Movie Mania – Part 1

Recently, I got hold of a huge collection of English movies from one of my teammates and since then it has been a movie a day timetable. Here is the rather “laymanish” review of some of  the movies I liked 

1. American History X : This movie is about the Black vs White racial tensions that were prevailing in America long time back.The script traces the toll this tension takes on a White family, how hate eventually turns to love and camaraderie and the hidden agendas of supposed leaders of such emotional movements. I was already a fan of Edward Norton and in this movie he delivers superbly. Here is one of my favourite dialogues from the movie

Bob Sweeney: There was a moment, when I used to blame everything and everyone for all the pain and suffering and vile things that happened to me, that I saw happen to my people. Used to blame everybody. Blamed white people, blamed society, blamed God. I didn’t get no answers ’cause I was asking the wrong questions. You have to ask the right questions.
Derek Vinyard: Like what?
Bob Sweeney: Has anything you’ve done made your life better?

2. Gran Torino : Well, this was my first Clint Eastwood movie :) . Gran Torino actually refers to a vintage car model that is owned by Eastwood in the movie and which a misguided kid from the neighbourhood tries to steal. The kid and Eastwood eventually become friends, but oh the plot is much deeper than that. For the better part of the movie, one has no clue where the movie is headed and the script seems to be unnecessarily stretched. However the amazing twist in the end is indeed a treat and one can then see how the dots are all connected. This movie will leave a knot in your throat and the bewitchingly beautiful song that plays while the credits roll will keep you engrossed until the screen become blank :)

3. Charlie Wilson’s War : This is a historic movie based on how America first got involved in Afghanistan during the Cold War. This movie starring Tom Hanks as the womanising Congressman Charlie Wilson and Julia Roberts as the Christian zealot, gives the viewer a good insight into the thought process and viewpoints of American policy makers at the time.It is also helpful in understanding the context of the 21st century wars playing out in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my favourite quotes from the movie is this

Charlie Wilson: These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world… and then we fucked up the endgame.

4. True Grit : This one is about the grit and determination of a 14 year old girl who goes out to hunt for her father’s killer. She is joined in the search by a U.S Marshal played by Jeff Bridges and a Texan Ranger played by Matt Damon.They eventually find the killer, but not without the girl getting herself poisoned by a snake bite.Help is however far away and in a desperate bid to save her life, her arm has to be amputated. The script does a wonderful job in playing out the little girl’s courage and maturity against the drunkenness and cowardice of the two cops. A must watch!! :)

5. 12 Angry Men : Well, I heard that this movie is shown as a case study in prominent business schools :) . The fact that the entire movie revolves around the conversation between 12 jury members discussing an open and shut murder case and the fact that there is no action whatsoever and that the picturization is completely in black-and-white may sound like a downer, but trust me, this movie will prove you wrong :) . It is one of those rare intellectually stimulating masterpieces and you will not press the forward button even once :) . This movie sets a good example for learning influencing skills, negotiating skills, leadership skills etc. If you haven’t watched it, you are missing something :)

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