Gladiator

Ridley Scott

Was Gladiator written by Shakespeare? Is has all the elements of a Shakespearean drama with ambition, rage, revenge and love thrown in. Set in Rome at a time when it was threatened by barbarian invasions, Gladiator is the story of Maximus, a trusted and successful general of Emperor Marcus Aurelius. The emperor is unhappy with his son Commodus and offers the throne to Maximus. But things turn out to be different. The emperor dies, the general is ambushed, his family murdered and his identity lost. He turns into a slave and then a gladiator. This gripping tale of the gladiator who defied an emperor is unforgettable. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack lens a magic touch to the film.

Into The Wild

Sean Penn

Directed by the award-winning actor Sean Penn, Into The Wild, is a bio-film based upon the real life story of Christopher Mcandless, a college graduate who finds society life meaningless. Abandoning his family and career, he leaves for Alaska where he hopes to survive in the wilderness all by himself. The non-linear narration of his journey to Alaska where he meets people and sees places is beautifully filmed. This enchanting story of a young man who wanted to live life without any restrictions, free of the complications a society imposes is guaranteed to add fresh new thoughts to your mind.

Shutter Island

Martin Scorsese

In this critically-acclaimed film, Martin Scorsese has again teamed up with Leonardo Di Caprio to bring out an engaging suspense thriller experience you will never forget. The story is set in the 1940s. A U.S. marshall is called upon to investigate the disappearance of a patient in an island asylum which also serves as a prison for mentally deranged criminals. Adding to the plot, the marshall suffers from migraines and has a bitter past. The story which seems simple at first becomes complicated as the mystery unfolds and the unexpected connections of the case with the marshall are revealed. The breath-taking climax when the director literally fools the audience with the astonishing truth is a masterpiece that deserved an Oscar for the film.

Inception

Christopher Nolan

This genre-defining sci-fi film deals with dreams. In a world where it is possible to enter a man’s dreams and steal information, the skilled dream extractor Cobb and his team sign up for a challenging mission.They have to initiate an idea in a person’s mind through his dreams. This bizzare subject has been brought alive using brilliant visual effects proving that dreams really are the opposite of reality. With plots within plots, the racy screenplay with some twists thrown in is enough to keep your eyes glued to the screen. But the film has more to offer. Inception is a combination of a scientific theory of dreams directed by the power of imagination.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Walter Salles

Che Guevara is known all over the world as a revolutionary hero. But this road film captures Che as a medical student travelling all over South America with his friend on a motorcycle. This venture of two enthusiastic youngsters into a land unknown is vividly captured on camera. Travel teaches Che to become the man he did. In scenes where Che meets up with destitutes the transition of Che from a careless young man into a man with a mission can be seen. This lively film with an energising soundtrack is a must-watch for anyone who wishes to understand the exciting potential of films.

Those that almost made it

Apocalypto: Mel Gibson

My Neighbor Totoro: Hayao Miyazaki

The Godfather trilogy: Francis Ford Coppola

Castaway: Robert Zemeckis

Life Is Beautiful: Roberto Benigni

G.K. Kalaichelvan is a student of College of Engineering, Guindy, Chennai. He watches films to be educated and inspired by the world around us.