There are movies that are good. There are movies that are well made. Then there are movies that you just can’t get out of your head after watching them. These movies leave an everlasting impression on your mind. There are several reasons why that happens, but the most important one is that the way these film evoke your innermost emotions. The emotion itself could be different for different films. You could feel very angry after watching something, and that anger just stays with you. Or you can feel disgusted. Or you can feel just inspired and motivated. Whatever the feeling is, it’s so strong that it lasts for days. With that said, here is the list of most unforgettable movies ever made.
When you have countless forums, articles, blog-posts, think-pieces being written about a spinning (or falling) top, it is enough of evidence of the popularity and influence of ‘Inception’ in pop-culture. ‘Inception’ made intellectual movies cool again — even though the heavy doses of CGI could have been avoided. Whether ‘Inception’ is truly a great piece of cinema will remain arguable, but you can never forget the experience of watching a film that leaves you discussing and arguing it for days.
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Events over the course of one traumatic night in Paris unfold in reverse-chronological order as the beautiful Alex is brutally raped and beaten by a stranger in the underpass. Her boyfriend and ex-lover take matters into their own hands by hiring two criminals to help them find the rapist so that they can exact revenge. I know it is a very disturbing film, but at the same time I think it has a clear message in it. A simultaneously beautiful and terrible examination of the destructive nature of cause and effect it is a film that shows how cruel time can be. Love it or hate it. This is a film that you can never forget once you have watched it.
8. The Shawshank Redemption
How can you forget that ending? One of the most beloved films of the decade, it is based on a Stephen King novel, and is perhaps the finest film made out of something King wrote, a beautiful study of friendship in the most unlikely of places, and incredibly filled with hope. In its own way the prison and life in it becomes a metaphor for life. Morgan Freeman is brilliant, Tim Robbins his equal and there is a lovely supporting performance by James Whitmore as an elderly prisoner. Directed and written by Frank Darabont, it remains superb on every level. The GO TO film if you are in a mood to get inspired!
7. Taxi Driver
When ‘Taxi Driver’ hit the screens in 1976, the cinematic world was taken by a complete surprise. Never before had a film delved so much into the human psyche and upheld the inner dormant insanity. This movie opened the door for neo-noir generation and inspired an entire generation of directors like David Lynch and David Fincher, who would thrive in this genre. Martin Scorsese shot the story of a troubled marine turned vigilante with style, with the iconic mirror monologue being one of the significant talking points in American pop culture. Robert De Niro’s improvisation helped immensely, but credit must be given to the director for recognizing the moment and letting it stay. The opening shot of the taxi meandering through the streets of New York is a memorable one and countless films have taken inspiration from it. He combined suspense with a tinge of sympathy and made Travis Bickle immortal. You Talkin’ to Me?
The story of ‘Rashomon’ is one of the most intriguing ones, even after 70 years from its initial release. The revelation of truth in the climax is preceded by four different versions of an event, a style which has been copied several times over and has provided food for thought for many more. Kurowawa’s use of minimalistic sets and his tendency of keeping things simple and letting the plot take up its own space was a revelation in filmmaking. The use of light to symbolically signify certain moments was a moment of inspiration and catapulted the film into achieving legendary status all over the planet. ‘Rashomon’ is a crucial lesson in filmmaking and features in the curriculum of almost all film related courses. The path that leads to the truth is a difficult one to find and Kurosawa showed the world how exactly it can be shown.
5. 2001: Space Odyssey
Undoubtedly the most complete piece of work from the stables of the maverick filmmaker Stanley Kubrick, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ could aptly be described as a tryst with mayhem. With themes ranging from existentialism to evolution, the movie has acquired a cult status over the years. Loosely inspired by a short story named ‘The Sentinel’ penned by Arthur C. Clarke; who co-scripted the screenplay along with Kubrick; the movie chronicles the journey of a crew of scientists to Jupiter along with the sentient computer HAL 9000. The film has inspired numerous interpretations over the years and only seems to go up in terms of popularity.
4. Mulholland Drive
A first watch of Mulholland Dr. results into the following: A head scratch, confusion, brainstorming, realization, acceptance. This lasts for days. Only after you accept that what you have watched is nothing short of a miracle, you go for second, third, fourth… watch, to appreciate the nuances, to laud at the filmmaking, the editing, the performances and to glean some sense out of the cerebral and haunting piece of cinema. A film that is discussed even today, around 15 years after its release and yet, not every question about the film has been answered. ‘Mulholland Dr.’, quite simply, offers the greatest cinematic mystery of all time.
Call it allegorical, call it enigmatic or call it deeply contemplative; when you delve into the dark and sinister world created by Andrei Tarkovsky’s ‘Stalker’ (1979), you can’t help getting enamoured by it! The film is nothing short of a journey into the dark alleys of uncertainty; one that is marked by hope, despair, narcissism, nihilism and above all a quest for what is ultimately humane. Let us all face it. The world demands a constant vindication of one’s existence. Tarkovsky, through this film, makes a subtle attempt at proving the futility of these vindications.
2. In the Mood For Love
‘In The Mood For Love’ is not just a film; it is a poetry in motion. With beautiful, captivating images and equally exquisite, soul-piercing music, ‘In The Mood For Love’ tells the complex story of two simple and intrinsically beautiful individuals who are caught together in circumstances that ever-so-unpredictable life can pose. Two individuals who go through the simultaneous fear and lure of falling in love, and once in love, the sheer pain of leaving it incomplete. ‘In the Mood for Love’ has so much of love and longing simmering underneath the surface, that it will linger on your mind for days after you have watched the film.
1. Citizen Kane
Orson Welles’ debut feature broke barriers and revolutionized filmmaking in many ways. Amongst others, it gave the insight of the life of a newspaper magnet who began his journey as an idealist but became consumed by the power in his pursuit of greatness. Sheer political play proved to be the boon and the bane for the protagonist as he was reduced to a mental wreck in the end. Citizen Kane is essentially the best handbook of what to do and what not to do for the budding entrepreneurs. Powerfully narrated with flashbacks, Citizen Kane trod on the lines of a Shakespearean tragedy whilst staying true to its own origin story. It was visually enhancing and took the audience to a whole new level of realization through the life of the protagonist. It is considered the greatest film ever by many for a reason.
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