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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A room with a view (1985)

 

Room with a view

Directed by – James Ivory

I have never really been a fan of English classics, but since I really liked this one – am guessing to be developing an aptitude for it afterall. Based in an EM Forster novel of the same name, the film is about a young couple in love in a typical british classical era, but with more characters of “free” thinking to entertain this time. Daniel day lewis was absolutely remarkable as the boring intellectual in love, as were the other well performed actors. Maggie Smith’s role as lucy’s annoying chaperone is good too. It might look I liked the side dishes more than the main menu but that’s not true. It was a beautifully adapted film, even bookworms would not find the scope to complain.

Rain Man (1988)

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[In a telephone booth with the door closed]
Raymond: Uh oh fart. Uh oh fart.
Charlie: Did you fart, Ray? Did you fucking fart?
Raymond: Fart.
Charlie: [Trying unsuccessfully to open the door] How can you stand that?
Raymond: I don’t mind it.
Charlie: How can you stand it?
Raymond: Ten minutes to Wapner. We’re definitely locked in this box with no TV.

Director – Barry Levinson

‘I am Sam’ made me smile, cry and aww a million times as I remember. But I definitely don’t know when was the last time I watched a film, laughed my ass off at almost every scene and to think that the genre is not even comedy! Rain Man is easily one of the most favourites of all. Dustin Hoffman is unbelievably a genius – a true genius. Interestingly he modifies the roles and works on them with the makers of the film. As he was approached for the part, first he had to take Tom Cruise’s role as Charlie, the yuppie bro who has been inherited with almost nothing after his millionaire father’s death. Instead he chose to play, Raymond, a savant autistic – left with all the million bucks, who was earlier supposed to be a merry, mentally retarded person but as I suggested before, Hoffman changed that. And that bagged him the Oscar in the best lead role as well. Shouldn’t be a news if you have already watched it. And its hilarious, its sweet, its so beautiful in every way imagined! I can’t get over it, yet. Isn’t that the favourite feeling in the world?

36 Chowringhee Lane (1981)

36 Chowringhee Lane

Directed by – Aparna Sen

An English – Bengali film made by one of the best filmmakers of Indian history, 36 Chowringhee Lane is the story of an old anglo-Indian woman, Violet Stoneham who works as a teacher in an English medium school during the 70’s. Her daily life includes going to school, thinking and reading letters of her niece who is in Australia and meeting her old aged and diabetic brother, Eddie. And then one day, Violet invites an ex student Nandita and her lover, Samresh to her place for coffee. Samresh, who is an unemployed author convinces Nandita into asking the old lady for the keys to her apartments for some privacy. Violet readily agrees. Here I would like to mention one of my favourite scenes in the film – the one where she sees a nightmare about her long lost love – Danny. The story is about those happy moments in Violet’s life that Nandita and Samresh bring in return of her apartment and what happens, as the nature of human beings is – when they get settled. Personally, I loved the film. Damn the technical glitches. Its hard to believe a story like that, shown like that, could be made at that period. Do watch it if you admire classic cinema.

Dead Poet’s society (1989)

Dead Poet's society

Director – Peter Weir

That feeling when tears fall down eyes and as you wipe them it is not for the loss of a character, but for the mere sense of purity, the emotion tickles down your eyes and as you write the words after watching the film, the only thing you happen to realize is  ‘Darn! I sound like a poet!’. I was like in that awkward moment like, ‘John Keating isn’t real?’. Until  I researched around to find that that was John Keats I was worried about. Anyway, you know what I think about the film, so why bother. Just watch IT. Its not possible to not love it. I have to salute Tom Schulman‘s imagination and Weir‘s style. Its too good to be delayed in your watchlist.