The Lion King

Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff

Based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, the film is the touching story of a prince who fights for his rightful place as king after his uncle brutally murders his father. Almost every kid in the 1990s grew up watching this film it continues to inspire several. Right from the opening scene where sunlight hits the African savannah until the last scene when Simba’s son is held up by the wise old Rafiki against the backdrop of Pride Rock, the detailing is incredible. The music by Hans Zimmer is beautiful. Special mention must be made about Jeremy Irons who lends his voice for Scar and who, with one word, can send shivers down your spine. This is the film that taught everyone, you have to put your past behind you and say ‘Hakuna Matata’.

The Avengers

Joss Whedon

The Avengers is an old school story of a highly dysfunctional superhero family brought together by the director of an all-secret government agency called S.H.I.E.L.D, played to the tee by none other than Samuel L Jackson. With an all-powerful star cast like Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson and mind-blowing effects, add to it the charm of a British villain who loves to be dramatic, you have here the perfect combination to charm comic book geeks and superhero fans alike.

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

Chris Columbus

One of the greatest stories ever told over a span of seven books were the Harry Potter series. While the other movies could barely match up to the imagination of the reader, the first movie did much justice to the book. The first film is the story of how Harry becomes the ‘chosen one’ and goes through long hours of study, homework, playing for the sports team and making friends and foes at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The movie is all about conquering one’s fears and using intelligence, skill and bravery to move forward.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Richard Marquand

Every good geek’s pride is the Star Wars Collection, the best of them being episode VI. This is a typical story of good guys winning and the bad guys losing but in outer space with mind control and light sabres. The evil galactic empire has built an indestructible space ship called the Death Star and it is up to Luke and his team to save the day. George Lucas, who made the story made sure that it was not always black and white, Darth Vader the villain who is actually Luke’s father shows that he’s not all that bad and helps his son in the end. On the side of the good guys, Harrison Ford as Han Solo plays the classic Bad Boy who doesn’t care but in the end saves his friends and the love of his life, Leia, with the help of his right hand ‘wookie’ Chewbacca.

The Great Debaters

Denzel Washington

Set in the 1930s, the story revolves around the efforts of a debate coach, Melvin B. Tolson, to put his team from Wiley University, an institute primarily for coloured students, on a par with white students. He trains them with such finesse that they are able to compete with the country’s best, Harvard University, and emerge victorious. The era in which the film is set was one of racial hatred, in almost every sphere, physically as well as intellectually. The film throws light on feelings of elitism on the part of the whites who believe that the coloured people should be kept in their place.

Movies that almost made it

Finding Nemo: Lee Unkrich, Andrew Stanton

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: Shane Black

Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller

Batman Forever: Joel Schumacher

Nisha Chandrasekaran is a postgraduate student of Communications at Christ University, Bangalore.