If there is one medium of communication I love the most after books, it has to be movies. The silver screen brings to life your dreams, fuels your imagination, makes you face the reality and most of the times, takes you to a joyride in a mythical world.
The variety of movies is so vast that it is very difficult to pick a favourite few. When you watch a movie, you enter a relationship with it. Some relationships strengthen into deep bonds, leave imprints in your memories, while some simply flush down the drains.
There are movies which you can watch any number of times without feeling bored. Every time you watch these movies, you discover something good about them. I will write about such movies here:
My favourite movies of 2014:
Jaatishwar –A magical melody of memories, Jaatishwar narrates a tale of reincarnation in a style unmatched by any other film. The music of the film is its soul. Winner of 4 National Awards, this film by Srijit Mukherjee is hardly worth a miss.
Apur Panchali – If you wish to experience poetry on celluloid, this is your film. A fitting tribute to Ray’s Pather Panchali, the visual masterpiece will make you go numb in your senses even after the end credits have stopped rolling.
Ramdhanu: The film points the mirror to the society on what is wrong at the very basic level – nursery school admissions – without being preachy. The bond between a mother and child, the love for one’s culture and the relationship between a husband and wife, who are parents now, have been beautifully depicted in this drama.
My favourite all-time movies:
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne: When it comes to satire, Satyajit Ray’s craft is unmatched. Adapting a child fantasy novel into a film with so many layers, Ray set a benchmark for filmmaking with GGBB. The sequel Heerak Rajar Deshe is still used as a reference for the political commentary on India even now. From the classic Bhooter Naach to the childlike innocence of Santosh Dutta as he ran around screaming ‘Chhuti’, GGBB will easily evoke the child in you.
Charulata: If there was ever a benchmark set for a flawless cinema, Charulata would definitely be it. From the opening scenes bringing Tagore’s one-and-a-half-pages of description of Charu’s loneliness to life within 2 minutes, to the iconic swing scene – the film says it all, and how! Complexities of relationships are so sublimely depicted on-screen that you don’t, for even a second, feel buoyed down by the burden of intellectual proclivity by Ray.
P.S. – I mention only Bengali movies because I believe in promoting the best of Bengal.
Haven’t we all wondered at one point of time, how the child artist in Small Wonder must look like now, or what the lovely Arnold from Different Strokes must be doing for a living? Back home, we have seen Mukul of Sonar Kella grow up into a talented actor. But there are very many who have just retreated into oblivion. Kaushik Ganguly tells us the story of one such child artists who was lost in the pages of history now – Subir Banerjee, best known as Pather Panchali‘s Apu.
But then again, Apur Panchali is not a film about a lost artist. It is an uncanny tale of Subir, whose life is a stark retelling of the screenplay of Apu trilogy in real life. Subir was rejected for the role of Apu in Aparajito. But did Apu ever leave his side?
Superbly juxtaposed with scenes from Pather Panchali, with haunting background score adding to the narrative, the screenplay of Apur Panchali is like a collage of the blissful moments from Apur Sangsar – with Parambrata playing Soumitra’s role and Parno as Sharmila. One cannot thank Kaushik Ganguly enough for the magical 100 minutes at the theatre.
The serenity of the chemistry between Parno and Param is mesmerising. Parno’s heart-wrenching performance in the hospital scene would move even a rock to tears. Had Satyajit Ray been alive, he would surely have cast the two as lead in Apur Sangsar.
Pather Panchali was the song of the road that urges Apu to move on… Apur Panchali is a reflection of life that failed, yet moved on… Immersed in nostalgia, it evokes a longing for the roots and ends on a note of acknowledgment that life demands one to move on…
My Rating: 4/5 stars
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