I have done the same with this list as I did with the books – I chose the first three that popped into my head. I am quite pleased with these choices (for now) but there are so many films that I love – Magic Mike being one for obvious reasons, but I’m not being shallow so here’s what I got.
- The Lunchbox (Hindi): It is the most optimistic film and one of the best which I don’t know how many times I have watched as I have stopped counting. Happiness is relative and nostalgia is a drug – both these themes jimmy in and out of every scene inThe Lunchbox. There are no dramatic twists in The Lunchbox and there is believability to all the characters in it. Moreover it’s a pleasure to see a Hindi film that exudes a mature portrayal of adult characters who put their vulnerability on the line. There are plenty of moments to treasure in The Lunchbox, and they’re all small and delicately crafted. Those looking for romance will swoon with delight as they discover two lonely people can find a way to make things work. Even loveless, heartless audiences would probably have to to try really hard to appear unmoved.
- The Japanese Wife(Bengali): It is wonderfully shot, reasonably well enacted, and is sure enough long (or slow) as hell but has made into my list of favourite movies. Spanning across almost two decades, Rahul Bose plays a graying schoolteacher in Sunderbans. This quiet gent makes contact with a Japanese girl, a pen friend, in Yokohama. They have written-English in common, though neither can speak the language as fluently. Over years, they write to each other, and at some point, in one of those casual exchanges, even decide to turn man and wife. Bose’s Snehamoy sends Ms Miyage (Takaku), “vermilion for the parting of the hair.” cellphones, or SMS, or Internet chats in a nearby town, are technological novelties waiting to be discovered by sulky Snehamoy and his Ms Miyage. In its most effective parts, the beautifully-lensed ‘The Japanese Wife is like a haiku, saying a lot without underlining too much, a rare thing in our movies.
- You’ve Got Mail (English) : When Meg Ryan’s character gets the sniffles and retreats from the world in ”You’ve Got Mail,” she puts on pajamas and curls up in bed with her trusty laptop or a favorite book. Someday, when this cozy romantic comedy becomes a videocassette, it too will be a comfort object perfect for such moments. The most important literary outpourings here are those exchanged through E-mail, which makes the film that much more amusingly attuned to its time. Nostalgia is one of the charms of You’ve Got Mail, and the old-fashioned courtship at the heart of it, despite being conducted online, is the most charming of all and references romances-by-letter of times past. Hanks and Ryan have heaps of chemistry, and though the fact that they fall in love given the circumstances seems highly unlikely — the plot’s a little far-fetched, but what romcom doesn’t have an implausible one? — we buy it because, well, why not? The pacing is perfect, the characters likeable, the dialogue breezy. Some observations, including one about the overly complicated choices at chain coffee stores — Starbucks, specifically — still hold true.
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