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My Five


Modern Times

Charlie Chaplin

Modern Times (1936) is an evergreen pantomime with Chaplin playing the famous tramp. The film traces the life of a common factory-worker who suffers all the ill-effects of a modern, mechanised society. Satirically depicting unemployment, poverty and the lack of compassion, this is one of the overtly politically-themed movies ever made by Chaplin. The movie stands as a testimony to Chaplin's conviction in the ‘silent' movie format at a time when talkies were in vogue. Modern Times is a poignant classic that professes one silent message — hope.


Alfred Hitchcock

This Hitchcock classic has Cary Grant playing American agent Devlin and Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman, the daughter of a convicted German spy. Devlin seeks the help of Alicia to spy on Alexander Sebastian (a German spy) who happens to have a past love interest in Alicia. Alicia and Devlin fall in love and this threatens to jeopardise the whole operation. Notorious (1946) stands out from the rest of Hitchcock's masterpieces mainly for its power-packed casting and performances. Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, create a magical chemistry that makes this one of the best on-screen romances of the era.

The Motorcycle Diaries

Walter Salles

Ernesto Guevara and his friend Alberto decide to go on a trip through Latin America on their bike La Poderosa. With no fixed itinerary or destination they travel with just the idea of discovery and fun on their minds. An adaptation of Che Guevara's memoirs, The Motorcycle Diaries, this film shows how a journey can transform someone, by making him shed layers of his own personality and become a new person altogether, a revolutionary. Ernesto swimming across the Amazon to reach the lepers' colony is memorable.

Double Indemnity

Billy Wilder

Walter Neff, an insurance salesman is lured into a murder scheme by Phyllis Dietrichson. Barbara Stanwyck plays Phyllis, an attractive ‘femme fatale' who plots to kill her own husband. The idea of introducing the murderer in the very first scene and then recounting the incidents that led to the murder was path-breaking at the time the film was made (1946). Although the murderer is revealed, the movie never lags in suspense till the end. The plot, ‘narrative' style and lighting make Double Indemnity a timeless noir classic.

Sherlock Holmes

Guy Ritchie

Guy Ritchie is known for his series of caper flicks and he reinvents Sherlock Holmes with his style. Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) and Dr. Watson (Jude Law) try to unveil the mysteries surrounding a series of murders and the disappearance of Lord Blackwood from his buried coffin. Although the role of Holmes has been portrayed countless times, Guy Ritchie makes his Holmes sleeker than ever. Robert Downey and Jude Law fit in perfectly as the detective duo. The ultra slow-mo and prognosis in the boxing match coupled with The Dubliners' ‘Rocky Road to Dublin' in the background is a typical Guy Ritchie touch. Although the persona of Holmes is re-mastered, Ritchie stays faithful to every little detail of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's original version, from the characters of Irene Adler and Professor Moriarty to the initials VR that Holmes shoots on his wall.

Those that almost made it

Million Dollar Baby: Clint Eastwood

The Godfather: Francis Ford Coppola

Inception: Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight: Christopher Nolan

Yojimbo: Akira Kurosawa

Kundun: Martin Scorsese

Psycho: Alfred Hitchcock

Inglourious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino

(S. Pirithivi Raj is an engineering student who loves watching films so much that he dreams of becoming a full-time movie critic.)

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