Name any movie, I will watch it as long as it has moving images and acting worth its salt. However, I do indulge in favouritism every now and then. Certain movies as you might say do not fit in with the rest and stand out as magnum opus of the film industry. While people might attribute it to a good director; a fantastic actor; worthwhile screenplay or the ability of the scriptwriter to think differently, I give all the credits to certain scenes of the movie. When all the essence of the movie is collected, concentrated in a few minutes or sometimes even seconds, these are moments that make you wonder, think, shudder, laugh, and most importantly feel what is happening on screen. In the sense you would go through it, even though you have not.
A moment technically described is 1.5 minute. So here are some “moment’s” roughly 1 minute and 30 seconds that I would like watch again and again, and if I get a chance even experience them.
Sholay: I think Salim- Javed wrote one of the greatest on-screen friendships of all time. The scene, in which Veeru finds out that Jai had used a double sided coin to make sure his friend, got to safety serves as the epitome of sacrifice for friendship. The friendship anthem “Yeh Dosti” became synonymous with their name. Maybe it was the friendship of the writers translated on screen or just the pure magic of Sippy’s, that bought the friendship from fiction to reality, but it was the love of the people for a sober-lanky friend that gave up his life for his childish-joyful best friend that made the duo immortal.
Kaante: The movie is not spectacular. Anyone, who has watched The Killing, The Usual Suspects and Reservoir Dogs knows where the script comes from. But I would like to bring your attention to one scene. The scene in which Bali (Mahesh Manjerekar) keeps missing the mark, when teased, tells the Major (Amitabh Bachan) that shooting is not as easy as it looks. Major comes in and takes the pistol from Bali’s hand, like a veteran who no longer likes to hold a gun. Not because he has forgotten, but because he has killed a little too much. With the pistol in his hand and everyone watching, the Major makes a perfect circle with six bullets on the target. The crescendo builds up and he gently puts the gun down in Bali’s hand and walks away. As he walks away the crescendo falls and in the background you can hear a mellow saxophone play and I guess it is a reminder or maybe an ode by Sanjay Gupta, to the angry young man roles that Amitabh Bachan used to play. An image he gave up, to play much more methodical and deeper roles like the one he plays in Kaante.
Sarkaar : Another Amitabh Bachan flick, but the focus lies on AB Junior. A tribute to “The Godfather”, one of the greatest gangster movies ever made, it has what I would like to call an Indian touch. The scene where Shankar Nagre(Abhishek Bachan) tells chief minister Madan Rathore (Deepak Shirke), that he is aware of his involvement in the plot, as the Police runs in to arrest Madan, he smirks and says that he is the C.M., it would not take more than two days, for him to get out of jail and the mess. The words, said with so much arrogance and callousness, are a grim reminder to us of the corruption in our country. But, then with the persistent scowl on his face Shankar calmly communicates, that’s what he also has in mind. A relief that justice still does exist in another form: swift, righteous and equal for all.
Darr: Before Shah Rukh Khan made us fall in love with love in “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge”, in 1993 he was making a lot people dread the concept. His portrayal of a boy madly in love, showing us to what extent the fear of not getting your love can take you. The movie showed that even love, an emotion shown so colourfully on-screen, had a darker side. The scene where bleeding Rahul(Shah Rukh Khan) comes on board the boat while preparing for his wedding with Kiran(Juhi Chawla)exclaiming with a look on his face that is hard to decipher, whether love or madness ” Tu hain meri Kiran!”. Never has there been a scene, where a lover proclaiming his love was able to send a horrific chill down your spine.
Andaz Apna Apna: There is one word for every scene of this movie hilarious. But one scene manages to outdo all the others. Amar Manohar (Aamir Khan) and Prem Bhopali (Salman Khan) go with a packet full of coins as ransom for Uncle and the argument they have regarding the flaw in the kidnappers plan. (Aap ko beti kidnap kar ke Baap se paisa maagna chaiye tha, apne Baap ko kidnap kiya, aur beti se paisa maanga. Aap kaache khiladi lagte hai) It was a moderate hit then but it is a cult classic today. Who can ever forget “ooi maa” and “haila”?
Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge: We have always been told that love can win over anyone and anything. Even the toughest of men bow to the warmth of love. So, in the climax when Baldev (Simran’s father) realizes, that no one can love his daughter (Kajol) more than Raj (Shah Rukh Khan). Breaking every rule and principle he stands for, loosens the grip on his daughters hand and lets her go. A testimony to just that warmth of love can win over anything.
Do Bigha Zameen: Movies are more than just for enjoying they are a window to show us things we have never seen before. The climax when the guard snatches the soil, Shambhu (Balraj Sahni) is trying to take away as the only memory of his land. That a factory is being constructed over, a helpless farmer who was always shown as the backbone of the country, happy and attaining his rights at the end of every movie, was here reduced to a starving soul. The movie directed by Bimal Roy paved its way for the Indian neo-realist movement. Also the first movie to win the Filmfare and Cannes best movie award. It made us realize that movies and life do not always have a happy ending.
Lage Raho Munnabhai: A memorable moment is one in which Munna(Sanjay Dutt) tells Circuit (Arshad Warsi) Gandhiji did not specify what to do after you have been slapped on both the cheeks and hits the person who attacked him. It not only helped us to get in touch with the morals and principles of our nation’s ‘Bapu’ but bought the old value in a new pack in a term ‘Gandhigiri’ and made us realize why Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi was a Mahatma.
Black: Michelle McNally(Rani Mukherjee) becomes the teacher of her now aged teacher Debraj (Amitabh Bachhan) who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease causing him to forget everything even words, she teaches him the first word he ever taught her ” water “. In her last dialog she explains that they both will not be starting with the alphabets but rather the word that describes the darkness her teacher bought her out off, B-L-A-C-K…BLACK.
Mr India: The moment here is the morning scene where Arun (Anil Kapoor) wakes up all the children for school. It is touching to see how he takes care of them on his meagre salary the love and joy they share. A memorable sci-fi movie with all the right ingredients, an antagonist with nuclear capability, a protagonist with a world of children. The phrase ” Mogabo khush hua”, became so famous that it made Amrish Puri the eternal landmark villain.
Deewar: Amitabh Bachan’s powerhouse performance when his brother shoots him while he tries to get his name plate no.786, to drive home the good triumphs over evil philosophy. As he staggers into the mandir and dies in his mother’s arms, the audience relives a story of how it felt to be a nobody but here was a one who had become a somebody and had paid for it.
Anand: Another friendship, that inspired millions and made eyes water when one wept for a friend that had taught him how to live. The scene where Amitabh is unable to believe that his friend is dead, crying and praying to God to bring him back asking for a miracle remains etched in the memory even long after you have seen the movie. Who can forget the phrase uttered with so much joyfulness ” Babu Moshay” and made us memorize an elongated disease name “lymphosarcoma of the intestine”. How, all of us want a friend like him.
Guide: A convict and his spiritual journey to become a saint. There is a scene where the whole village kneels in front of him asking him to keep the fast and Raju (Dev Anand) a rational man not understanding what rain has to do with a man being hungry keeps it anyhow. When an NBC reporter ask him whether he believes it will rain, he just says he does not but these people have the faith that it will and he has faith in their faith. This movie has come a long way from being based on a novel of the same name by R.K. Narayan to a U.S. version being made 42 years after its release and being screened in Cannes.
Kaagaz ke phool: A story of a director falling because he does not have anything to believe in. It is Guru Dutt’s second movie which lets you take a peek into the eccentric mind of one of the most famous directors, who became a legend with only eight movies. It is said to be based on his life and there is a scene where he proclaims he will drink himself to death. Ironically, that is also how he really died in his rented apartment in Mumbai 5 years later at 39 years of age.
Pyaasa: The movie is in a different league of its own. Mehboob plays a villain in the story of a poet and a prostitute. How after being presumed dead his poems become famous and people who once hated him now want to bask in his posthumous glory. The scene with him on stage denying he is the famous poet because he does not want to be part of the indecent world. The character of Gulabo played by yesteryear actress Waheeda Rehman was based on a real life character of a prostitute that Abrar Alvi (scriptwriter) met at the red light area. The lines that “This is the first time someone has talked to me with respect” were actually said by the prostitute also named Gulabo to him. I seriously, thank Guru Dutt for not killing the protagonist at the end of this movie.
[Image courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calhobbes74/318291746/]