varnachitram

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Incredible Movies

What are some of the incredible movies you have seen? Let us know.

Based on a suggestion from Velu we are starting this list. The movies could be in any language and need not be Indian. It could even be a short or a documentary

Post your responses in the format: Movie Name, Country of Origin, Language, Year of Release, A few lines on why you liked it. As always the comments are moderated so that fan wars are avoided. The response will be approved just based on your explanation of why you liked it, so please be thoughtful and non-impulsive.

132 Comments

  1. Bombon, El Perro

    A fantastic film that struck me for being incredibly funny and immensely sad at once. Strongly recommended! 🙂

    ===========================================================

    El perro (English: BombĂłn: El Perro and BombĂłn: The Dog) (2004) is an Argentine and Spanish, drama film, directed by Carlos SorĂ­n, and written by SorĂ­n, Santiago Calori, and Salvador Roselli. The picture features Juan Villegas, Walter Donado, among others.

    El perro is a neo-realist fable about a man and a dog. Set in Patagonia, an unemployed man has his luck change after being given a Dogo Argentino dog for helping a stranded woman on the highway.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_perro

    ===========================================================

  2. Two of Scorsese’s films which are quite underrated
    compared to his more famous works.

    “The Last Temptation of Christ”
    Screenplay by Paul Schrader; based on Nikos Kazantzakis’s book.
    Starring Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, and others.
    awesome Music by Peter Gabriel
    and the usual Scorsese editor Thelma Schoonmaker, and
    cinematographer Michael Ballhaus.

    One of the amazing things about the novel
    was its portrayal of Jesus as more of a man.
    It focused on the temptations and pleasures he had to
    overcome just like everyone, but where unlike us
    he struggled and won over it. The film shows this
    story extraordinarily. According to Christian belief,
    Christ was both divine and man, but no one wants to
    touch or know about his human side, hence the film
    created much controversy just like the novel.

    “The Age of Innocence”
    Screenplay by Jay Cocks; based on Edith Wharton’s novel.
    Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Winona Ryder
    Joanne Woodward, Geraldine Chaplin
    Music by Elmer Bernstein
    Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus
    Editing by Thelma Schoonmaker

    film critic Roger Ebert puts it best in his article
    “It was the spirit of it — the spirit of the exquisite romantic pain. The idea that the mere touching of a woman’s hand would suffice. The idea that seeing her across the room would keep him alive for another year.” So Martin Scorsese told me one autumn afternoon, as we drank tea in the library of his New York town house, a house like the ones inhabited by the characters in his film “The Age of Innocence.”

    He was explaining why the director of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” had made a film about characters defined by the social codes of New York society in the 1870s. We had both read the Edith Wharton novel, and so really no explanation was necessary. We understood that passion and violence can exist in places where absolute decorum rules; that Jake LaMotta, smashing his fists into the walls of his cell in “Raging Bull,” found a release that Newland Archer could not discover anywhere in the sitting rooms and dinners and nights at the opera that defined his life in The Age of Innocence.”

    “Archer was a man who loved one woman and married another, because it was the right thing to do. Or, more accurately, because everyone in his world thought it was the right thing to do, and made sure that he did it”

    ” Scorsese told me that in reading Wharton’s novel, “What has always stuck in my head is the brutality under the manners. People hide what they mean under the surface of language. In the subculture I was around when I grew up in Little Italy, when somebody was killed, there was a finality to it. It was usually done by the hands of a friend. And in a funny way, it was almost like ritualistic slaughter, a sacrifice. But New York society in the 1870s didn’t have that. It was so cold-blooded. I don’t know which is preferable.” ”

    (that reminds a lot about my society as well)

  3. Nice to see ‘Magnolia’ mentioned up there. Worth multiple watching sessions.

    I’d also like to name ‘The Fountain’ by Darren Aronofski. As in most cases the movie doesn’t do full justice to the book its based on, but its pretty good in its own right.

    Mel Gibson’s ‘Apocalypto’ is a good watch, and if you can get a DVD with Mel Gibson’s commentary then extra sweet. Its really informative for aspiring film makers.

    In Malayalam, ‘Vaasthavam’, I think, is underappreciated, but very strong. Also ‘Seelabathi’ was a movie that was overlooked but incredible in my opinion.

    Plus if you guys could mention where to get hold of the movies you’ve mentioned in your respective posts, it would be really helpful.

    As for the ones I mentioned, they are readily available at most DVD retailers online, except for the malayalam ones which I sourced via a friend, since I live outside Kerala.

  4. Recently saw Kim Ji-woon’s

    “The Good, the Bad, the Weird”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imgdpz_0m-8

    a S. Korean film inspired by Sergio Leone’s
    “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

    Though there is the basic plot of Leone’s film
    in it, this film is completely different. Its an oriental western.
    Kim proves that he is filmmaker who can handle many differnt
    genres from comedy, horror, thriller…and now to western.
    It was entertaining all right!

  5. Some movies I watched last week, that I thought were very good

    Varumayin Niram Sivappu (1980) – K Balachander, Tamil

    a very thought provoking movie, about the unemployment situation during the 80s. Yet, the movie kept me watching until the end. Kamal Hassan was especially good in this movie.

    Thaniyavarthanam (1988) – Lohitdas

    I think many would agree, that this is probably one of the best movies of Mammootty..there were moments where I could feel the pain that he was going through

    Yuvajanotsavam (1986) – Sreekumaran Thampi

    I loved this movie, because it didnt show college kids in the cliched way. As a viewer, I was able to connect with the human feelings that each character had. On the outside, they were all typical college kids, drinking, looking at women passing by..but, as the movie went on, it revealed that each and every one of them had a character; and they all had their own problems. Very nice movie; great performance from Mohanlal and the rest of the cast, and classic songs by Raveendran

  6. correction; Thaniyavarthanam was written by Lohithdas, and directed by Sibi Malayil;

  7. Ulsavapittennu (1989)
    Directed by Bharath Gopi
    and written by John Paul

    a pretty good film from the 80s.
    Mohanlal gives one of his best performances, he hasn’t
    played a character like this before or after this film.
    Sukumaran, Parvathi, Jagathy, and Jayaram were well supported.
    Its an interesting story, a nice attempt by Gopi.

  8. Pingback: ||Official Hollywood+World cinema Thread || - Page 63 - Malayalam Cinema Forum

  9. Early Summer (1951)
    directed by Yasujiro Ozu

    Written by Ozu and Kogo Noda
    Starring Setsuko Hara, Chishu Ryu, Chikage Awashima, and Kuniko Miyake
    Music by Senji It?
    Cinematography by Yuuharu Atsuta
    Editing by Yoshiyasu Hamamura

    Language: Japanese, Country: Japan

    Ozu’s main theme in his films was always about
    the dissolution of the family.
    This film shows that, it portrays the family life
    in Japan right after WWII. I assume most Asians
    would very well understand the large families…

    One of Ozu’s best, a masterpiece indeed.

  10. Battle Royale (2000)
    directed and written by Kinji Fukasaku (his last film)

    based on the novel of same name by Koshun Takami
    Starring Tatsuya Fujiwara, Aki Maeda, Taro Yamamoto, Takeshi Kitano
    Masanobu Ando
    Music by Masamichi Amano
    Cinematography: Katsumi Yanagishima
    Editing by Hirohide Abe

    Country: Japan, Language: Japanese

    Plot (in short):
    “In the future, the Japanese government captures a class of ninth-grade students and forces them to kill each other under the revolutionary “Battle Royale” act.”

  11. Cheppu
    Direction: Priyadarshan
    1987

    I watched this movie on tape, about 5 years ago, when I was in high school, and I still remember it today.There was a very thought provoking movie,in which Mohanlal plays a schoolteacher in a drug – ridden school..Ganesh Kumar played the spoiled son of a rich landowner or NRI..The story revolves around the cheating and the terrible things that happen to once good students due to the drugs and environment that surrounds them

    There was one scene when a student, known for his hard work and good grades, speaks out against Ganeshan for openly cheating..Unfortunately, he is thrown out by the supervisor, who was obviously paid money or threatened by the spoiled rich students to allow them to cheat…In a very intense scene, he is seen later on sitting on top of a tree, and Mohanlal discovers that he has been using the drug, brown sugar..

    Definitely one of Priyadarshan’s best movies..Although Ive read that the story was copied from “Class of 1984”, very good movie nevertheless..Priyadarshan adapts it to the Indian environment very well..Great performance from Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, and Ganeshan

  12. Amaram (1991)
    Direction: Bharathan
    Mammootty’s performance was excellent in this movie..He sounds exactly like the actual fisherman, and there were many intense, and emotional scenes in the movie..Great story as well. Mammootty is a fisherman who has worked hard to educate his daughter, but it becomes complicated when she runs away with her lover, Ashokan..Everyone did a great job in this movie.

    Bharatham (1991)
    Direction: Sibi Malayil
    Mohanlal is the brother of Nedumudi Venu, both carnatic singers..But Nedumudi has a drinking problem, and Mohanlal unknowingly insults him by singing for him..Excellent performances from the entire cast..Great music by Raveendran in both movies..

    If there is one area where Malayalam movies excel more than Hollywood, it is in the acting and emoting department..especially when you have directors like Bharathan and Sibi Malayil..In these movies, you dont cry along with Mammootty and Mohanlal..you actually feel the pain yourself.

  13. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    directed and written by Hayao Miyazaki
    Starring Chika Sakamoto, Noriko Hidaka, Hitoshi Takagi (voices)
    Music by Joe Hisaishi
    Cinematography Hisao Shirai
    Editing by Takeshi Seyama
    Country: Japan / Language: Japanese

    Such a gorgeous gem, a fantastic animated film by the master Miyazaki.

  14. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
    Directed by Frank Capra
    Written by Robert Riskin
    Starring Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur and others
    Cinematography Joseph Walker
    Editing by Gene Havlick
    Country: USA / Language: English

    One of the best films from the Classical Hollywood era.
    Taking place during the Great Depression,
    “Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers”

    One of Capra’s best films…even after all these years the film still
    has relevance even now.

  15. The Battleship Potemkin (1925)
    Directed by Sergei Eisenstein
    Written by Nina Agadzhanova, Nikolai Aseyev, Sergei Eisenstein, and Sergei Tretyakov
    Editing by Grigori Aleksandrov, Sergei Eisenstein
    Cinematography: Eduard Tisse
    Music by Helmut Imig
    Country: Soviet Union

    One of the most influential films of all time…

    as film critic Roger Ebert puts it:
    “But it suffers when it is seen apart from its context (just as “The Graduate”, by striking the perfect note for 1967, strikes a dated note now). It needs the right audience. In a sense, the band Concrete supplied a virtual audience; the loud, passionate, ominous music by the three young musicians worked as an impassioned audience response does, to carry and hurry the other watchers along. “Battleship Potemkin” is no longer considered the greatest film ever made, but it is obligatory for anyone interested in film history, and the other night in that small-town parking lot I got a sense, a stirring, of the buried power it still contains, awaiting a call.”

  16. City Lights (1931)
    Directed and written by Charles Chaplin
    Starring Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers
    Music by Charles Chaplin
    Cinematography Rollie Totheroh and Gordon Pollock
    Editing by Charles Chaplin
    Country: USA

    Chaplin’s masterpiece, and one of the best films of all time!

  17. “Eisenstein’s greatest achievement is the beautiful visual composition of his shots and his editing. But as far as content is concerned his films are silly, his actors are wooden and operatic. I sometimes suspect that Eisenstein’s acting style derives from his desire to keep actors framed within a composition for as long as possible; they move very slowly, as if under water…Actually anyone seriously interested in comparative film techniques should study the difference in approach of two directors, Eisenstein and Chaplin. Eisenstein is all form and no content, whereas Chaplin is content and no form.”

    –an interesting point by Stanley Kubrick on Eisenstein.

  18. Sukrutham (1994)
    Direction: Hariharan
    Story: MT Vasudevan

    Mammootty plays a writer dying of cancer. There was a particular scene where Mammootty looks hopelessly at the sunset, knowing that the day can never be regained..Very good movie, one of Hariharan’s best

  19. To George,
    Sukrutham of course is a great movie.One of MT’s best.But it was not directed by Hariharan but by Harikumar.Still I would say it does not matter since it is an MT script.

  20. “Sukrutham” had a very good screenplay by MT, unfortunately it was not made well enough because of the mediocre direction by Harikumar, who made it quite melodramatic.

    T. Hariharan never did the film.

    Though around that same year or so Hariharan
    did a film of a MT script – “Parinayam”.
    He did no compromises whatsoever.

    a well made film, and among Hariharan’s best works.

  21. George

    Sukrutham is one of Harikumar’s films.
    A brilliant film indeed, as u said.

  22. my fault, I thought it was Hariharan! Anyways great movie!

  23. I heard that Sukrutham is a story about MT’s own life, about a writer recovering from a usually fatal illness. I also read that there were even news articles prepared for his Mt’s expected death

  24. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    directed by Stanley Kubrick
    written by Arthur C. Clarke and Kubrick
    starring Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester
    Daniel Richter, Leonard Rossiter, Douglas Rain
    Cinematography Geoffrey Unsworth
    Editing by Ray Lovejoy
    Country: US

    If I had to make a top 10 list of the best films in the
    world…this one will be in the top 5.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQWOVD_M6HY&feature=channel_page

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iyxs0sgJrPk

  25. Chilambu
    Direction: Bharathan
    Rahman, Shobhana, Thilakan, TG Ravi, Nedumudi Venu, Ashokan, etc

    About a young man who arrives in the village to take back his family’s chilambu from the Tharavadu and to seek revenge on those who destroyed his family. Very nice performances from everyone in this movie.

  26. Devasuram
    Mohanlal, Revathi, Nedumudi Venu, Napolean
    Direction: IV Sasi
    Writer: Renjith

    Probably IV Sasi’s best film; excellent performance by Mohanlal. Unfortunately this movie started the trend of superhuman roles by Mohanlal.

  27. Mizhineer Pookkal
    Direction: Kamal
    Mohanlal, Nedumudi Venu, Urvashi

    Mohanlal plays a playboy, and he goes too far when he becomes interested in a married woman (urvashi). A very haunting story; and Kamal’s first movie i think

  28. Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil (1986)
    Mammootty, Ashokan, Nedumudi Venu, Sukumari, Jagathy
    Direction, story: Padmarajan

    Three men visit a brothel in an obscure village; This movie could have easily have become an “award padam” in the hands of another director. But, Padmarajan was able pull it off; very well made; there was not a moment in the movie that was drawn out or melodramatic.

  29. Ormakkayi (1982)
    Directed by Bharathan
    Written by John Paul & Bharathan
    Starring Bharath Gopi, Nedumudi Venu, Adoor Bhasi, Madhavi
    Cinematography Vasant Kumar
    Music by Johnson

    Among Bharathan’s best films…the film certainly is
    a character study. Gopi plays one of his finest roles.
    Among one of the best Malayalam films.

  30. Yavanika (1982)
    Directed by KG George
    Written by KG George & SL Puram Sadanandan
    Starring Bharath Gopi, Jalaja, Thilakan, Venu Nagavalli,
    Jagathy Sreekumar, Nedumudi Venu, Mammootty, Sreenivasan
    Cinematography K Ramachandra Babu
    Music by MB Srinivasan

    A big commercial and critical success at its time in the early 80s.
    Certainly will be part of the top 5 films of Keralite Cinema.
    The film does feel like a mix of a Ed McBain police procedural and Rashomon. Gopi plays tabla artist Aiyappan, which is one of the best performances from Indian cinema. When it comes to acting, there’s before Brando and after Brando in world cinema. In that same way, in Malayalam cinema there is before and after Gopi.

  31. Pyaasa (1957)
    Directed by Guru Dutt
    Written by Abrar Alvi
    Starring Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha, Johnny Walker, Rehman
    Cinematography VK Murthy
    Editing by YG Chawhan
    Music by SD Burman

    While Satyajit Ray was gaining popularity with his personal films
    during the 50s, Guru Dutt created a gem of a film in mainstream cinema.
    Most Indian filmmakers call Guru Dutt among the most influential filmmaker from India.

    In 2005, the film entered the “top 100 Movies” list in Time Magazine.

  32. Iruvar (1997)
    Directed by Mani Ratnam
    Written by Mani Ratnam & Suhasini
    Starring Mohanlal, Prakash Raj, Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Gouthami, Revathi, Nasser
    Music by AR Rahman
    Cinematography Santosh Sivan

    I loved this film. I would call it probably Mani Ratnam’s best film to date. Obviously most people can see the similarity of the story to the real life relationship of MGR and Karunanidhi. The film is quite amazing. With awesome music by AR and excellent cinematography by Santosh Sivan. Mohanlal plays one of his best roles in his career playing Anandan.

  33. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    Directed by David Lean
    Written by Robert Bolt
    Starring Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn
    Jack Hawkins, José Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Claude Rains
    Cinematography Freddie Young
    Editing by Anne V. Coates
    Music by Maurice Jarre

    Country: UK / Language: English

    a masterpiece, period.
    and Sir David Lean is among the best of the best.

  34. The Searchers (1956)
    Directed by John Ford
    Written by Frank S. Nugent based on Alan Le May’s novel
    Starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood,
    Ward Bond, Vera Miles
    Cinematography Winton C. Hoch
    Editing by Jack Murray
    Music by Max Steiner

    Country: US

    Since I mentioned a masterpiece before this…thought
    about putting another next. This is by John Ford, the guy Lean is most influenced of.

  35. Vertigo (1958)
    Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
    Written by Alec Coppel, based on Boileau-Narcejac’s novel
    Starring Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes
    Cinematography Robert Burks
    Editing by George Tomasini
    Music by Bernard Herrmann

    Now this film is considered to be Hitchcock’s masterpiece.
    Scorsese once wrote for an article in Time on how such a
    film as personal as this was born out in the studio system.
    An amazing film from one of the greatest filmmakers.
    Excellent performances by Jimmy Stewart (playing Scottie) and Kim Novack. Great score by Herrmann and interesting to see the vertigo shots (dolly zoom).

  36. ‘Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil’ indeed is a Padmarajan special. It is an underrated padmarajan film that is so well shot and the intensity is maintained throughout.In the film where the village is the central character has Mammootty,Nedumudi Venu,Ashokan as central characters.

    Great choice George.The film indeed is a forgotten masterpiece.

  37. I am from Tamilnadu who loves Malayalam movies. could anyone send me a list of incredible Malayalam movies? Thank you.

    Senthil

  38. You can find a lot of malayalam movies if you search on youtube. Some that are on youtube are

    nammukku paarkkan munthiri thoppukal

    arappatta kettiya gramathil

    naadodikattu (i think its online)

    thaniyavarthanam

    In Harihar Nagar

    if you search on youtube, you’ll be able to find more..these are some off the top of my head. There are some good comedies and as well as serious movies if you know where to look

  39. Some incredible entertainers in Malayalam in any genre; my favourites. The list is not complete.

    Nadodikkaattu,
    Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha,
    Chithram,
    Kilukkam,
    Kireedam,
    Dasharatham,
    Thoovanathumbikal,
    Varavelppu,
    Sandesham,
    Ramji Rao Speaking,
    In Hariharnagar,
    Godfather,
    Commissioner,
    Aakashadoothu,
    Kalikkalam,
    Devasuram,
    Sphadikam,
    The King,
    Vaalsalyam,
    Thaniyaavarthanam,
    Peruvannaapurathe visheshangal,
    Vadakkunokkiyanthram,
    Vellanakalude Naadu,
    Manichithrathaazhu,
    Midhunam,
    Nokketha doorathu Kannum nattu,
    Thaniyaavarthanam,
    Pattanapravesham,
    Oru CBI Diarykkurippu,
    etc.

    Some entertainers from the Post Golden Era.
    Punjabi House, Meeshamadhavan, Aaraam Thamburaan, Rajamanikyam, Classmates, Kalyanaraman, Cycle.

  40. Amith, Idea is not to just compile a list – As explained in the top of the list:

    Post your responses in the format: Movie Name, Country of Origin, Language, Year of Release, A few lines on why you liked it. As always the comments are moderated so that fan wars are avoided. The response will be approved just based on your explanation of why you liked it, so please be thoughtful and non-impulsive.

    We really value your opinion on why you liked a particular movie.

  41. Dhoore Dhoore oru Koodu Koottam (1986)
    Direction: Sibi Malayil
    Story: Sreenivasan (i think)

    Mohanlal, Nedumudi venu, Jagathy, Sreenivasan, Menaka

    A story about Mohanlal coming to a rural school to teach kids English, although he knows very little himself

  42. Vc, I was helping Senthil.

    Varavelppu (1989)
    Direction : Sathyan Anthikkad
    Screenplay : Sreenivasan
    Cast: Mohanlal, Revathi, Murali, Thilakan, Innocent, Jagadeesh…

    Varavelppu means ‘Welcome’. A gulf-returnee coming home after 7 years was welcomed by greedy relatives and a disobliging society. He plans to start a bus service, which later invites a trade union leader to hinder his way. A satire on the insincerity and selfishness of trade unions in the state. The story is relevant now and then.

  43. err….
    I meant the story is relevant even now. 🙂

  44. Varavelpu was indeed a great movie; good choice Amith

  45. Kaliyattam (1997)
    Suresh Gopi, Lal, Manju Warrier, Biju Menon
    Direction: Jayaraj

    An adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello. Excellent performance from the entire cast, especially Suresh Gopi. Its a shame that his talent is wasted too much on police roles. The movie won Suresh Gopi the national award for best actor, and Jayaraj the national award for best director. Its a shame that the movie did not get the box office collections it truly deserved

  46. Kireedam (1989)
    Mohanlal, Thilakan,Murali, Kavyoor Ponnama
    Direction: Sibi Malayil
    Story: AK Lohithdas

    A story of how a young man’s dreams get crushed one by one. Mohanlal and Thilakan were exceptional in this movie. One of the greatest Malayalam movies of all time for sure

  47. Kireedam is indeed a great great movie.The situations that arise in the movie seems so natural and so intensely played out.Brilliant narration makes u feel all the pain that is undergone by the characters.I would say it’s the greatest script of Lohitadas and the director Sibi malayil too does a brilliant job.And the actors.Lal and Thilakan as son & father were above brilliance.Everyone did a great job.
    To add to George’s comment, it is one of the best movies produced in INDIA ever.

  48. Chenkol(1990)
    Direction:Sibi Malayil

    The sequel to kireedam,this movie initially when it released was pulled down by the greatest of expectations it simply generated and ultimately didn’t do well in the box office.The movie in hindsight, still wouldn’t reach the great peaks attained by its 1st part.It wouldn’t quite touch your heart the way the prequel did and overall its brilliance was inferior to origianl.Nevertheless this movie,to put it in simple words is EXCELLENT.It’s story and structure is more complex than Kireedam.
    The movie shows the family of the main villian of its 1st part in a good light while his parental family is vying for revenge.Superb movie.

  49. Chenkol was also a very good movie; indeed one of malayalam’s greatest

  50. Moonam Pakkam
    Direction: Padmarajan
    Thilakan, Jayaram, Ashokan, Rahman

    Jayaram and friends come to visit his grandfather, who is extremely happy at their arrival. Thilakan’s acting in this movie is excellent. In fact, i dont think ive seen a single movie where Thilakan was not very good.

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