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Meaningful Cinema: True purpose of art

24 Sep

There are many views about what is the real objective of cinema is—entertainment, making us laugh, conveying a message, adding something to our lives etc etc. According to me, any good film will try to do all these things (and maybe more) thereby maintaining a holistic balance between the three. Films should definitely entertain us and ALSO make us think and at the end of the day there should be some good takeaways which will add value to our lives. There are many such outstanding movies that I have come across and I thought of listing them here. All these movies are those that I have seen many times. In this post I will only be referring to Indian movies spanning two languages-Hindi and Tamil.

  1. Sholay-A classic, high energy movie much ahead of its time with a stellar cast. A unique action-oriented story, beautifully shot!
  2. Golmaal-A lovely movie with witty dialogues and a wonderful cast of  “actors” Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt.
  3. Chak De India-A case study for effective leadership. This is one of the movies where Shahrukh Khan truly showed that he is a good actor. The sports scenes were picturized perfectly making it look like live matches.
  4. Dil Chahtha Hai-The most unassuming movie I have seen. So real and so natural. Farhan Akhtar showed that a simple story of three friends can make a great story.
  5. Taare Zameen Par-Brilliant, moving cinema. An unconventional, heart-warming story about the relationship between a teacher and his student.
  6. Lagaan-This movie portrayed beautifully the life of the simple people in rural India and added the plot of galli cricket to make a gripping story with magical music.
  7. A Wednesday-This is movie-making at its best. Probably one of the most hard-hitting movies we will ever see! The message to shun terrorism will linger in our hearts for the rest of our lives.
  8. Mouna Raagam-A simple story of a couple going thro’ emotional upheavals and finally realizing their love for each other. The music and the background score by Ilaiyaraja elevates it to another level.
  9. Anjali-The cult classic in children’s movies, again Ilaiyaraja makes you literally cry with his violin cascades in the BGM’s.
  10. Thenaali-A humourous, comic entertainer shot in Kodaikanal. The Kamal-Jayaram-Crazy Mohan team never disappoints, watch out for the next one!
  11. Panchathantram-The best comedy I have ever seen! Killer dialogues that will make you run a laughathon! I don’t know how many more times I will watch this one.
  12. Thavamaai Thavamirundhu-An unlikely, unexpected entry in this list. A very realistic movie on the relationship between a son and his father and very engaging too. Probably one of the best movies of Cheran with super music by Sabesh-Murali.
  13. Mozhi-One of my recent favourites, a simple, witty love story set against the backdrop of music. Prakash Raj always produces very watchable movies. Vidyasagar’s music too was splendid.