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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!

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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 Concentration Camp films during the Holocaust (10+1list)

Best Concentration Camp films during the Holocaust.

written by Souranath Banerjee

For anybody who is not familiar with the word ‘holocaust‘ (though i doubt that), it is a term used to define the genocide in which approximately six million Jews (including one million Jewish children) were killed by Adolf Hitler through his Nazi regime.   

There were another five million non-Jewish victims of Nazi mass murders as well.

And thus, in between1941 to 1945, while Hitler was fighting the WorldWar II in the forefront, approximately eleven million people were executed in a preplanned and secretive manner throughout Nazi-Germany and the other German-occupied territories.

Unlike many films that tell the tales of those who defied against the brutal German command, the films listed below are based on the inhumane concentration camp stories where the Jews were locked up for an indefinite time period, forced to barbaric physical labour in exchange of minimum food, before they were finally terminated (either gassed or shot or tortured to death).

Only a few lucky Jews did survive to tell the horrifying tales, their memories of misery and agony, their permanent nightmares.

Many of these films are based on true stories and facts, and are definitely the Best Concentration Camp films during the Holocaust.

Please have a look.

10. Escape from Sobibor (1987)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkueQG7dnDk

escape from-sobibor-posterSobibor was one of the major death camps set in the eastern Poland and needless to say, a place that saw some of the most terrifying accounts of atrocities during the Nazi rule.

Directed by Jack Gold, this film takes us into factual account of the superbly graphic and realistic tale of how the Jews revolted against their captors, a mass escape that was planned.

Superb performance by Alan ArkinRutger HauerJoanna Pacula among many others. 

9. The Counterfeiters (2007) aka ‘Die Fälscher’

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4LTu_ou9Rc

counterfeiters-postersThis one tells the true story of Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch, the master counterfeiter who was involved in the largest counterfeiting operation in history, Operation Bernhard.

A thrilling film directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, about the master plan of the Third Reich to flood the rival country’s economy with fake currency, a game to sabotage the allies’s economic.

8. Sophie’s Choice (1982)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STPJVf6wqCk

Sophie's-Choice-poster

The perils of the memories from the concentration camps could be too much to lead a normal life.

Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film through several flashbacks confronts the brutalities of the Holocaust while telling a very passionate story of three individuals. 

Meryl Streep won her first Oscar as Best Actress in a Leading Role and brilliant performances by Kevin Kline and Peter MacNicol. Drama at it’s best.

7. Seven Beauties (1975) aka ‘Pasqualino Settebellezze’

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

Seven-Beauties-poster

A lesser known masterpiece, a film that is so full of energy and thrill, a roller-coaster ride of extreme events, an unique story of a holocaust survivor, and all that with a bit of humor added to it.

Also nominated for the Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film).

Directed by Lina Wertmüller, and a once in a lifetime performance by Giancarlo Giannini. 

6. Fateless (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F61yBTHB9nA

fateless-posterA 14 year old Hungarian youth, captured and sent to the concentration camps where he witnesses suffering and cruelty, experiences hatred and disgust, sees innumerable illness and deaths, and finally understands the meaning of being a Jew.

Directed by Lajos Koltai and written by Nobel-prize winner Imre Kertész, this one is one of the most realistic depiction of the Nazi concentration camps. 

5. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ypMp0s5Hiw

boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-posterDirected by Mark Herman, this is a story told from the perspective of an eight-year-old boy, the son of the Nazi commandant at a concentration camp.

The young child befriends a Jew kid on the other side of the camp fence but their innocent friendship turns into a disastrous ending. 

A story told to it’s full emotional and sentimental potential.

4. Life Is Beautiful (1997)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16RZHqCIy9M

life-is-beautiful-poster1Directed and masterfully performed by Roberto Benigni, this is probably the only movie made on Holocaust that takes a humorous route and also becomes a huge commercial success.

Also won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film (Italy).

A father desperate to protect his son when captured and taken to a concentration camp, uses his wit and imagination to entertain and motivate his son till the very end of the brutal war.

3. Playing for Time (1980)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2Q00–HTJY

Playing-for-Time-posterJewish French musician and cabaret singer Fania Fenelon Goldstein, joins a group of performers who are spared their lives so that they can entertain the Nazis by performing music for them.

Directed by Daniel Mann, a stunning and dramatic film and a brilliant performance by Vanessa Redgrave.

An underrated TV movie that deserves global acclaim.

2. Europa Europa (1990) aka ‘Hitlerjunge Salomon’

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqMBNCo7LPE

europa-europa-posterBased upon a true story of Solomon Perel (taken from his book), the film tells the historic story of this Jewish boy who, in order to save his life poses as a German!

Marco Hofschneider plays the part with great conviction along with Julie Delpy.  

Directed by Agnieszka Holland, this is one thrilling story of survival, an attempt to dangerous yet innovative.

  1. Kapò (1960)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOPQx3NmApw

Kapò-posterNominated for the Academy Award (Best Foreign Language Film), this Italian black and white film tells the fantastic story of a Jewish teenage girl whose survival instincts keep her alive when she arrives at a brutal concentration camp at a young age of 14.

And ultimately she evolved into a  “kapo” – a prisoner who watched over the other fellow prisoners.

Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, and such a brilliant performance by Susan Strasberg, this gem of a film deserves much more fame and popularity than it currently gets. 

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

+1. Conspiracy (2001) 

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWLvq0jC-c0

Conspiracy-posterDirected by Frank Pierson, this one is a chilling reenactment of the 1942 infamous Wannsee Conference where the Nazi and SS leaders gathered to finalize the Holocaust!

Lead by SS-General Reinhard Heydrich, they calmly discussed the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” and thus the perfect plan of world’s largest genocide was hatched and ready to put in action.

The film The Final Solution: The Wannsee Conference (1984) also deals with the same subject and is also worth watching.

A few spine-chilling documentaries on Holocaust that depict the real trauma of the time without much dramatization – Shoah (1985), Night and Fog (1955), Triumph of the Will (1935), Siege (1940), Numbered (2012) and The Sorrow and the Pity (1969).

Similar Interest: Best Jew-Nazi dramas during the Holocaust (10+1list).

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comfilmow.comen.wikipedia.orgwww.imdb.com.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – the ultimate Romantic Trilogy.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – the ultimate Romantic Trilogy.

written by: Souranath Banerjee.

It was June 16, 1994. On a train traveling from Budapest, a beautiful French girl Celine (Julie Delpy) meets Jesse (Ethan Hawke), a young handsome American traveller and soon enough they fall in love!

They got to spend one evening together in Vienna before Jesse took his flight back home. Celine and Jesse had each other’s company till Before Sunrise. So they decided to walk around the city and talk.

before-sunrise-poster1And this mystical romantic evening shared between Celine and Jesse is known as Before Sunrise, one of the best love stories ever made and the first of Richard Linklater‘s famous “Before” trilogy.

After Before Sunrise (1995) their followed Before Sunset (2004) and then Before Midnight (2013) in exact nine year intervals. 

In Before Sunset Celine and Jesse meet in Paris where they re-connect with each other and take a positive decision over their feelings.

And the third installment Before Midnight happens in Greece which portrays the sweet-bitter consequences that eventually follows each and every love story.

The extraordinary chemistry between Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke gets more and more enticing in each of these sequels.

It is interesting to note that on the two sequels, the director and both the lead actors have received equal screenwriting credits!

Richard Linklater, the master of experimental film making (Boyhood being another one of his ingenious projects recently released) has shot the two characters Celine and Jesse over a period of two decades to capture their evolving maturity as they age.

I guess François Truffaut was the only other director who followed a particular screen character named Antoine Doinel for a stretch of five films and over a period of 20 years. It was played by Jean-Pierre Léaud and the five films are collectively called ‘The adventures of Antoine Doinel’.

Coming back to the ‘Before’ trilogy, in all the three films the performance level of the two lead actors are simply outstanding.

In the words of the director himself ‘It’s a tribute to Ethan and Julie how well rehearsed and what good actors they are. It’s the kind of acting they don’t really give awards to because people accept it as real. It’s kind of like the apes at the  beginning of 2001 – they didn’t win best costume because they thought they were real. People think we just turn on a camera and we catch these dialogues.

Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight – these films are not so called ‘mainstream’ cinema; they neither have loud comic sequences or CG dream worlds as backdrops, nor they have any eye-popping sex scenes to look forward.

And yet these films are the most critically acclaimed love stories of our times. A must watch for people who appreciate true love.

If St.Valentine was alive i bet the ‘Before’ trilogy would definitely be among his top ten list!