This is a masterpiece by Akira Kurosawa, a film unlike any other. Rashomon is an in-depth view into a simple human failing, the tendency to slightly twist facts to emerge blemishless in any given situation. An incident involving three people, resulting in a crime, is narrated by each of them by way of a confession before the authorities. Unknown to them, there is an eye-witness who is shocked to hear the three versions, each of which is different from the true happening. This film is a slow watch, but is sure to leave an indelible imprint.
Dial M for Murder
This thrilling story is set for the most part in a living room, giving one the feel of a one-act stage play. In the speedy course of events which take place, incriminating innocent heroine Margot Wendice (Grace Kelly), viewers completely overlook a seemingly insignificant object, a latchkey. In the end, it is this latchkey, which holds the key to the entire mystery, and the last minute discovery of this fact takes the viewers completely by surprise. Perhaps, the best work of the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock.
Starring Bruce Willis in the lead and directed by John McTiernan, Diehard is a one-man show. Detective John McClane arrives at his estranged wife, Holly Gennaro’s (Bonnie Bedelia) office with the sole aim of reconciliation and a peaceful Christmas with his family. When terrorists attack and take over the building, McClane, having evaded capture, is the only one who can save the people trapped. With only one gun for a weapon, he manages the impossible convincingly, ending in a nail biting finish and the loss of a Rolex watch!
The Day of the Jackal
Based on Fredrick Forsyth’s famous crime novel of the same name, The Day of the Jackal is indeed an exciting watch, directed by Fred Zinnemann. It is the chilling story of how an assassin (Edward Fox), christened the ‘Jackal’, is assigned the task of doing away with French president Charles de Gaulle. The Jackal systematically goes about his meticulous and stunningly accurate plans to carry out his job. Keeping you on the edge of your seat, the Jackal has you guessing till the end about whether he will succeed in his mission and what his identity is.
Sahara can be best described as a serious plot handled in a humorous style. WHO doctors Eva Rojas (Penelope Cruz) and Frank Hopper (Glynn Turman) investigate a mysterious disease spreading across Mali, Africa and fall into grave danger, resulting in Frank’s death. Eva is rescued by the hilarious duo Dirk Pitt (Mathew McConaughey) and Al Giordino (Steve Zahn) out to seek a hidden treasure, who help her in accomplishing her mission. The most touching part of the story is of course, the dutifulness of Eva in trying to help stop the spread of the disease. Sahara, directed by Breck Eisner, has a heart-warming theme, yet is a non-stop ‘laughathon’ and stays with you forever.
Those that almost made it
Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Mark Waters
The Mexican: Gore Verbinski
Tower Heist: Brett Ratner
Johnny English Reborn: Oliver Parker
Knight And Day: James Mangold
B.A. Suresh is a managing partner with a publication house based in Chennai.