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Wednesday, November 23

Emotions in Motion: Page II

Continuing from Part I list which featured a handful of personal favourite scenes from the long lost 'golden age' of Malayalam cinema. Taking a look at the films made outside Malluland, and as I said, films transcend barriers of language, culture and nationality because human emotions are the same everywhere. Apologies for not wandering into Tamil or Bengali film duniya, where I believe more quality films are being made than what our desi-Hollywood churns out. Reason: I don't watch much of them to fill-in a blog post.

Film: Halo
Year: 1996
Director: Santhosh Sivan
Cast: Benaf Dadachanji, Rajkumar Santhoshi
Scene: Sasha finds her Halo after much perseverance, with the whole of Mumbai city lining behind her. But then she encounters something which changes it all. Sasha leaves her puppy behind, the innocence and compassion of her young, brave and kind heart is evident in the closing shot of that honest, painful smile of hers. When Children's Movies are losing relevance in our film industry, Santhosh Sivan's simplistic presentation of a butterfly-esque storyline shows why we need to focus more on kiddies films. As said before, there is nothing like a good film which can touch and influence our lives, and that of our kids.

Film: Dil Chahta Hai
Year: 2001
Director: Farhan Akhtar
Cast: Aamir Khan, Akshay Khanna, Saif Ali Khan, Preity Zinta
Scene: Akash's moment of redemption. This clip summarizes the philosophy of Dil Chahta Hai. Akash, realizing he has been horribly wrong about relationships in life, tries to speak to Sameer to relieve his heavy heart. But his subconscious, overwhelmed by the guilt from his past act against Sid, dials Sid's number instead. The once-obnoxious and  ever-resilient Akash breaks down, feeling terribly lonely and remorseful, realises what he has done, and what he has been missing. Akash flies back home to straighten his broken and tangled ties, also to get back what he knew meant most to him at that point of time: the woman he loves.

PS: Equally riveting is the climactic sequence when the trio meets again in the Hospital. The "just turn around" scene brought tears to the eyes, ironically to the male audiences, a telltale sign of how well connected the movie has been with the 'rougher' sex in exploiting their strange emotional sensitivity, or lack of it?

Film: Kabhi haan kabhi naa
Year: 1993
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, Nasseruddin Shah
Scene: Chris's and Anna's wedding scene. Shah Rukh Khan's best performance to date by miles, before his transformation from Shah Rukh Khan to SRK. This feel-good movie against the backdrop of Goa and its culture portrays a class of Bollywood movies which have totally become extinct. Khan's expression from 0.55s to 1.14s proves that the man can indeed act! Ironically, Shah Rukh is the lone character in the film who portrays tinges of negativity in his role amongst a make-merry society pictured in the film.

Film: Munna Bhai MBBS
Year: 2003
Director: Rajkumar Hirani
Cast: Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Dutt, Boman Irani
Scene: Dr. Astana clinically exhumes Munna Prasad Sharma's play-act. This emotionally charged up scene has acclaimed performances from the Dutt family, Boman Irani. Munna Bhai MBBS enters the Bollywood hall-of-fame because the in-charge guys got the script right. The dew-drops of humour always laced within the realms of those reels, even in the draining scene below, made this film an all time hit, which propelled even bigger sequels.

Film: Sholay
Year: 1976
Director: Ramesh Sippy
Csat: Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan
Scene: Gabbar Singh's Russian Roulette. It was tough to pick one scene from a reel-full of memorable scenes from Sholay, India's evergreen wonder-movie. Gabbar Singh's intro sequence is picked just for its cold, pulsating, anything-can-happen-anytime feel about it and the ruthless way the villain's psychotic traits are exposed to the audience. Amjad Khan, Amitabh and Sanjeev Kumar's legendary characters and the hip-hop dialogues made Sholay what it is today. The movie itself kicked started a formula in Hindi film industry, a hero-villain-revenge plot, which ruled our screens for decades before the triangle love stories completely took over.

Film: Mr India
Year: 1987
Director: Shekhar Kapoor
Casr: Anil Kapoor, Sreedevi
Scene: Sreedevi's famous wet saree song. All this ado for just a song? Rain-Saree erotica wasn't exhibited for the first time on celluloid but "kaate nahi katte" created a template for sensualitica for Bollywood and other language films. The voluptuous figurine of the super-gorgeous Sreedevi in the plain peacock-blue satin saree skipped many a heartbeats, including yours truly's. (Now you know why this one got 'special' ;-])This bona fide superhero movie featured the late Mr. Amrish Puri as the evil blonde villain Mogambo. His punchline "Mogambo khush hua" still lingers around in our movie reels. RIP Amrish Puri,one of the best 'specialist' villains in Indian Cinema.

Film: Company
Year: 2002
Director: RamGopal Varma
Cast: Ajay Devgan, Vivek Oberoi, Mohanlal
Scene: Malik meets Sreenivasan. Mohanlal illustrates his acting skills in the most meticulous way in the RGV thriller in this short, high-voltage scene. The heavy, uneasy air is cut only by the ridiculous ease with which Mohanlal performed by enacting a real-life character, delivering the dialogues and playing with the paper-weight at the same time (which amazed co-actor Vivek Oberoi) and the cold, fearless character of Malik.

Film: Swades
Year: 2004
Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Gayathri Joshi
Scene: The boy with the water-pot at the Railway Station. This is as best and realistic as Bollywood and SRK could get. The suave Jaguar-driving NASA nerd gets to understand the ocean between the privileged and the under-privileged. On way back after aching rendezvous with the outcast, defaulted peasant, Mohan encounters the boy who sells water for 25p on the desolate Railway Station. The scene where the boy counts the pennies he earned while the train leaves him behind has been pretty realistically picturised without the melodrama of Bollywood. AR Rahman's background score adds flavour to the scene.

To be concluded in Part III, and you guessed it right. Odes from my personal collection of World Cinema, not just from Hollywood.

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