Directed by legendary director K.V. Reddy and produced by Dada Saheb Phalke awardees Nagi Reddy and Chakrapani, this mythological Telugu movie released in 1957 is based on a fictitious marriage between Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu and Balarama’s daughter Sasirekha, characters in the epic Mahabharata. This enduring classic of Indian cinema is a landmark in cinematography and techniques. Acted by legends of Telugu cinema N.T. Rama Rao, A. Nageshwara Rao, S.V. Ranga Rao and Savitri, this movie is also immortalised by S. Rajeshwarao’s brilliant music and rendered by among others Ghantasala. Even in these modern times, anyone who watches this movie will love it.
Directed by critically-acclaimed director Mohan, this Malayalam film released in 1994 portrays the story of brilliant but tragic, successful but sacrificial life of an IAS officer superbly portrayed by Mohanlal and his love interest played with great sensitivity by Shobhana. This movie can easily be rated as one of the best Malayalam movies ever made, barring a few frivolous scenes. Thilakan as the vile father-in-law of Mohanlal who exploits the position of his son-in-law offers a good performance. The Japanese Wife
Directed by well-known Bengali director Aparna Sen, this film starring Rahul Bose, Chigusa Takaku the Japanese actress and Raima Sen tells the story of a simple school master who falls in love and eventually marries a pen friend, a Japanese woman without actually meeting her. They remain loyal to each other throughout. The heart-wrenching scene of the Japanese wife arriving in her husband’s village in a widow’s robes after his death lingers on …undoubtedly this is one of the best from Aparna Sen.
Produced by Parvatamma Rajkumar, wife of iconic Kannada actor Rajkumar and starring Puneeth Rajkumar, this movie tells the story of a poor boy who works in a guest house but has a passion for reading. He supplies wild flowers to foreign tourists to earn a little more to buy books. The movie is about the choice he has to make between a book and a blanket for family. Puneeth’s brilliant performance makes this movie a must-watch. Though a children’s movie it will equally move a grown-up’s heart.
Zemeckis, the famed director of movies such as Forrest Gump and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? touched an all new high in the year 2000, with Cast Away. Simply put, it is the story of survival and return of a Fed Ex systems analyst (Tom Hanks) stranded for many years on an uninhabited island, only to find his love married to someone else. But the movie goes much beyond survival, hinting very subtly on how man discovered God and how life will evolve even when you lose the last of hope. The character, Wilson, the volley ball, on which Hanks paints a face with his own blood, assumes a very important role in the film, transcending from the status of a companion to that of a personification of hope. Or God as we may call it. As you finish watching the movie, you find these characters deeply imprinted in your soul.
Those that almost made it:
The American President: Rob Reiner
A Wednesday: Neeraj Pandey
Pakeezah: Kamal Amrohi
Missamma: L.V. Prasad
Lion King: Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Prasanna Krishnaraj is a Kochi-based finance consultant who is passionate about old Telugu classics.