Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)

 You scared?
All the time

Au Revoir Les Enfants

Written and Directed by – Louis Malle

During World War II, when Germany had occupied France (1942-44) – this is the story of a boy Julien Quentin in a Carmelite boarding school. He becomes friends with a new schoolmate Jean Bonnet, with a shy demeanour and a secretive history. The backbone of the narrative is their growing friendship while exploring the underlying tension in France.

There are a lot of political references in the film which I did not completely comprehend. But, there was this one instance in the film where all the students had gathered to watch a Charlie Chaplin film and it was in that one scene that everybody looked united – in joy. It made a powerful statement in itself. There are many such moments though, some through interesting characters like the drunkard cook or petty assistant or Julien’s elder brother wanting to join the resistance movement or the fat boy who loves to bully but hardly smiles.

Its that sort of a film that works deftly along its narrative with subtle references of the essence of the plot. It eventually culminates in a silent fear that you must have had all along the way. What is more fascinating about this film is that its autobiographical and has been treated as such, from Julien’s perspective i.e. Mr. Louis Malle’s real life experiences.

A must watch for all film buffs out there.

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Boys don’t cry (1999)

Were you like me – a girl, girl?
Ya. Like a long time ago. Then I guess I was just more like a boy – girl. And I was just a jerk.

boys dont cry

Directed by – Kimberly Peirce

Rarely do you come across films that are based on real life incidents and given such authentic treatment that its almost believable. There has been controversy on the portrayal of the characters and the ‘truth’ behind their real lives, but that I think is quite inevitable.

Brandon Teena was a trans man. ‘A he’ but anatomically ‘a she’. It accounts Teena’s experiences as a man after he decided to embrace his sexual identity as a boy. He then started dating a girl, Lisa Tisdel – but became a victim to jealousy and hate-crime of Tisdel’s friends who were ex-convicts living in Falls city, Nebraska.

I found it very disturbing. But it also updated my knowledge on transsexuals around the world. Hilary Swank was absolutely stunning in her portrayal of Brandon Teena, the boy who was unfortunately born a girl. Loved it. These are the films that make history and it did.

A royal affair (2012)

I think some people are so sealed inside their fate
that they hide deep within their mind.

A royal affair 2

Directed by – Nikolaj Arcel

Mark Twain said, History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Well that I think will sum up this beautiful piece of work for us. A royal affair is based on a book Prinsesse af blodet by Bodil Steensen-Leth.

In the 18th century, a princess from England, Caroline married a mentally ill King, Christian VII of Denmark. It was only to realise that Denmark was not as liberal and open to ideas as she thought it would  be. Inevitably, the couple grows apart in an unhappy marriage destined for forever. Enters,  Johann Friedrich Struensee. A royal physician who saves the king from a small pox epidemic and becomes respected in the state. But in other revelations, we learn that he is a member of the Enlightenment group – who aim to reform the state with liberal and fair – proved ideas.

Soon his influence on the king becomes a disturbing factor for the statesmen ruling for years and the affair between queen Caroline and Johann becomes an ambush to end it for all.

Exciting right? Hell yea it is. You don’t wanna not watch it.

 

Sex and lucia (2001)

“You have to choose. Wild sex with a stranger, or wild sex with someone who’s crazy about you, and who you love? Go ahead. Be frank.”

Sex and lucia poster

Directed by – Julio Medem

Julio Medem likes to play with the minds of his audience and well, he is damn good at it. The film starts with Lucia getting a phone call leading her to believe that her lover, Lorenzo is killed in an accident. Soon, the story if interweaved with Elena, who a long time back had had casual sex with Lorenzo in the ocean.

Sex and Lucia is about Lorenzo, a writer whose depression we learn about in the discontinued narrative, it is about Lucia who is his passionate lover trying to understand the reasons of his misery and it is about Elena, whose life has been struck with tragedy. And all of this comes together magically in the film.

The  subtle confusions are a part of the plot and the effect. The characters on the other hand have actually been freed from the dubiety of the plot and are as clear and strong as the security of an artist’s brush while drawing his imagination.

Its way too beautiful a film.

The Dreamers (2003)

“Before you can change the world you must realize you are part of it.
You can’t stand outside, looking in”

The-Dreamers

Directed by – Bernardo Bertolucci

Based on Gilbert Adair’s novel “The Holy Innocents”, The Dreamers is a film about three friends in Paris, a pair of twins – Theo and Isabelle and an American exchange student – Matthew, who bonded over cinema, politics and love.

I loved the way they meet – while protesting for Henri Langlois’s dismissal from Cinémathèque Française. From the very beginning, you see these youngsters so passionate and gripped by the power of cinema. Eventually, the uninhibited relationship between the twins yet not completely incestuous becomes a utopian world for the trio as Matthew fits in as Isabelle’s lover.

It talks about Maoism and the youth movement in Paris during late 1960s through this amazingly furnished plot. It might seem surreal at places but that is the beauty of The Dreamers.

 

Haider (2014)

“Intakam se sirf Intakam paida hota hai”

Haider poster

Directed by – Vishal Bhardwaj

Adapted on Hamlet by Shakespeare, the film is one of the handful cinemas from Bollywood that will go down to history someday. It is about Haider, looking for his father, a doctor – who has been captured by the army for treating terrorists in his house. In his quest, he learns of his mother’s affair with his father’s younger brother and becomes skeptical of his own blood relatives leading them responsible for his father’s arrest.

Its stunning how the film manages to weave in and out of the characters, their roles becoming rock solid to make justice and yet, never trying too hard to justify themselves. Its quite a rare experience. Makes us all a little bit proud to be Indians and a hope that more and more films with such chutzpah will find a way to hit our screens.

Loved it to the core.

Kickass torrent link to download – Click here 

You can also read my review on Haider here.

A little princess (1995)

a little princess

Directed by – Alfonso Cuarón
Adapted from a 1905 children’s novel of the same name by  Frances Hodgson Burnett.

First things first, I saw Rama and Sita kiss for the first time. Yes, that’s right. Its a fairy tale, in a fairy tale.

A little princess is about a Daddy’s girl, Sara Crewe who has been told she is a princess – that all girls are. When she comes to America from India and has to study in a strict boarding school with no outlet for imagination and her Dad out in the war, Sara creates make-believe stories to be happy. But then tragedy hits and she has to go through sufferings which might change her perspective on life being a fairy tale.

Its a beautiful film and amazing performance by Liesel Matthews. I sort of welled up a few times. Actually, quite a lot of times.

Kickass torrent link to download – Click here