Category Archives: My favorite list

List of my favorite films and mostly they are the best in their genre.

Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times (20+1list)

Best South Korean Thrillers of recent times.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Today’s list consists of only the Best South Korean Thrillers since this country seems to be specializing on this particular genre for some time now.

Memories of a murder posterIn-spite of suffering long periods of political censorship in the past South Korean film industry has evolved and produced numerous quality cinema that have achieved immense international acclaim!

The new-age South Korean directors have given some of the best suspense thrillers of our times. Be it the theme of the infamous gang war films or the merciless serial killer movies or the classic police-gangster action dramas or else the ever-popular gruesome revenge sagas – you name it and they have delivered it to perfection.

Statutory warning: Most of these South Korean Thrillers are not meant for kids to watch. The realistic approach of these intense thrillers often get too violent even for the taste of most adult-audiences. So watch these graphic (often gory) films at your own risk.

Enough said … let the fun begin!

20. Don’t Cry, Mommy (2012)

Don keu-ra-i ma-mi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrTkEMXDPdw

South Korean ThrillersA rape of a young girl that eventually leads into her suicide, but will the rapists (being minors) get their desired punishments?

When the judgment of the law ends up favoring the three juveniles, the mother of the girl decides to take things in her own hands.

Directed by Yong-han Kim, this is one perfect revenge drama. 

19. The Suspect (2013)

Yong-eui-ja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ctw3o_tv_k

South Korean ThrillersAbandoned during a mission and on the run, his wife and daughter murdered, this is a tale of a field agent in North Korea who is all set to take revenge on them who has destroyed his life.

Directed by Shin-yeon Won. an action pact drama where the central character’s only goal is to have his vengeance and finish the treacherous game of double cross and deceit.

18. Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012)

Bumchoiwaui junjaeng: Nabbeunnomdeul jeonsungshidae (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRFKk3gYBE

South Korean ThrillersA corrupt customs official who was about to get fired randomly gets associated with a vicious gangster and becomes the most powerful crime partner of the town!

Directed by Jong-bin Yun, this one is a pure gangster flick with lots of twists and turns in the storyline. And it’s also about friendship and rivalry, loyalty and betrayal, respect and (of course) murder!   

17. Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)

Hwa-i: Goi-mool-eul sam-kin a-i (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EODuG-0Y9E

South Korean ThrillersA boy raised by five criminals (all fathers), who finally goes in search for the truth as he was forced to take part in a killing spree.

Directed by Joon-Hwan Jang, a brilliant film that needs to be much more popular to the thriller-fans all across the world.

Graphic violence is an essential part of the film, so you be prepared.

16. A Hard Day (2014)

Kkeut-kka-ji-gan-da (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r1lJuk4EjA

South Korean ThrillersA homicide detective kills a man in a car accident, and desperately tries to hide the body and he succeeds too … well almost.

Soon he is threatened by some mysterious guy who seems to have witnessed everything and knows all about it!

Directed by Seong-hoon Kim, a very well crafted thriller indeed.

15. Bedevilled (2010)

Kim Bok-nam salinsageonui jeonmal (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dG2bObtGlsI

South Korean ThrillersAs Eleanor Roosevelt once said ‘A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.’

Directed by Cheol-soo Jang, this is the story of a woman living in an isolated island, who is abused and tortured in every possible way until one day she decides to avenge upon her tormentors! Extreme violence, disturbingly real and gory, and yet highly engaging.

14. The Terror Live (2013)

Deu tae-ro ra-i-beu (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om2BFo4c4QQ

South Korean ThrillersAn exclusive live broadcast with a terrorist is the only way for a news anchor to claim his top position back, but then how far is he ready to sacrifice to get what he wants?

Directed by Byung-woo Kim, an underrated thriller shot almost entirely in one room (the radio station), giving the impression of real time and a sense of claustrophobia. A combination of superb acting and intense drama.

13. Breathless (2008)

Ddongpari (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zzcGQkuTs4

South Korean ThrillersNot exactly a thriller in it’s true sense, but definitely one of the most brutal Korean crime drama of recent times.

A story of a touching friendship between a heartless loan shark and a troubled young school girl.

Directed by Ik-joon Yang, a brilliantly emotional film, much underrated as it deserves a lot more attention and appreciation.

12. A Dirty Carnival (2006)

Biyeolhan geori (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWtiC1JFRnE

South Korean ThrillersThis one is an action pact film portraying the life of the gangsters from a dangerously uncomfortable perspective.

Directed by Ha Yoo, this is the story of a man’s realization of the his capabilities and more importantly his own limitations; a fine crime drama that reveals the merciless world of crime and criminals from very close proximity.

11. Montage (2013)

Mong-ta-joo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV5Hom6_GxE

South Korean Thrillers15 years ago a crime was committed, a kidnap, and a mother lost her child forever.

And now, the crime is being repeated, another kidnap, same style – but this time can they stop the crime and tackle the kidnapper?

Directed by Geun-seop Jeong, a perfect thriller that turns out into a deadly game of wits.

10. Cold Eyes (2013)

Gam-si-ja-deul (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH15-Aj57fc

South Korean ThrillersThe police surveillance team with their latest techno gadgets clashes with a team of ruthless bank robbers who seems to be unstoppable in their mission.

Directed by Ui-seok Jo and Byung-seo Kim, this is a high voltage suspense drama that ensures to quicken your pulse till the end.

This Korean thriller was one of the biggest box office hit of the year!

9. New World (2013)

Sinsegye (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rln9Hx_wPFw

South Korean ThrillersThe police with the help of an undercover agent tries to take on the dangerous mafia but then certain unexpected twists completely turns the rules of the game.

A complex and gripping storyline, brilliant acting and the element of suspense intact till the very end.

Directed by Hoon-jung Park, this is South Korean thriller at its best.

8. Pieta (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MebVzBdz0OI

South Korean ThrillersA loan shark who leads a brutal and violent life encounters a strange woman who claims to be his long lost mother.

Directed by Ki-duk Kim, a unique film that revolves around a son taking revenge on his so-called mother because she has abandoned him in his childhood! 

A mother and son film with so many layers of emotions, never seen before.

7. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Ajeossi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38rPoGSr19U

South Korean Thrillers

A pawn shop owner who prefers to keep to himself befriends a little girl from the neighborhood.

And when this girl’s life is in danger this man from nowhere makes it his business to rescue his little friend from the ruthless gangsters.

Directed by Jeong-beom Lee, a gritty fast paced emotional tale told in great style.

6. The Yellow Sea (2010)

Hwanghae (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoyKIBiCb7Y

South Korean Thrillers

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this is the story of a poor taxi driver who is sent across the sea to kill someone. But instead of killing his target he starts searching for his wife!

A dangerous mistake that almost costed his life.

A tale of extreme vengeance; some of the action moments in this film are legendary even in Korean standards!

5. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Dalkomhan insaeng (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6Kcns8MujA

South Korean Thrillers

A gangster’s sweet life turns bitter when he refuses to follow his boss’s orders. But then, an ego clash with the dangerous mafia boss can surely cost you much, may be your happiness if not your life!

Directed by Jee-woon Kim, a classy film shot beautifully, crisp script and great performance by everyone. One of the best gangster movies I have seen till date.

4. Mother (2009)

Madeo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcxml0xeFlI

South Korean ThrillersDirected by Joon Ho Bong, this is an incredible story of a mother’s retribution.

When a mentally retarded boy is suspected of murder, his mother takes upon the task to find the real killer. Her maternal instinct to protect her child takes her to the ultimate level of desperation.

Powerful performances and a brilliant piece of story telling.

Another brilliant thriller from the same director is Memories of Murder (2003) – Salinui chueok (original title).

3. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwWgp1bqVwE

South Korean ThrillersA deadly game of vengeance between a secret agent and a serial killer is being played through out the film. But who will be the winner?

Insanely violent and graphic, a story of a psychopath being chased and tormented by an equally demented cop.

Directed by Jee-woon Kim, this thriller is so full of obsession, hatred and revenge.

2. The Chaser (2008)

Chugyeogja (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai0GambXj-s

South Korean ThrillersA detective turned pimp tries to trace his call girls who seem to vanish into thin air. Is there one particular client who may be responsible for their sudden disappearances?

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this gruesome thriller has some of the most extreme moments of tension and violence – terrific storyline and exceptionally natural acting. The best Korean thriller ever made till date!

1. Oldboy (2003)

Oldeuboi (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HkjrJ6IK5E

South Korean ThrillersAnd now, the most popular South Korean film ever made, included in the all time best 100 films list in IMDb!

A man has been kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, but why? Will he be released someday?

A unique and disturbing tale, directed by Chan-wook Park, full of violence and extreme vengeance.

Along with Oldboy, don’t you forget to check out the other two films of Chan-wook Park‘s Vengeance Trilogy, that also includes Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Housemaid (1960)

Hanyo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40u9lEHrMa8

South Korean ThrillersA man in an illicit relationship with his housemaid eventually complexes his married life a bit too much for any scope of peaceful resolution.

Directed by Ki-young Kim, this is one of the most artistic film in this list, very well dramatized and superlative performances.

A classic South Korean thriller, that has not aged even after so many decades.

Similar Interest: Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.comwww.impawards.comasianwiki.comwww.koreanfilm.or.kr.

Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times (20+1list)

Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times.

written by Souranath Banerjee

It seems that the Spanish film-makers/story-tellers have mastered the ‘art of suspense‘ for quite some time now. Be it the sudden moment of panic or the slow built tension, the latest Spanish thrillers Spanish-thrillersare gaining popularity worldwide for their out-of-the-box concepts and precise execution that guarantees a certain adrenaline rush for the audience!

Intriguing storyline combined with powerful acting and clever direction are the traits of these superbly successful Spanish-language suspense-thrillers that promises to keep you guessing till the end.

And here, I have chosen some of the Best Spanish Thrillers of Recent Times and hope you have the thrill of your life watching them!

20. The Fury of a Patient Man (2016)

Tarde para la ira (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUs3snEcQNA

spanish-thrillersA patient man with vengeance in his heart is all set to accomplish a mission; he seems cool and compassionate outwardly but grief has made him brutal and merciless. And also a murderer!

Directed by Raúl Arévalo, this is an all in all revenge flick that has its share of intense violent moments and an overall suspense that looms over the audience and succeeds in making us pretty uncomfortable.

19. At the End of the Tunnel (2016)

Al final del túnel (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPc0SQyD-ac

spanish-thrillersA relatively underrated Spanish thriller that revolves around a paraplegic computer engineer who finds himself involved in the midst of a ruthless gang who have taken shelter right next door, planning to rob the bank.

Directed by Rodrigo Grande, this thriller is a decent blend of suspense and emotions, trust and deceit, and also the basic human need to survive out of any situation.

18. The Bar (2017)

El bar (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTazqyeYg3Y

spanish-thrillersA surprisingly engaging thriller that tells the story of an assorted group of people (all strangers) trapped inside a bar, who seem to be turning against each other in their desperate attempt to survive.

Directed by Álex de la Iglesia, the film is a decent study of human behavior, thrilling and full of plot twists perfectly punctuated by occasional comic moments.

17. May God Save Us (2016)

Que Dios nos perdone (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Ywx8kAviZA

spanish-thrillersSet in Madrid , summer of 2011 at the time of 15M (anti-austerity movement in Spain), and also the time of Pope’s arrival; two Police Inspectors are desperate to stop a series of murders and catch what appears to be a serial killer on the loose.

Directed by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, a crazy rollercoaster ride of a thrilling yet violent chase that ultimately reveals the true natures of the detectives as well.

16. The Night of the Sunflowers (2006)

La noche de los girasoles (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnUuVOJHiLo

spanish-thrillersSet in a small village of Spain where a virgin cave have been discovered and is been explored by a crew from the Geology Department. But then a sudden act of violence sparks a series of unexpected events that turns everyones lives upside down.

Directed by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo, a suspense thriller with a superb non-linear plot that reveals itself in a slow pace; often violent yet very entertaining.

15. The Hidden Face (2011)

La cara oculta (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afJ1h3Esoqo

spanish-thrillers

The sudden disappearance of a Spanish orchestra conductor’s girlfriend leads to an unusual investigation with no satisfactory results; the perfect mystery with a twisted plot and an unexpected ending.

Director Andrés Baiz does set the mood for a perfect suspense thriller but then again better acting could have improved the audience experience to another level.

14. Killing Words (2003)

Palabras encadenadas (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehuB-DsMM0Y

spanish-thrillersA Word Game has to be played between a kidnapped victim (gagged and bound to a chair) and her deranged psychotic kidnapper, and the rules are simple enough – if she wins he will let her go but ‘if you lose, I’ll scoop out your eyes with a spoon. Pop!’

Directed by Laura Mañá, this is one innovative thriller with a superb script that guarantees many unpredictable twists and turns.

13. Marshland (2014)

La isla mínima (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fpk3Lnc638

spanish-thrillers

A classic serial killer case that has been investigated by a team of two homicide detectives who are of complete contrast in their nature and character. 

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez, this thrilling drama is set in the backdrop of the marshlands – a highly entertaining and engaging crime drama shot beautifully along with the different moods of nature.

12. Burnt Money (2000)

Plata quemada (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUJVhhhiCps

spanish-thrillersSet in Argentina in 1965, this one is based on the true story that involves a ruthless bank robbery and a passionate gay romance!

Three men become permanent fugitives after robbing a bank but can they enjoy their loot and live the lives they fantasized?

Directed by Marcelo Piñeyro, an emotional take on the most infamous robbery in Buenos Aires.

11. Magical Girl (2014)

La niña de fuego (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V65u_XN0uq8

spanish-thrillersA dad who wants to fulfill his dying daughter’s last wishes; a psychologically disturbed girl who will go to any length to save her marriage – and these stories are connected in more ways than you can imagine!

Directed by Carlos Vermut, a superb neo-noir (again much underrated) that has the capacity to capture the attention of the audience till the last frame.

10. Julia’s Eyes (2010)

Los ojos de Julia (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0ImiRLFlSs

spanish-thrillers

A woman named Julia (Belén Rueda) who is slowly loosing her eyesight starts investigating her sister’s death which is believed to be a suicide (until proved otherwise).

Directed by Guillem Morales, this one has a thrilling first half that completely gets you and an unexpected ending that will keep you in the edge. A crime mystery totally worth your time.

9. The Aura (2005)

El aura (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2Vrnp9knJY

spanish-thrillers

Planning a perfect crime is never easy but for a taxidermist with a gifted memory nothing seems impossible. But will he succeed in his articulate scheme till the very end?

Directed by Fabián Bielinsky and brilliant performance by Ricardo Darín, this film is a unique thriller, slow paced and moody, with very distinctive atmospherics that so perfectly blends with the plot.

8.The Uninvited Guest (2004)

El habitante incierto (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQWN6L-gttc

spanish-thrillers

A story about the mysterious disappearance of a stranger who comes into an architect’s house to use the telephone. Is he hiding somewhere inside the house or is it all just a fragment of his imagination?

Directed by Guillem Morales this film will certainly give you the creeps specially when you are alone at your own place. Is there someone else with you in the house?

7.The Body (2012)

El cuerpo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyE5LnY3dT0

spanish-thrillers

‘Every death is a homicide until proven otherwise’ but then how can you prove a crime if the body disappears?

The body of a femme fatale mysteriously goes missing from the morgue and thus there begins a search for it. Brilliantly directed by Oriol Paulo, a clever script well complemented by decent performances, and then a few unexpected twists in the plot makes it a must watch thriller.

6. Thesis (1996)

Tesis (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RfdjNHrrvI

spanish-thrillersA young student at a film school in Madrid while researching for her thesis on ‘violence in films’ finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Can the identity of the girl be traced? And who made the snuff video?

Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, this is one of the most popular Spanish thriller across the world and indeed a very cleverly made film as well.

 

5. The Invisible Guest (2016)

Contratiempo (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epCg2RbyF80

spanish-thrillersA young successful businessman faces the charge of killing his lover but his shrewd lawyer wants him to tell his side of the story in details so that she can get him out of this mess.

Directed by Oriol Paulo, certainly the best Spanish thriller of recent times. It has all the basic ingredients of a murder mystery along with superb performances and some brilliant plot twists!

 

4. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)

El secreto de sus ojos (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFF8wXGF9Yw

spanish-thrillers

A retired legal counselor who is haunted by his past unsolved cases (and also his love life) writes a novel which he expects will help him solve all his issues. 

Juan José Campanella‘s flawless direction and Ricardo Darín‘s powerful performance makes this one an Oscar winning film and a truly memorable experience. It won as the Best Foreign Language Film of the Year! 

3. Sleep Tight (2011)

Mientras duermes (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHzUJWogDIs

spanish-thrillers

Have you ever met a psychotic person who cannot bear to see other people’s happiness? And do you think you are safe from such a man in the comfort of your home? Think again!

A gripping tale dominated by awesome performances by Luis Tosar and Marta Etura

Directed by Jaume Balagueró, this is undoubtedly the most creepy film ever made. 

2. Nine Queens (2000)

Nueve reinas (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9Les56e22c

spanish-thrillers

The film revolves around a few con artists who try to hustle and swindle their way out of every situation and almost get away with it too. Almost. 

Directed by Fabián Bielinsky and such brilliant performances by Ricardo Darín and Gastón Pauls; probably the most popular and twisted Spanish thriller till date and certainly the most entertaining one too!

1. The Skin I Live In (2011)

La piel que habito (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EolQSTTTpI4

spanish-thrillers

From one of my all time favorite director Pedro Almodóvar comes a terrific thriller – a mastefully written mysterious and innovative plot that revolves around a plastic surgeon and his muse. 

Philosophical and yet very much real, a film about power, obsession and revenge.

Superb performance by Antonio BanderasElena AnayaJan Cornet

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Wild Tales (2014)

Relatos salvajes (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUnXv6R2HI8

Spanish thrillersAn anthology with six brilliant individual short films, all of which having the common theme of retribution and vengeance!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Damián Szifrón, starring some of the best Spanish actors, each of these stories are stretched to their extreme possibilities and yet they seem to be believable enough!

Similar Interest: Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

Midway through the year, here is a list of movies from all across the world, made by globally acclaimed directors, actors and the best technicians, visually stunning, exquisite story-telling and that too from all varied genres!

Best of World Cinema 2017 so far – let the fun begin!

10. Away

Language: English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CGCkYKRq2U

Best-World-Cinema-2017The north English seaside town of Blackpool as the backdrop, this one is an emotional tale of two very contrasting souls (different both in age and in their mentality) and then of course their unlikely friendship!

Directed by David Blair, and tremendous performances by Juno Temple and Timothy Spall.

A heart wrenching British drama, underrated as it deserves much more praise and attention.

9. Heartstone

Hjartasteinn (original title) Language: Icelandic

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9Tcw-_SrcA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A classic ‘coming of age’ story of a group of children enjoying their summer holidays in a remote fishing village of Iceland – their friendships, their affairs, their sexual orientations, all twisted and tangled together.

Directed by Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, this movie is superbly arty yet realistic and the characters and their confusions are so well executed.

8. Land of Mine

Under sandet (original title) 

Language: German, Danish, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kao3t0NBMU

Best-World-Cinema-2017After the defeat of Germany, a group of teenage German prisoners of war have been assigned the deadly task of clearing the Danish West Coast, removing thousands of land mines under the strict watch of a Danish Sergeant.

Directed by Martin Zandvliet, amazing plot, superb performances and full of suspense – a film so thrilling and yet so very emotional. A must watch!

7. Lost in Paris

Paris pieds nus (original title) Language: French, English

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1uT5mWbpdI

Best-World-Cinema-2017A girl visits Paris in search of her Aunt but then she is lost and soon in company of a weird homeless man who is in love with her!

Directed and acted by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and not to forget Emmanuelle Riva and Pierre Richard – such performances!

Slapstick with a hint of fantasy, but overall a thoroughly entertaining comedy – an absolute laugh riot!

6. Raw

Grave (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvZ6nB3cl1w

Best-World-Cinema-2017What happens when a young staunch vegetarian girl is forced to taste meat for the first time – she gets hooked to it, her repulsion turns into an addiction!

Garance Marillier and Ella Rumpf – brilliantly realistic performances.

Directed by Julia Ducournau, this is a film that doesn’t shy away from gore, blood or violent cannibalistic scenes. NOT for the soft-hearted.

5. Toni Erdmann

Language: German, English, Romanian

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0uwi5EPnpA

Best-World-Cinema-2017A father’s practical jokes are often too much for his busy daughter to handle. And yet the bond between them is exceptional!

Directed by Maren Ade, one of those unique films that takes comedy into a different level – subtle yet outrageous!

Top notch performances by Sandra Hüller and Peter Simonischek – the best father-daughter drama of recent times.

4. After the Storm

Umi yori mo mada fukaku (original title)

Language: Japanese

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPW8QJ4N5PE

Best-World-Cinema-2017A soulful story of a man struggling to collect the pieces of his life as he desperately attempts to move back with his ex-wife and young son. Will there be happiness after the storm?

From the brilliant Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda, a perfect combination of emotions and humour. Believable characters, natural performances and the simple yet blissful story-telling is what makes the film so very special!

3. Neruda

 Language: Spanish, French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neUwXV_cSwM

Best-World-Cinema-2017An unconventional biographical take on the life of the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who was being hunted in his own country for being accused as a Communist!

(Click for Review)

Directed by Pablo Larraín, masterfully enacted by Gael García Bernal and Luis Gnecco – a sublime experience as poetry blends into Cinema!

2. The Salesman

Forushande (original title) Language: Persian, English.

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHHZjuQB3zU

Best-World-Cinema-2017From the acclaimed Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi comes a unique revenge drama where a man seeks justice and retribution after his wife faces an assault from an unknown invader.

(Click for Review)

Exceptional performances from Taraneh Alidoosti and Shahab Hosseini, as by the end the film questions the real meaning of ‘Justice being served’. This Iranian film won the Oscar as the ‘Best Foreign Language Film of the Year’!

  1. Okja

Language: English, Korean, Spanish

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Nhz9ctHR0k

Best-World-Cinema-2017On the surface this is a simple story of the friendship between a young girl (Seo-Hyun Ahnand her pet Okja – an oversized pig. But then this movie is so much more complex and layered, and very much socially relevant for today’s world.

Tilda Swinton, Paul DanoJake Gyllenhaal all at their best. From the acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong, probably the most powerful film of this year that makes a statement of it’s own!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. My Life as a Zucchini

Ma vie de Courgette (original title) Language: French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nRwYWVxjRU

Best-World-Cinema-2017The sweet emotional story revolves around a young boy who after losing his mother goes to a foster home and meets the other orphans – and his life changes forever!

Directed by Claude Barras, this heart touching stop motion animated feature was screened in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and also the official submission from Switzerland at the Oscars last year!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.imdb.com.

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times (10+1 list)

Best Offbeat Indian Cinema of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Offbeat Indian Cinema, huh?

The term ‘offbeat’ generally conveys a certain idea of non-commercial, arty, not-for-the-masses kind of movies; those
intellectual films which almost invariably wouldn’t do much business in the box office but will probably travel around several festivals and Offbeat-Indian-Cinemasurvive exclusively on the blessings of a handful of niche audience and critics.

Well, that more or less covers everything except for the most essential fact, that most often these so-called ‘offbeat’ films are the real trendsetters, so unique and revolutionary in their treatment and storytelling that they are responsible for the evolution of meaningful Cinema around the globe!

And this particular list of Offbeat Indian Cinema (many are in regional languages), although some of them might have been lost in the popcorn-culture a tad too quickly for my personal discomfort, but then again, all of these films are undoubtedly the most important Indian Cinema of our recent times!

Here we go! (Listed according to their year of release)

10. Ankhon Dekhi (2013)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3yKUHI2mE4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaRevolves around a simple yet philosophical concept of a man’s belief, as he decides to believe only what he sees with his eyes!

Brilliantly written, directed and acted by Rajat Kapoor, the film that succeeds in recognising the true talent of performer Sanjay Mishra.

And most importantly this movie sets the stage for one of the most prominent Indian producer of today – Manish Mundra,  who in the following years have given us such brilliant films like MasaanDhanakWaiting and Newton.

9. Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)

Language: Punjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pAByInA4kM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaAn uniquely metaphorical film based on the post-partition era of India and Pakistan. A Sikh desperate for a male heir, but then when his fourth daughter is born, he declares her to be a boy and obsessively brings her up in the same fashion!

The first collaboration between director Anup Singh and actor Irrfan Khan which resulted in such a brilliant piece of story telling and powerful acting.

Tillotama ShomeTisca Chopra and Rasika Dugal – absolute brilliant performances by all!

8. The Lunchbox (2013)

Dabba (original title), Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK3R0rvnlPs

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Ritesh Batra, this film is essentially a love story between an unhappy housewife and a middle-aged man, and they depend on the Mumbai’s famous ‘dabba’ delivery system to share their delicious little love-notes.

Probably the most commercially popular in this list, this unique love affair is crisp, real and yet as romantic as a fantasy.

The performances of Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nawazuddin Siddiqui makes the movie a true memorable experience.

7. Ottaal (2014)

Language: Malayalam

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNuJPc8u8WM

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaVisually the most eye-pleasing film in the list; a soulful story of a little boy and his grandfather and their beautiful fishing village somewhere in the backwaters of Kerala. But then there is ‘The Trap’ that awaits.

Superb direction by Jayaraaj, the story adopted from Anton Chekhov’s story Vanka.

The songs, the water, the innocence of the village – and the beauty of nature captured by M.J. Radhakrishnan in the most cinematic way ever!

6. Court (2014)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sc8z7zav9A

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, the film which won the National Award (Golden Lotus Award) and was the official entry from India for the Oscars 2016! 

(Click for Review)

The film is a sarcastic take on the Indian dysfunctional legal system that revolves around a folk-singer’s prosecution!

A script so powerful and so confidently executed, superb performances, the most unique court-room drama ever made.

5. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Language: Bengali

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaLabour of Love, winner of two National Awards and many International ones, probably the most sensitive and poetic film in this list.

(Click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, the story of a married couple who yearns to meet and spend time together but couldn’t because of their work timings. The best thing that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times!

4. Visaaranai (2015)

Language: Tamil

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mnzK2KIz9U

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaDirected by Vetrimaaran, this was India’s official entry for the Oscars last year!

Based on a true story, four state-immigrants who experience the tragic police brutality as they were forcefully arrested, illegally detained, tortured and threatened to admit crimes of which they have no knowledge whatsoever!

Dark, gritty and dangerously realistic, the movie emphasises on the corruption of the Indian police department and the helplessness of the common man.

3. Chauthi Koot (2015)

Language: Panjabi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFS-ETnMSw4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaMid 1980s, politically turbulent Punjab being the backdrop, the film focuses on one particular family that (like most of the other Punjabi families of the time) gets crushed in-between the Indian Army and Sikh separatists.

Brilliantly written and directed by Gurvinder Singh, (his debut film being Anhey gorhey da daan), this movie brilliantly portrays the agitation and terror of the innocents of that era.

2. Thithi (2015)

Language: Kannada

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_NltD4Stv4

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaA man, 101-year-old – dies. His sons and their sons and their family (the next three generations) prepare for his funeral, after the customary eleven days. The film is based on their actions and reactions over the old man’s death.

Smooth flowing, realistic and immensely engaging; a story of a seemingly every-day village life but told with such conviction.

Superb direction given by Raam Reddy, impactful performances, winning multiple awards – probably the best film in the list!

  1. Aligarh (2015)

Language: Hindi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JezwsQKpXuU

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaBased on a true story of Dr Shrinivas Ramchandra Siras, a professor who taught Marathi at Aligarh Muslim University, and was suspended from his job because of his sexual orientation!

(Film Review)

Masterfully directed by Hansal Mehta and such powerful performances by Manoj Bajpayee and Rajkummar Rao.

Manoj Bajpayee (according to me) deserved the National Award for his role as Professor Siras.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Kaul (2016)

Language: Marathi

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsR8pclAW1Y

Offbeat-Indian-CinemaWritten and directed by Vasudev Keluskar, this film is one of a kind – experimental, surrealistic, mysterious and stunningly visual!

The tale of a village school teacher who tries to maintain his sanity when assigned with an incredible responsibility that might change the fate of our universe!

Exceptionally well edited, shot in style playing with lights and shadows, sold performances – overall an exceptionally courageous example of story telling!

A few names of Offbeat Indian Cinema which are deserves the applause are Shahid (2012), Ship of Theseus (2012), Titli (2014), Killa (2014), Margarita with a Straw (2014), Talvar (2015), Haraamkhor (2015), Hotel Salvation (2016) and Trapped (2017).

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far (10+1list)

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far

written by Souranath Banerjee

Film-lovers take a deep breath – relax. It’s flashback time!

The first half of this year gone in a wink and yet it has been a busy half-a-dozen months for us, the dedicated movie-buffs.

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Dramatic super-hero/heroine movies, hilarious comedies, nail-bitting thrillers, romantic dramas, kickass action flicks, even musicals – you name it and Hollywood have delivered!

The list of the Best Hollywood Movies of 2017 so far is right here but then I must admit (with a heavy heart) that this list is pretty heavy on VFX rather than movies with less cumputer-graphics and more of real-world stories.

But anyways, here we go – remember – only the best!

10. Beauty and the Beast

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3Nl_TCQXuw

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Once more an adaptation of the popular fairy tale (again by Disney), where the beast and the beauty fall in love but can they live happily ever after?

Directed by Bill Condon, the classic musical narrated through a series of brilliantly choreographed dance and song sequences.

Starring Emma WatsonDan Stevens, Luke Evans, but I think the casting choices for the voices of the enchanted people-turned-objects/furnitures are much better!

9. War for the Planet of the Apes

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDBFrQvfGlQ

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017The ape-trilogy has finally reached an epic conclusion. (But that doesn’t mean ‘no’ to a future 4th).

(Review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)

Directed by Matt Reeves, this one is all about the grand battle between Caesar (the ape leader) and Colonel (the human army leader) and their battle for supremacy.

Thanks to Andy Serkis and Woody Harrelson for giving us such an emotional experience.

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGk2EfbD_Ps

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Keanu Reeves is back as John Wick, the man whose car and dog you better don’t mess with! 

This is the second instalment of the superb 2014 action thriller John Wick, and this time it’s even more raw, brutal and action packed.

Directed by Chad Stahelski, this is the savage saga of what happens when you put a bounty on John Wick’s head!

7. The Big Sick

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF14JJkOrSI

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A Pakistani muslim guy and a white American girl couldn’t help but fall for each other but would their families put aside the cultural barriers and accept their love?

Directed by Michael Showaltera unique rom-com that manages to address pretty serious issues but always with adequate humour.

Writer/actor Kumail Nanjiani is superb along with his on-screen love Zoe Kazan.

6. Baby Driver

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9YZw_X5UzQ

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Every successful heist ends with a thrilling car chase and Baby, the young getaway driver is there to guarantee your safety!

Super cool performances by Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon HammEiza GonzálezLily James and finally Jamie Foxx and Kevin Spacey stealing the show.

Directed by Edgar Wright, a crime drama intertwined with classy soundtracks – racy and stylish.

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0D3AOldjMU

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017A seemingly ordinary high school student in New York City struggles with his new super-powers – Peter Parker learns to control his alter ego – the Spider-Man. And his mentor is none other than Tony Stark (the Iron Man)!

Directed by Jon Watts, with Tom Holland in the lead along with Michael Keaton and Robert Downey Jr. this Spidy-franchise is the best thing that happened to Spider Man for a long time!

4. Wonder Woman

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSB4wGIdDwo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Desperate to save the world from all the darkness and evil, here comes the invincible warrior princess of the Amazons – ‘Wonder Woman’ to us mere mortals!

Sexy and gorgeous Gal Gadot is THE reason to watch this film, but then also, not to forget Chris Pine and the overall amazing VFX!

Directed by Patty Jenkins, this DC comic based super-heroine film is visually spectacular, a perfect combination of action, humour and entertainment.

3. Song to Song

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL0FYUpXuoo

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017An euphoric moment for all Cinema-lovers – Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael FassbenderNatalie PortmanCate Blanchett – all in one movie and that too directed by Terrence Malick!

The plot revolves around love triangles, affairs, betrayals and heart breaks, all happening in the backdrop of the eccentric music scene in Texas.

Dreamy camera movements and powerful performances – a typical Terrence Mallik experience!

2. Logan 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbug3zTm3Ws

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Hugh Jackman‘s swan song as his famous ‘Wolverine’ character from the X-Men series comes to an epic conclusion.

Directed by James Mangold, intense, violent, edgy and emotional – a gripping story and spectacular performances is what makes the film so special.

Then again young Dafne Keen and old Patrick Stewart gives the movie the vitality that it deserved. 

  1. Get Out

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzfpyUB60YY

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017It’s ‘meet-the-parents’ time for a young African American who is in relationship with a white girl. Well, the white folks seem to be pretty friendly – or are they?

Suffocatingly intense, both Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams has given great natural performances.

Directed by Jordan Peele, a very intriguing thriller that also seems to make a very important social statement even in today’s world.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The LEGO Batman Movie

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZSQTVdF3QM

Best Hollywood Movies of 2017Does Batman live in Bruce Wayne’s basement or Wayne lives in Batman’s attic? Anyways ‘Vigilantes don’t have bedtimes’ remember?

What happens when Batman doesn’t get invited to Superman’s house-party? And did you know that ‘Iron Man sucks.’ is the password for the Bat-Cave?

Directed by Chris McKaythe ultimate bat-crazy experience – absolutely hilarious, witty and a laugh riot. And of course brilliantly ‘legoed’, i mean animated!

A few other films that didn’t make the list but are worth your time: SplitTheir FinestThe Zookeeper’s WifeThe Lost City of Z, T2 Trainspotting and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com.

BEST PRISON ESCAPE MOVIES EVER MADE (10+1LIST)

Best prison escape movies ever made.

written by Sriram Sundar

Prison films are generally classified into two categories: the first type is the escape-drama where the jailbirds desperately attempts to break away from high security prisons, and the second category is more focused on the life inside the prison walls.

Now these Jailbreak movies are spiked with high dozes of suspense and tension; and most often you start sympathising with the convict and his desperate attempts for freedom – but then can he succeed in his attempt to break free or remain trapped in the system?

Well, let’s check out the fate of the prisoner in some of these Best prison escape movies ever made.

10. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hB3S9bIaco

Covering a period from 1946 to 1967, Shawshank focuses on the plight of a Maine banker, Andy Dufresne who sentenced to two life terms for the murder of his wife and lover.

Directed by Frank Darabont, this film was also nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Morgan Freeman as Ellis Redding, the veteran inmate of Shawshank State Prison who takes Tim Robbins (Andy Dufresne) under his wing. The greatest movie ever made..! Period.

9. Papillon (1973)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW_IWHw3z-U

Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, this  movie is based on a book by the same name authored by Henri Charriere, a former convict and fugitive from Devil’s Island and though the work is fiction, the background is entirely based on real events.

Papillon  (Steve McQueen) is charged with a crime he hasn’t committed, and Luis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), a fraud banker is convicted on counterfeit charges. Bound by mutual necessity, they soon become friends during their journey to Devil’s Island.

8. Escape from Alcatraz (1979)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSS0fH9zzFY

Directed by Don Siegel, this film is a little slow and doesn’t move in a breakneck pace but still, it is listed as a “classic” on most movie review sites,

Clint Eastwood strolled through this movie naturally as Frank Morris, a soft spoken, solitary prisoner who was destined to escape Alcatraz. Been rated PG (“parental guidance suggested”) as it includes some explicit violence, bloodshed and obscene language.

7. Anything for Her (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZVsLoSsDU

Police burst into the house of happily married schoolteacher Julien (Vincent Lindon) and arrest his wife, Lisa (Diane Kruger) on suspicion of murdering her female boss. She’s given a 20-year sentence and he’s left to raise their small son.  As time passes, diabetic Lisa stops taking her insulin in an attempted suicide and Lucien feels that time is running out to keep his family together. He goes about meticulously planning her escape – but how does one go about breaking someone out of prison?

Directed by Fred Cavayé, it is a fast-paced and engrossing thriller that gained a nomination for Best First Work at the César Awards in 2009.

6. The Great Escape (1963)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkwmIDx9RwQ

This movie tells the story of a group of prisoners of war who try to escape from a Nazi POW camp during World War II, with the help of a meticulous and ingenious plan. Steve McQueen epitomizes the attitude with his frequent shenanigans.

Directed by John Sturges, “The Great Escape” is regarded as one of the greatest WWII films ever. The movie starts  with the signature theme tune that is heard around many football grounds even today.

5. The Hole (1960)

Le trou (original title)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oK7fZrSC6VA

Five prisoners housed in a French prison during the late 1940s awaiting sentence break through their cell floor, enter the insides of the prison, and get to the sewer system from where they can break into the regular sewage setup and finally freedom. But the best-laid plans are foiled by a newcomer who turns them in.

Sadly, this was Director Jacques Becker‘s last film – he died just a few weeks after filming on Le Trou had been completed.

4. Stalag 17 (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T86RDFgzC5U

Directed by Billy WilderStalag 17 begins with two prisoners from the barrack who, after careful planning with the rest of inmates try to escape the camp but are discovered & shot down. It is  a light-hearted thriller drama that makes you laugh all along.

All eyes fall on Sgt. Sefton (William Holden) who frequently makes exchanges with German guards for small luxuries. To protect himself from a mob of his enraged fellow inmates, Sgt. Sefton resolves to find the true traitor within their midst.

3. La Grande Illusion (1937)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hctrYzVYmfM

Director Jean Renoir tells us the story of a group of French soldiers who are held captive in prisoner of war camps during the First World War, the war that was to end all wars.

Lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) is a pilot and blue collar guy while Captain de Boldieu is an aristocrat. They are shot down by Captain von Rauffenstein, a German aristocrat, while flying a reconnaissance mission. This movie received an Oscar nomination for best motion picture of the year.

2. Midnight Express (1978)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buDEEC7tKv4

‘Midnight Express’ takes you into a world where the only thing that can keep you alive in this horrible real world is bravery.  This film also won two Oscars; ‘Best Music, Original Score’ and ‘Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

Directed by Alan Parker, it is the true story of Billy Hayes (Brad Davis), an American tourist who gets caught trying to smuggle several kilos of hashish out of the country.

1. A Man Escaped (1956)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6nHFpKK6Lc

“When one is in prison, the most important thing is the door.”
– Robert Bresson

Based on the memoirs of André Devigny, who escaped from Fort Montlucin Lyonin 1943, during World War II, ‘A Man Escaped’ tells the story of Fontaine (François Leterrier), a member of the French Resistance who is imprisoned by the Nazis in Montluc prison after an unsuccessful escape attempt.

Director Robert Bressons masterpiece is still a pinnacle in French cinema.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch.

+1. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QvF2FZZftY

For director Mervyn LeRoy, with a career that spanned more than three decades, ‘I am a Fugitive from a Chain’ Gang represented one of his first major successes.

James Allen (Paul Muni) is wrongfully convicted of a crime and is sent to work in a chain gang where he first encounters this living hell. He spends years of being treated like an animal by the inhumane prison system. But he waits, biding his time for the perfect moment to make a break for freedom.

BEST ROMANTIC FILMS Of Recent Times (10+1LIST)

Best Romantic Films of recent times!

written by Sriram Sundar and Souranath Banerjee.

‘We are most alive when we’re in love.’

Honestly, watching a saccharine romantic movie with THE special one by your side, a hot tub of popcorn within your reach, and then some chocolates and two curvy glasses of red wine – I don’t know about you but that definitely makes me feel alive. And how!

So, here is the special list of The Best Romantic films of Recent times – believe it or not, this list has been checked and approved by none other than St. Valentine himself!

Share the love!

10. Annie Hall (1977)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqVgCfZX-yE

Best Romantic films

Annie Hall is widely regarded for possessing one of the finest scripts of all-time, and rightly so. This exceptionally funny and yet melancholy film is a miracle of comic writing and romance.

Woody Allen and Diane Keaton have the perfect chemistry and both create brilliant emotional parallels for their characters.  A must watch romantic film – one of Allen’s best Cinema ever!

 9. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

 Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8DgDmUHVto

Best Romantic filmsMeg Ryan and Billy Crystal play Sally and Harry respectively, as they create an epic romantic chemistry on screen!

It’s 1977 and they share a ride from Chicago to New York. She’s fresh out of college, hoping to crack the journalism market; he’s romantically involved and onward to a political consultancy career. Are they compatible for love?

Directed by Rob Reiner, a fantastic film that defines what all romantic comedies should be! 

8. Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmax1C1p660

Best Romantic films

London based Raj and Simran (Kajol) are happily leading their normal lives but a trip to Europe lands them into a surprise meeting with each other only to turn into love. While Simran’s father has fixed her marriage with his childhood friend’s son, Simran falling in love with someone else is not acceptable. Through this film, Shah Rukh Khan gave the name ‘Raj’ a whole new meaning!

Director Aditya Chopra, a historical film from India that will probably be watched for generations to come. 

7. Before Sunrise (1995)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25v7N34d5HE

Best Romantic filmsTwo people Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy meet each other, begin to talk and decide to spend the day and night together in Vienna. They spend some time in a church at midnight. They drink wine in a park. They find a way to exchange personal information by holding imaginary cphone calls with imaginary best friends. They talk about making love.

Directed by Richard Linklater, it is an ideal film for teenagers that keeps messing with your head long after it ends.

6. Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05i3eIuJLaU

Best Romantic films

‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hai’ chronicled the story of a mother, played by Rani Mukerji, who leaves eight letters for her daughter before her death, so that she can unite her father Shah Rukh Khan with his best friend, enacted by Kajol, as she believed he loved her.

Directed by Karan Johar created history when it released; not only was the film a roaring commercial success, it also brought in a wave of western concepts and style that were never-heard-before of in India! 

5. The Notebook (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC6biTjEyZw

Best Romantic filmsThis romantic drama, directed by Nick Cassavetes will make you fall in love and also make you cry for quite some time even after it ends.

The film recreated effectively the world of the 1940s in America, including the parental pressure exerted by the well-to-do family of Allie (Rachel McAdams) on whether to allow their daughter to pursue a young man from the other side of the tracks.  It moves between present-day and the 1940s. Ryan Gosling, as a patient suffering from Alzheimer’s is just brilliant. 

4. 50 First Dates (2004)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErjP5xMTc8I

Best Romantic filmsHenry Roth ( Adam Sandler) lives in Hawaii and spend his time wooing women who are visiting the island, simply because there is little chance of commitment. Then he meets Lucy Whitmore (Drew Barrymore). One day they hit it off, and the next she doesn’t even recognise him. It turns out that she suffers from short-term memory loss, and every day he tries to win her over once more.

Directed by Peter Segal, this film is a lighthearted take on the notion of amnesia, with the emphasis clearly billed around a love story.

3. (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsD0NpFSADM

Best Romantic films

Directed by Marc Webb, this one is not exactly your typical romantic film, but yet so full of Romance!

“This is a story of boy meets girl but you should know up front’ this is not a love story.” 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in love with Zooey Deschanel from the moment he met her.  But the relationship that lasts only for 500 days, is unfortunately a doomed one. the problem – he believes in love and she doesn’t!

2. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj5_FhLaaQQ

Best Romantic films

Silver Linings Playbook opens with the release from a mental institution of the explosive Bradley Cooper after eight months’ incarceration. He’s been diagnosed as bipolar after beating up a fellow high school teacher.

Pain is the subtext of nearly every interaction in this film that is directed by David O. RussellWith Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro along with Brad this definetly is one of the very few feel-good movies that is so refreshing to watch even now. 

1. The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ItBvH5J6ss

Best Romantic films

Based on John Green’s bestselling novel, directed by Josh Boonethis film offers the first-person accounts of Shailene Woodley, a bright 16-year-old who can hardly remember not living with cancer.

When this incredibly charming 18-year-old Ansel Elgort appears to take a thing for her, at a mutual cancer support group, and soon their fates are sealed together. Do have some tissues ready when you plan to watch it!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Titanic (1997)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e-eXJ6HgkQ

Best Romantic filmsDirected by James Cameron, its $200 million budget shows in its glorious effects, dazzling camera work and lavish sets to name a few. ”Titanic” is rated PG-13 (Parents strongly cautioned). It includes partial nudity, one brief sexual situation, mild profanity and the soul-shaking sight of a great ship going down.

But the most important aspect of the film is the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet! This epic movie re-wrote the history of Cinema in numerous ways.

Poster courtesy:  www.imdb.com

BEST THRILLERS OF 2016 (10+1 LIST)

Best thrillers of 2016

written by Sriram Sundar

The greatest fascination and thrill for any person is the study of human psychology and behaviour. Such mind-games for survival creates an extraordinary atmosphere of mystery and intrigue! There is no greater thrill than pitting one’s mind with a worthy opponent and staying a step ahead in the psychological war-fare.

Very often, thrillers have complex story lines and can be challenging to follow, so as a viewer you are always guessing what is going to happen next.

So let us begin the list of the Best Thrillers of 2016 where you can experience danger without actually being in danger.

10. The Eyes of My Mother

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gp2adx_ScA8

This one is not for the easily queasy audience. It is a stark, dreadful vision – but one that is fascinatingly executed, with a compelling central performance from Kika Magalhaes as a matter-of-fact monster!

Directed by debutant Nicolas Pesce, this is about a young girl exposed to unimaginable tragedy. And then being shot in black and white makes it more intense to watch!

9. Hush

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_P8WCbhC6s

A deaf woman takes on a psychopathic killer in a hugely effective film that recalls the opening of ‘Scream’.

Directed by Mike Flanagan, this film is about a mystery writer Maddie (Kate Siegel) who is unaware of her friend Sarah is being massacred feet away from her — pounding on her back door for help, too desperate to realize her Maddie can’t hear her! And then it’s her turn, to run, to defend herself or to fight it out till the very end.

8. The Boy

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIbO6HEwr8

Greta (Lauren Cohan) arrives for a nanny job to a storybook mansion deep in the English countryside, to find dark corridors, creaking floors, mysterious owners, and a porcelain doll who is being treated as a person alive!

Director William Brent Bell masters the slow build, making us wonder throughout the film who’s crazy and who’s not!

7. The Girl on the Train

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkoEE1i0CX8

Rachel (Emily Blunt), devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

A thriller about an alcoholic’s struggle to make sense of a close-to-home murder as well as her own mind. Directed by Tate Taylor, this film is based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel.

6. Nocturnal Animals

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-H1Ii1LjyFU

When Susan (Amy Adams) receives a manuscript from her ex-husband, Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal) and as she continues to read she has flashbacks to how her own relationship!

(Click for review)

A violent thriller directed by Tom Ford, Michael Shannon being Oscar nominated for his performance in the Best Actor Supporting Role category. 

5. 10 Cloverfield Lane

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saHzng8fxLs

After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men, who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack.

(Click for review)

Directed by Dan Trachtenberg, this film does a spectacular job of capturing nightmare logic. You sense danger even if you can’t explain it.

4. Don’t Breathe

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76yBTNDB6vU

What can $300,000 make you do? Three teenage thieves – Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) – desperate to make enough money and leave for a better life in California, break into the house of a blind Army veteran Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang).

(Click for review)

Directed by Fede Alvarez, this isn’t just any old home invasion thriller but it understands the limitations of the genre and works wonders within them!

3. Hounds of Love

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tddlYXhgFoo

Ben Young‘s first feature is an unflinching immersion into the nightmare of a teenage girl Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings), abducted and tortured by a serial-killer couple. But it doesn’t end there!

The strange dynamics between the couple Evelyn (Emma Booth) and John (Stephen Curry) as seen from the eyes of their captive is the essence of the film. A raw tensed thriller indeed!

2. Hell or High Water

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQoqsKoJVDw

Toby (Chris Pine) and ex-con loose cannon Tanner (Ben Foster) stage a series of heists against various branches of the bank, all the while pursued by Jeff Bridges, on deliciously crusty form as a Texas ranger nearing the end of his career.

Directed by David Mackenzie, this film is highly recommended not only for those who like bank robberies and persecutions, but also those who enjoy a good, well narrated film with a clever script and good direction.

1. Elle

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iBBgcp7PY

Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) when attacked in her home by an unknown assailant vows to track the man down, but soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game – a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control and destroy them.

(Click for review)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven, this film is one hell of a erotic thriller!

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. The Neon Demon

Film Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cipOTUO0CmU

 Sixteen-year-old Jesse (Elle Fanning) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of being a model. She struggles to assert herself, making it a necessity for Dean, and concerned make-up artist Ruby (Jena Malone) to become more than just foils.

(Click for review)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the women in this movie are all impossibly beautiful and incredibly shallow at the same time. Stellar performances, amazing visuals and a unique storyline will cement this as a cult classic.

Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

BEST HORROR FILMS OF RECENT TIMES (10+1LIST)

Best horror films of recent times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Be afraid of the dark, be afraid of the dazzling light; be afraid of the spirits and demons, and the devil who takes the human plight. Yes, believe it or not, a bit of evil exits in everyone of us, even in our shadows and specially in the absence of it!

Similar Interest: Best Asian Horror Films

Similar Interest: Best horror Comedies

And the following list is of the Best Horror films of recent times that will make you admit that ‘fear’ has no form, and the best thing to do is to accept its existence and surrender to it.

At least for now, surrender to these Horror Films – embrace the terror and enjoy the list!

10. Lights Out (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiKKFZyhRU

Best Horror films of recent timesSomething supernatural that exists in the darkness, haunts and hunts only when the light is out!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, this is the story of a kid terrified by some presence that soon needs to be investigated.

A creepy movie with lots of jump scare moments and cool editing along with the flickering of light and darkness. A decent one time watch.

9. Annabelle (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paFgQNPGlsg

Best Horror films of recent timesAnnabelle being the ugliest collector’s item is gifted by a caring husband to his loving pregnant wife but soon enough Annabelle gets cursed by some blood thirsty Satan lovers.

(Click for Review)

Directed by John R. Leonetti, this is a prequel of the popular Conjuring series –The Conjuring and the latest The Conjuring 2.

8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYKANIDQlwU

Best Horror films of recent timesA father-son coroner duo, trying their best to identify the unidentified body of a young woman and while doing so they accidentally unveil the mystery surrounding her death!

Directed by André Øvredal, this film has the rare ability to scare you not only by it’s visuals but also through the sound effects intelligently put together to get the maximum effect on the audience.

7. It Follows (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymoh5SIqgtw

Best Horror films of recent timesThe after effects of a sexual encounter can sometimes go very wrong, even disastrous. But this particular film takes the after-sex complications to a different level altogether!

A young girl is being followed by some supernatural powers since she had a fun-filled night. Directed by David Robert Mitchell, the film has numerous panic moments and overall a perfect overall sense of tension.

6. Crimson Peak (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLWsNDZqXpo

Best Horror films of recent timesDirected by Guillermo del Toro, a film that is a perfect blend of fear and deception, hatred and revenge, and horror of course.

(Check for Review)

An ancient house that has memories to share. And when the newly married girl comes to stay in there, she is automatically the chosen one who opens the gates of the past gloomy tales and reveal many unpleasant secrets.

5. The Wailing (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43uAputjI4k

Best Horror films of recent timesIn a remote village a series of unnatural deaths perplex both the villagers and the police. And an investigation begins!

(Click for review)

Directed by Hong-jin Na, this South Korean horror movie is visually pleasing or rather unsettling; dark images, often pretty violent and savage, perfect for the overall mood of the film.

4. Insidious: Chapter 3 (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HxEXnVSr1w

Best Horror films of recent timesA prequel to the first two installments of Insidious, the very root of the Lambert family’s trouble, the reason why they were repeatedly being haunted and tormented by all these evil spirits.

(Check for Review)

Directed by Leigh Whannell, the film focuses on the gifted Elise Rainier who tries her best to relieve a young girl from the clutches of the demons. 

The previous instalments being Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013) and Insidious (2010) and they both are worth your time and scare.

3. The Conjuring 2 (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFsmuRPClr4

Best Horror films of recent timesParanormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren is back and this time they end up in Northern London to help a single mother with four children who are being terrified by some evil spirit.

Directed by acclaimed horror-director James Wan, very tensed and creepy, this film manages to give you some very good scares mostly through brilliant editing and perfectly timed music.

2. The Witch (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjBN0ByAqDk

Best Horror films of recent timesperiod horror drama based in 1630s, when a family in New England becomes the victim of witchcraft, evil forces, black magic and possession.

(Click for review)

A chilling string of events including a missing newborn and the failure of the crops which eventually leads to fear, paranoia and brutal injustice. Director Robert Eggers‘s take on infamous “Salem Witch Trials” of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

  1. Under the Shadow (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVFP80Upxw

Best Horror films of recent timesSet in the backdrop of the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, a mother daughter living in Tehran struggles to cope with the war as well as some mysterious presence in their apartment that keeps haunting them.

(Click for Review)

Directed by Babak Anvari, this Persian film is probably the most well made horror film of the recent times. A must watch! 

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most disturbing and realist one. A must watch).

+1. Before I Wake (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho2Z0LtXsbY

Best Horror films of recent timesIf dreams could become reality the world would have been such a beautiful place. But then, what happens when you have the nightmares?

(Click for review)

Directed by Mike Flanagan, this terrifying film is based on an orphan boy whose dreams (and nightmares) come to life. And his new foster parents desperately need to find the source of the young boy’s disturbing nightmares before it’s too late!

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comen.wikipedia.org.

BEST BENGALI FILMS 2015 – 2016 (10+1list)

Best Bengali Films 2015 – 2016

written by Souranath Banerjee

Hello to all you Bengali ‘nak uchu’ snobs who consider Bengali Cinema/Literature/Music as the epitome of art and creativity – well, glad to announce that I am exactly like you!

And when ever we Bengalis talk about Cinema, we time travel to the memorable glorious past of Bengali Cinema – the days of Satyajit RayMrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak and then coming back to the present we proudly allude to the likes of Rituparno GhoshBuddhadev DasguptaGautam GhoseAparna Sen.

Such legendary directors and their invaluable contribution to World Cinema make us feel honoured and content, and why not?

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Films 2012 – 2014

Similar Interest: Best Bengali Classic Comedies of all times

However this current list is of more recent times, the last two years to be exact (2015 – 2016), a list of the best Bengali films from exceptionally talented directors who are very much the present and the future of Bengali Film Industry!

Best Bengali Films 2015 – 2016 – let the countdown begin!

10. Double Feluda (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1V7VWYKbeI

Double-Feluda-posterSandip Ray have made his latest film on none other than two back to back mystery stories originally written by Satyajit Ray, based on the famous detective character Feluda!

And guess what, Sabyasachi Chakraborty is back in and as Feluda and still rocking! And then of course we have Saheb Bhattacharjee as Topshe and Paran Banerjee as Sidhu Jetha. I only wish that somebody could replace Mr.Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu aka Santosh Dutta as well. I guess some people are just irreplaceable!

9. Belaseshe (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0zUrtioA2g

belaseshe-posterDirected by Shibprasad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy, probably the best film that explores the intricate emotional values of various human relationships, be it married or unmarried, short time or a life-long companionship!

Brilliant chemistry between Soumitra Chatterjee and Swatilekha Sengupta straight after they shared the screen in Satyajit Ray‘s Ghare-Baire in the year 1984.

8. Byomkesh O Chiriakhana (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rjc4ogHSOo0

Byomkesh-O-Chiriakhana-posterIt seems that the Bengali-audience can never have enough of their favourite detective Mr.Byomkesh Bakshi.

Directed by Anjan Dutt, this thriller revolves around the murder of a judge and this time Jishu Sengupta plays the role of the typical ‘bhodrolok’ sleuth to perfection. And Saswata Chatterjee as Byomkesh’s friend/assistant Ajit and Usashi Chakraborty as Byomkesh’s wife Satyabati.

7. Shankhachil (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stkkOMmchpo

shankhachil-posterAcclaimed director Goutam Ghose‘s latest film won the National Award for Best Bengali film of 2016!  

It’s a India-Bangladesh joint venture and the story is also based on consequences of partition and how people get affected by it still today.

Commendable performances by child artist Shajbati and then of course Prasenjit Chatterjee, Kusum SikderDipankar Dey all have given their best. 

6. Eagoler Chokh (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oZZkXdFRS0

Eagoler-Chokh-posterBased on Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay‘s story and directed by Arindam Sil this is the best detective thriller among the endless Bengali-detective movies that had been churned out in the last year.

The investigator Shabor Dasgupta played perfectly by Saswata Chatterjee slowly connects the dots as he cracks a murder case of a young woman.

Ebar Shabor, by the same director and based on the same detective character is also worth your time.

5. Chotoder Chobi (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8xRKKtL2Oo

chotoder-chobi-posterAn emotional heart-touching love story between two people born with genetic defect causing dwarfism.

Directed by Kaushik Ganguly, this slow-pace drama won a National Award in the ‘Best Film on Other Social Issues’ category.

Unique concept, superb direction and brilliant natural performances by Debalina Roy and Dulal Sarkar. Mr.Dulal Sarkar was also awarded best-actor at Goa International Film Festival last year.

4. Nirbashito (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iang3nizjTE

nirbashito-posterA biography of a writer in exile, a story about her isolation, her hopes and her helplessness – officially not based on the life of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen but rather inspired by her life post exile.

Directed and also performed by Churni Ganguly, the film won the National Award for Best Bengali film of 2015 and also was India’s Oscar nomination in the category “Best foreign film” in 2015!

3. Open Tee Bioscope (2015)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhYpZrYrUBw

open-tee-bioscope-posterAdolescence, adventures and experiences, friends and infatuations – Kolkata seen through the eyes of a young boy.

Superb performances by the young actors Riddhi Sen,  Surangana Banerjee,  Dhee Majumder.

Directed by Anindya Chatterjee and Shoojit Sircar, if you want to experience the nostalgic North Kolkata of the 90s, this is the film you should watch!

2. Cinemawala (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9_lUiinpFo

cinemawala-posterThis film beautifully takes on two different tussles – one, as the digital media threatens the single screen movie theatres specially in the small towns and the secondly, the universal clash between a father and his son.

Brilliantly performed by Paran Banerjee and Parambrata Chatterjee and directed by Kaushik Ganguly, an emotional tale that Cinema-lovers cannot miss. 

  1. Praktan (2016)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMJPxLAjuXU

praktan-poster

A married woman meets her ex husband while they are on a journey from Mumbai to Howrah by train – a beautiful film about relations and relationships.

Directed by Shibprasad Mukhopadhyay and Nandita Roy, probably the most popular Bengali film of the last couple of years portraying a brilliant chemistry between Prasenjit Chatterjee and Rituparna Sengupta.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch)

+1. Asha Jaoar Majhe (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFObwB9TAwc

Labour-of-Love-Poster1Also known as Labour of Love, this is one unique film that won two National Awards and was appreciated in many festivals around the world.

(click for the review)

Directed by Aditya Vikram Sengupta, starring  Ritwick Chakraborty and Basabdatta Chatterjee this is one of the best non-comercial visual treat that happened to the Bengali Industry in the recent times.

A few other films that are also worth your time are Srijit Mukherji‘s Rajkahini (2015), Suman Mukhopadhyay‘s The Last Poem (2015), Pavel‘s Babar Naam Gandhiji (2015) and Suman Ghosh‘s Kadambari (2015).

 Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com