tough script to write.
9. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
The righteous husband who decides to hand back his wife to her lover may be a rare species in real life. But the quirky love in the first half and the smoldering love in the second half have always had me. All of it hits in the right places.
10. Bourne Supremacy
If I have to make a choice, it will be the second one. After Paul Greengrass takes up the mantle, the signature style is really set in this sequel featuring Bourne. Second in a franchise has to overcome the challenge of an already familiar premise. When Tony Gilroy throws in the theme of redemption, the amnesiac assassin suddenly looks really interesting.
Simply following the formula doesn’t make a romantic comedy interesting. Yes you have to follow the rules so as not to disappoint. But at the same time you have to bring something new to the table. Confused? Here is the demonstration. A movie actress falling for an ordinary guy- well I don’t know why I want to see it again. But…yes please, put it on.
When boyfriend dumps her in the last moment, the girl needs someone to pose temporarily as her fiance in front of her father. But the black guard she had hired may not be that much…err…under control. This hilarious malayalam movie directed by Priyadarshan will show you why Mohanlal is (was) a phenomenon in comic timing.
13. To Catch a Thief
I know. I know. There are many other more renown Hitchcock movies. Rear window or Vertigo may be better movies but some how this movie has held more re-view value for me. This story of an established thief coming out of his retirement to catch a copycat has some inherent appeal about it. The tit for tat dialogues between Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, the exotic French Reviera, clever and witty escapades…it’s a treat.
14. Thevar Magan
This tamil movie was a revelation to me in that Kamal Haasan is a good writer too. The desi ‘Godfather’ish story about an urbanised son reluctantly taking up the mantle of his father as a landlord had me with its crispness. It has a real ethnic feeling about it.
15. Basic Instinct
Let me tell you- its not the sex. I think that the unfortunate thing that has happened to this movie is that Sharon Stone took away the attention from a well crafted script. It has a cleverly crafted plot and dialogues with real juice. But of course- Novelist, seduction, murder, mind games, lust, detective, alibi…it has all the right key words.