No one puts the fun into filmmaking quite like Quentin Tarantino does. Pulp Fiction, released in 1994, is arguably his masterpiece, and is widely regarded as one of the most influential films of this generation. The movie touched a new high in the genre of black comedies and also introduced a ground-breaking element in story-telling, which comprised six stories, all inter-connected, but narrated in a peculiarly non-linear way. Unabashedly unpredictable, deeply intriguing with an ironic mix of humour and violence and containing inspired performance from its ensemble cast, Pulp Fiction is a sheer delight for any lover of the genre.
Godfather Part 1 & 2
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the first two instalments of the Godfather series were released in the early 1970s. While the first part shows how the Godfather (Marlon Brando) deals with family and professional affairs in his twilight, the second part is both a sequel and prequel to the first film, narrating how Marlon’s character had reached up to his stature and then how his son (Al Pachino) takes his legacy forwards, after his death. Both films are epitomes of remarkable story-telling and avant-garde acting. The immense love and the fan-following for the series, even today, is unmatchable.
Directed by Anurag Kashyap, the film is based on the book by S. Hussain Zaidi on the 1993 Bombay bombings. Black Friday was immensely controversial, especially because it names some of the famous personalities of the day and provides a graphic description of the events involved. The story is told backwards, starting from the aftermath of the blasts and ends with the build-up to the plan of attack. The cast consists mainly of lesser known actors, but all deliver impeccable performances, including Pawan Malhotra, who plays the mastermind of behind the bombings. Black Friday is a great example of fearless film-making.
The Shawshank Redemption
The film directed by Frank Darabont is a prison drama that at first received a lukewarm box office response but has since achieved a cult status. It tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker, who spends 19 years of his life in the Shawshank State Prison due to a false charge of the murder of his wife. In the process, he befriends a fellow inmate, Red, and many others and spend 19 years, dealing with routine prison troubles, harassment and corruption. A tale of preservation, human bonding and hope, Shawshank Redemption is a deeply moving motion picture experience, that stays with the viewer for days.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
This mind-bending classic, directed by Michael Gondry is about an estranged couple, who have erased each other from their memory but meet later on, discover their past, and decide to attempt a new relationship anyway. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, the movie benefits from a truly unique idea, terrific script and arguably, the career-best performances of Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey. It’s conceptually complicated and dense with literary allusions but is as unabashedly romantic as any movie you’ll ever see.
Those that almost made it
Vertigo: Alfred Hitchcock
Mera Naam Joker: Raj Kapoor
The Dark Knight: Christopher Nolan
Spiderman 2: Sam Raimi
Lagaan: Ashutosh Gowariker
Titanic: James Cameron
Sarfarosh: John Matthew Mathan
Ravishu Bansal lives in Thiruvananthapuram and is hoping to join an MBA programme soon.