Men of Honor

George Tillman Jr.

Men of Honor is an old-fashioned biopic with an inspirational story. Set in 1948, the film explores the life of Carl Brashear (Cuba Gooding Jr.) who dreams of becoming a Master Diver one day, now working in his family’s failing farm. Like the film’s tagline ‘history is made by those who break the rules’ goes, Carl Brashear fights against racial prejudice to become the first African-American Navy Diver. He even loses his leg while attempting to recover a missing atomic bomb at sea. Robert De Niro plays the uncompromising Master Chief Petty Officer Leslie ‘Billy’ Sunday. With Scot Marshal Smith’s script, director George Tillman Jr. made this movie memorable for all the right reasons.

The Shawshank Redemption

Frank Darabont

This film set in 1947 was adapted from the Stephen King novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption. Darabont scripted and directed this film, which narrates the jail life of a convict wrongly accused of murder. Tim Robbins plays the banker Andy Dufresne serving time at the Shawshank penitentiary. Andy’s friendship with another convict Ellis ‘Red’ Redding (Morgan Freeman) changes his life. The film filled with many wonderful moments, gives us an insight about life and living it.

The Notebook

Nick Cassavetes

A blockbuster romantic film set in the 1940s, it is the love story of a local country boy Noah Calhoun (Ryan Gosling) and a rich girl Allie Hamilton (Rachel McAdams) who is on a summer vacation. At some point in the story the lovers are forced to separate due to circumstances. The question, whether they will get back together will keep the audience riveted. Cassavetes has done a wonderful job of visualising scenes and filming it with the help of a dramatic script written by Jeremy Leven who adapted it from the novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks.

The Reader

Stephen Daldry

Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, is about the affair of a young man (David Kross as young Michael Berg) with an older enigmatic woman (Kate Winslet as Hanna Schmitz). During the course of their relationship young Michael enthrals her by reading world classics to her. One day she disappears only to resurface as a defendant in a Nazi war crime trial. David Hare’s screenplay is an adaptation of Bernhard Schlink’s 1995 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Kate was presented the Oscar for Best Actress.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

David Fincher

Brad Pitt makes his mark as an actor in this fantasy drama film. scripted by Eric Roth. There is no single dull moment in this, 166-minute long strange and fascinating tale of a man (Benjamin Button) who ages backwards. There is also a beautiful love story woven into it. This film will definitely change one’s sanitised view of life and death.

Those that almost made it

Casablanca: Michael Curtiz

The Godfather: Francis Ford Coppola

Citizen Kane: Orson Wells

Cinema Paradiso: Guiseppe Tornatore

Forrest Gump: Robert Zemeckis

Seven: David Fincher

Manoj M. Swami is a surveyor with the Survey of India, Department of Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. He loves to watch world cinema.