Natsamrat (Marathi) – Nana Patekar’s spell bounding genius will make you curse yourself for previously watching all those pseudo-actors and so-called-movies. Nana will make you love him and thus your father, a bit more. Retiring after 40 years of stage/theatre acting, he is unable to put his passion aside that leads to alienation from his family. Nana makes sure that you will never feel like you are watching a movie.
Court (Marathi) – A thought provoking and insight into the proceedings of the indian judicial system and how it operates at the grass root level)
Balak-Palak (Marathi) – The implications of lack of sex education to teenagers and the ill-effects possible if their curiosity is driven the wrong way
Iyobinthe Pustakam (Malayalam) – Set in the transition period of Kerala from the feudal system in to the current communist state ideology and the turmoil of the transition phase
Lila Says (French) – A romantic love story of a young French girl who flirts in a subtle and unique way with a boy in her neighborhood
Im Juli (German) – A young German girl who has feelings for a boy happens to offer him a ride to Istanbul to meet his recent crush. The journey ends dramatically
Lucia (Kannada) – The dreams of a common man to lead a movie star’s life. Only, with a twist…
Lifeu ishtene (Kannada)- It is okay to fail in love a few times in young age. It is better to have those memories than no memories at all in the end. A romantic comedy
Ex Machina (English) – What if AI becomes a conscious being?
Zero Dark Thirty (English) – A woman’s ambitious pursuit of Bin Laden for over 15 years to help the CIA catch him. Once he is killed, she is the saddest person-but for a different reason.
A Wednesday (Hindi) – A common man’s accumulated frustrations on the system makes him to take law into his hands against the terrorists
Do Svidaniya (Hindi) – How would you live your life knowing that your days are counted?
The legend of Bhagat Singh (Hindi) – A freedom fighter’s story intentionally restricted to circulate to bolster the image of Nehrus and Gandhis
Sardar (English) – The story of the Iron man of India – Vallabhai Patel- who often doesn’t get the due acknowledgement he deserves for his diplomacy during the accession of princely states to form what we now call India.
Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar (Hindi) – The life events and struggle of Ambedkar and his rise to the position of drafting the Indian constitution. A less popular and less circulated array of events of this self-made personality against all odds. Another Indian hero masked by the over-glorified images of Gandhi and Nehru family
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (hindi) – The biography of Indian olympic athlete-the flying Sikh – Milkha Singh
Unbroken (english) – The biography of an American Louis Zamperini – an Olympic athlete, US Army pilot and Lieutenant in WW2, survived in the Pacific ocean for 47 days after flight crash, POW captured by Japanese and tortured.
Bahaubali (Telugu) – An epic fictional world of Mahishmati and the struggle between brothers for the throne. A VFX extravaganza
Adukalam (Tamil) – The movie set around the theme of rooster fighting in a village and the people who fanatically believe that their prestige and lives are intertwined with winning the fight
Life is beautiful (English)- How a Jewish Italian family survives the Nazi concentration camp and the father’s efforts to protect and keep his son away from the heinous atrocities of the place
Invictus (English) – The story set in early months of independence in South Africa and how Nelson Mandela inspires the national soccer team to victory and holds the nation together in times of tension and racial strife
Schindler’s list (English) – How the rich German industrialist Oscar von Schindler rescued the lives of hundreds of Jews in Nazi Germany
Castaway (English)- When you are stuck on a no man’s island for many months, how do you keep your sanity and survive?
The way Home (Korean) – A 9 yr old boy from city had to live with his very old grandma in a tiny rural village in the hills. A quiet and gripping narrative of their bonding with an absolutely ecstatic personal appeal in the end
A millionaire’s first love (Korean) – An arrogant and spoilt heir of a millionaire is forced to finish his college with little money and earn his wealth. A romantic comedy
The Man from Earth (English) – What if God is nothing but a mutated human who lived in his everlasting youth through the aeons since the stone age until the current date. He is surrounded by a group of intellectuals and scientists who asks him all the seemingly simple yet deeply philosophical questions that shaped human belief system in God and religion. The protagonist answers the questions logically. It is an absolute pleasure to watch an unforeseen representation of God especially Jesus.
Deivatiruamgal(Tamil)/Nanna(Telugu) – A stunning performance delivered by Vikram for the role of a person with developmental disability yet a loving father who is hell bent on raising his 5 yr old daughter. The movies has some heart wrenching scenes that wets your eyes. Both the daughter (Sarah) and father(Vikram) “lives” the characters to enchant the audience and you soon forget that you are watching a movie. Update: It is inspired from the Hollywood movie “I am Sam”.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless mind (English)- An amazing film in a non-linear narration and has a non-regular-romantic and a realistic take on relationships and breakups. Joel (Jim Carrey) realizes that Clementine(Kate Winslet) has erased him from her memory after a breakup and decides to undergo the procedure himself. During the erasure, he realizes he wants to keep her memories and want to get back to her. The end of the film is left to the audience to interpret. The film is a mix of science fiction and love which seems to support Nietzsche’s idea that even if something is inevitably going to fail in the future it could and should be viewed as good in the present moment.
Arrival (English)- The concept behind the plot is that the language we use determines the way we perceive time. An serendipity of humans with an alien species that perceives time non-linearly.
A separation (Persian)- A dramatic movie with a cascade of events and emotions undergone by a couple and their child in the process of divorce. The movie subtly expresses the plight of women in modern society of Iran and the deeply ingrained patriarchal and religious perceptions in the society and systems. Other good persian movies from the same director are About Elly, The Salesman.
The man who knew Infinity (English)- A less known story of the Indian wizard of mathematics Srinivasa Ramanujan, who produced some of the magnificent works in mathematics before he died at 33 because of tuberculosis. He receives way less acknowledgement than deserving for his efforts and work. His journey to Cambridge, the hardships of life he spend in England and his relationship with Hardy were well portrayed in the film, with a sincere effort from Dev Patel as the protagonist.
The Hunt (Danish-Jagnet) – A gripping and dramatic narrative of how a figment of a 6 year old child’s imagination shatters the life of her school teacher forever. The movie reinforces the sensitivity of child abuse and the ways to handle it right along with the strong emotionally biased views we have as elders towards child abuse.
2001: A space Odyssey (English) – An intellectual and dramatic extravaganza based in outer space. The movie transcends the covers the concepts of space, time, Machine learning, consciousness and existentialism, way ahead of its time of release. This movie made in 1960’s has inspired a whole generation of space enthusiasts. An absolute master piece where the end is up to your own subjective interpretation and analysis. What is the next big thing for human race?
Mumbai police (Malayalam) – A police investigation thriller about a murder of the cop
Take off (Malayalam)- Based on true story of the plight of 46 Malayali nurses who were rescued with the help of the Indian Embassy from war zone in Iraq during the ISIS civil war. Hats off to Parvathy for the role of protagonist!
Dhuruvangal Pathinaru or D16 (Tamil) – Suspense thriller about a series of connected crimes that happen over 16 h period involving 16 people- each with their own point of view of the series of events
Waking life – All philosophies in a simple dream of a person. Deep insights into mind, language, philosophy, politics etc
The Truman show – The forerunner for all the reality shows. What if every second of a person’s life from birth is shown on TV to an audience and his whole surrounding world as he sees it is a huge set for filming. What does he do once he knows about it? Deep implications on human nature to be free and an absurd interest in the lives of others.
Mithunam (Telugu) – A poetic celluloid expression of an old couple spending their later years together in a simple self sufficient manner with mutual love and affection for each other.
Theory of everything – About the genius Stephen Hawking’s inspiring life.
Into the wild – Real story of a hippie traveller who explored nature as an adventure. “Take a journey to find “Yourself” “
Mr Nobody – Epiphanies, deja vu, String theory, Chaos theory, butterfly effect, paradox of choice, hidden knowledge, Big bang, Big crunch, time, reality etc beautifully weaved together A more detailed explanation
Angamaly Dairies (Malayalam) The soul and raw energy of the youth and the gang conflicts of a typical small town in Kerala (and South India in general) well captured with “rich” cinematography, tightly knit with deep sense of friendship and brotherhood.
Ennu Ninte Moideen – A masterpiece of a beautiful love story which happened in the 1960s in Kerala. A love story between a Muslim boy and Hindu girl that epitomizes the romance in the hope to unite amidst the prevailing social and political conditions. The music and background score haunts you even after you finish watching the movie. Few of us experience a love so mystical and the fact that it happened in real, is what makes it special.
C/o Kancherapalem – Telugu nativity captured beautifully and realistically. All new cast from one smal town. Powerful and lasting characters that make you laugh and cry.
Sudani from Africa- A Sudani teenager hired by a local football team and taken care of by the coach and his family when he is bedridden. Explores the life back in Africa and the players need to fight for his family. The hospitality of the rural place inspite of being unable to speak in a common language is portrayed. The coach end up accepting his own family and step-father. Friendship, family, love for the game, enriched life in small towns
Neramu- Shiksha (Telugu)
Salaam Bombay (Hindi) – The story of an orphan kid who arrives in Bombay to the reality of the slums, poverty and reality of the slums of Bombay. When he lives few years and sees enough events of a lifetime only to end up how he started. Family, love, innocence, betrayal, survival – all weaved into an intricate mosaic of life and reality