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Most Rewatched Movies

with 8 comments

I am not a famous film-maker or critic, so Slate never asked me. (via MR) But hey – this is what blogs are for. So here is my list of most-watched, rewatched and done to death films.

Note that this is not necessarily a list of my favorite films (although some on the list are favorites) – but films that I have watched repeatedly due to fact that I own(ed) a copy as VHS/DVD or becasue they keep appearing on TV. Quick comments only – no detailed reviews.

1. Sonar Kella: Sometime in the late 80s, Calcutta Doordarshan screened Sonar Kella – commercial free. We recorded it on our VCR and ever since it has been the favorite time-pass activity for me and my sister: school cancelled due to heavy rain – what to do – let’s watch Sonar Kella;  bored on a Sunday afternoon – homework done and no books in hand to read – let’s watch Sonar Kella…..and so on. Now I own a VCD and in spite of a slightly busier life-style, still manage to watch it two to three times a year. In total I suspect the number of viewing have reached three digits! But I never tire of it. More than anything else, I keep coming back for the affable Lalmohan Ganguly (Jatayu) – his honest ignorance, his love for alliterative titles (Saharay Sihoron ! Braziler Bichchhu! Rajasthan-e Raktopat !), his verbal duel with Mandar Bose (‘Arreh, Hyena to China-e moshai’…… ‘Africa-e nekde-r chaash hoy’) and most of all, his struggles with the intricacies of the Hindi language (‘Aap log kitne door tak ja rahin hain ?’).

Someday, I will try to do justice and write a full personal review of this wonderful film.

2. Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne & Hirak Rajar Deshe: The songs, the rhyming dialogues, the magic, the fantasy, the food – oh the food (how many times my sister and I have wistfully clapped our hands together, hoping that by some miracle, Bhooter-raja has endowed us with magical powers; at least the powers that make mouth watering delights plop down from the sky) …….and did I mention the songs ?

3. Mahapurush: Satyajit Ray’s satrical comdey, based on Parashuram’s short-story, about a smooth-talking conman, Birinchi Baba, who pretends to be an ageless Swami and takes advantage of an old widower. 

(You see a trend here don’t you ? And I apologize to my non-Bengali readers -some of the things I mention here may sound Greek to you, but I do not have the patience to explain or translate everything – much of it is too nuanced for a proper translation anyway )

4. The Shawshank Redemption: Brilliant, expressive acting by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. Also Freeman’s deep resonant voice-over and the very simple heart-felt story of the wrongful prosecution of a honest man – and above all his indominable spirit.

5. Golmaal: (or Much Ado about a Moustache) The only Hindi-film entry in the list. This uproaringly hilarious, rolling-on-floor-laugh-out-loud comedy about one man juggling duplicate identities, a job under a stern, eccentric boss and a love-affair with the demanding daughter of the said boss, never gets stale. Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt achieved perfect comedic timing with this. One of the favortie scenes:  Utpal Dutt admonishing his daughter – ‘Tum use shaadi nahin karoge – jise tum pyar karti ho ! Tum use shaadi karoge jise main pyar karta hoon" 😀

6. Pulp Fiction: Love to watch the banters between Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer (Honey Bunny),  Travolta and Samuel Jackson (‘what do they call a quarter-pounder with cheese in Paris?’….) and above all – the scenes between Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace. 

7. Dr. Strangelove: Peter Sellers – pure genius. George C Scott – great actor. Stanley Kubrik – a brilliant craftsman – a giant in history of cinema. Enough said.

In recent times – I have been watching ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels‘ quite a few times. One reason is that Cinemax keeps showing it and being a fun movie to watch,  the channel surfing stops there. Secondly, I keep re-discovering the joys of interpreting cockney rhyming slang.

Then there are other contenders – films that do not appear too frequently on TV and I do not own a DVD/VCD of, but would probably watch if I had the opportunity: Forrest Gump, Kurosawa’s Rashomon and Seven Samurai, any Marx Brothers (especially Duck Soup) or Woody Allen (especially Annie Hall, Bananas or Everyone says I love you) feature and James Bond films. ( I know the last choice is kind of low-brow, but I just love Bond movies, especially with Sean Connery or Roger Moore as Bond)

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Written by BongoP'o'ndit

June 29, 2006 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Films, Fun, Personal

8 Responses

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  1. Bongo,

    I am currently doing some research. I will be back as soon as I can figure out the Bong connection to Pulp Fiction and Dr. Strangelove. 🙂

    Confused

    June 29, 2006 at 6:19 pm

  2. Bongo,

    Ok research done. 🙂

    Sonar kella! Feluda, right? 🙂 I have read Ray’s novel and I must say it was not a bad one coming from a semi professional writer. I liked Mahapurush too though it seems to attract a fair bit of criticizm. How about Pulp fiction and Dr. strangelove, what to say! Anyone who does not like them should be disallowed from watching movies. 🙂

    Rashomon, aha! Thats a good choice. On that note:how did you find Run lola Run?

    Confused

    June 30, 2006 at 7:33 am

  3. @Confused: But where is the Bong connection ?

    I have read Ray’s novel and I must say it was not a bad one coming from a semi professional writer.

    I would disagree. For the audience targeted, Ray’s writing was one of the finest in Bengali literature. I have not looked at the translations, but I am not sure that all the Bong nuances can be conveyed in other languages. Do try to read some of Ray’s short-stories as well. Btw, his writing actually used to bring in more money than his films at one time.

    I did enjoy Run Lola Run and have seen it two or three times – perhaps if I see it again, I will find new subtleties.

    Btw, no comments on ‘Golmaal’ ?

    BongoP'o'ndit

    June 30, 2006 at 7:47 am

  4. Bongo,

    hehe. You were not going to let me go scot free about the Bong connection? You are evil… 🙂

    First, true, I have read Ray only in translation which means it loses some of its nuances. Second, I have not read enough Bengali literature to pass a value judgment. In that sense, perhaps, my comment was inappropriate. I am confessing to it before you issue a Calcutta shutdown call. 🙂

    Golmaal is priceless, Utpal Dutt, what an actor! My favorite scene is that when Amol Palker goes for his interviw and describes why his Kurta is short. Lovely.

    Its so sad that they just don’t make movies like these any more. Oh, have you by any chance seen Jaane bhi do Yarron?

    Confused

    June 30, 2006 at 9:13 am

  5. Second, I have not read enough Bengali literature to pass a value judgment. In that sense, perhaps, my comment was inappropriate.

    What would the blogosphere be if we did not have people passing judegements ? 😉

    Jane Bhi Do Yaaron – priceless !! ‘Thoda Khao – thoda phenko….’
    You are tempting me to make a list of the best Hindi comedies of all time (very subjective of course). Perhaps after the business of getting Germany to advance to the WCSF.

    PS – still not letting you off on the Bong connection 😉

    BongoP'o'ndit

    June 30, 2006 at 9:52 am

  6. Bongo,

    After the match we demand:

    A list of best Hindi comedies of all time and we will be happy to nitpick 🙂

    Confused

    July 1, 2006 at 10:09 am

  7. haaa.. Pulp Fiction. that God among movies. i don’t know how many nunber of times i have watched it. Golmaal will also feature in my list.

    Arvind Swarup

    May 3, 2007 at 9:08 am

  8. Goopy and Bagha were much simpler, and golden-hearted than the other literary creations of Ray- the genius Shanku, the cool Feluda, and Apu. Tapen Chatterjee and Rabi Ghosh were masterful actors with brilliant comic timing, and their chemistry unmatched. With master Ray’s perfect direction in place, Goopy and Bagha captured the essential Bengali character. They would break out of prison by offering the guard a tasty fish and stop wars by raining magical sweets from the heavens.

    I wonder how something so ‘childish’ could have such layers and meanings below their surface. Even today, when I’m depressed I remember Bagha saying- ‘Tumi koro giye chinta. Pet bhore khabo, pran bhore ghurbo’ (Why worries! I’ll eat till my stomach is full. I’ll wander (sing and dance) till my last breath). The sadness we feel today is not just for the passing of a true artist. It marks the end of a magical age when movies were works of art, stories were simple, soul ruled over special effects, and characters stayed in our hearts long after the end credits had rolled. It is hard to digest that for the final time- Goopy will sing no more!

    Sourav Roy

    June 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm


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