Requiem For A Dream

Darren Aronofsky

This movie shows the brutal side of drug addiction and the consequences faced by four characters in Brighton Beach. The craving and depravity of a person dealing with (or succumbing to) addiction forms the crux. It is a beautifully articulated piece of work, intricately presented by Darren Aronofsky. “Favorite” does not apply to this film — this isn’t about entertainment. A haunting, outstanding film that could change one’s life forever.

Mahanathi

Santhana Bharathi

Kamal Haasan plays a widower, whose attempt at running a chit fund company lands him in jail. While his own existence is made miserable by fellow convicts and corrupt wardens, his family disintegrates. Mahanadhi has two main sequences which would soften even the hardest heart. The first is when Kamal realises that his daughter, who visits him in jail has now grown up. The other sequence occurs when Kamal rescues his daughter from a red-light area in Calcutta. He is now left to reconstruct his family while struggling to resist the temptation for vengeance. Ilaiyaraaja’s music scores.

Oldboy

Chan-woo Park

Oh Dae-su, a drunk, vanishes from the street and awakes in a locked room. Fifteen years pass and Dae-su has spent most of them driven by rage and a desire to free himself from prison. He is released only to find that he must find his captor in five days. A gem from Chan-woo Park, the film has a tight script one might even add a flawless one. It all fits together like an enormous jigsaw puzzle, with each piece being important. The many twists and turns the plot takes are breathtaking.

Magnolia

Paul Thomas Anderson

A dazzling epic of fate in the course of one day in the San Fernando Valley, the film opens with a short story about some “true-life” examples of coincidence designed to show us that some events can’t “just happen” and that there must be more to it. The film then focuses on the lives of a handful of characters — a game show host, a sex guru, a police officer, a dying father, a male nurse and a drug addict to name a few. The acting is almost flawless, and the direction is faultless.

12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet

12 Angry Men is a conversational movie that proves, for a film to be great, it does not need extensive scenery, elaborate costumes or expensive special effects — just superlative acting. Almost 90 per cent of the movie was shot entirely in a single room. The twelve angry men are the twelve jurors of a murder case. An 18-year-old boy from a poor background is accused of stabbing his father to death and faces the electric chair if convicted. Eleven of the men believe the boy to be guilty; only one (Henry Fonda) has doubts. The story proceeds as how Henry convinces the rest and proves the boy innocent.

Those that almost made it

Aaranya Kaandam: Thiagaraja Kumararaja

Dr. Strangelove: Stanley Kubrick

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino

Aguirre — The Wrath of God: Werner Herzog

Babel: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu

Santa Sangre: Alejandro Jodorowsky

A Separation: Asghar Farhadi

Santhosh S. holds a Master’s degree in Media Science from Anna University. He is an ardent follower of European and Asian cinema.