Here is a list of old-is-gold films that you can watch with everyone because you know every dialog, every scene:
Music historians call ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as the most famous song that nobody knows. But everyone around the year tends to hold hands with friends and strangers alike and sway to the same tune. And with the madness of holiday sales behind you (yes, we’ve all turned into armchair shoppers!) you have perhaps imbibed much too much of the mulled spirits and eaten everything at the laden table and need to settle down with something that will comfort and soothe your soul.
Erm… You’re sure you’ve had it up to here with people telling you that the reindeer sweater grandma made is the best thing for a ‘winter’ in Mumbai and you are done trying to say there is no winter in Mumbai. You’ve tried and failed to explain how the coming year is going to be ‘sustainable living’ on your part and you are going to keep only those clothes and things that ‘spark joy’, your family has dumped in your living room everything from candles to idols of various gods… What do you do then? Watch how your favourite Christmas movie of all times was made, of course! Everything you wanted to know about the making of Die Hard is on the fourth episode of this show on Netflix. And for the first time, I am recommending you watch the show ‘The Movies That Made Us’ from the last episode to the first, in that order.
This show takes off on another Netflix series called ‘The Toys That Made Us’ which is so good, you will fist bump and nod like happy grannies and grandpas learning about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Barbies and trivia associated with the prized action figures (still in their original packaging) hiding in your closet. You will remember just like I did how you cried when your child unit played with your prized C3PO in the bathtub… That show is on Season 3 right now, so you can carbon date yourself...
Back to the movies… Nakatomi Tower is the first thing I looked for in the Yellow Pages when I first visited Los Angeles. Yes, the Net wasn’t as pervasive as it is now… I was too young when Ghostbusters or Dirty Dancing was released and the kid that stayed Home Alone never sat well with me even though I loved hearing about how Joe Pesci the quintessential Scorcese star fitted perfectly in a Christmas movie.
Speaking of Christmas movies, the movie Klaus on Netflix plucks all kinds of heartstrings (did not release in India). Considering our timelines on social media sites like Twitter, it is easy to assume that we live in strange times in towns exactly like Smeerensburg from the film. This beautifully hand made film is on Netflix.
Did I hear you groan when I said, ‘Heartwarming’ and ‘wonderful’? Then for you, here is a list of old-is-gold films that you can watch with everyone because you know every dialog, every scene:
In this list (that includes Blue Thunder and Shaft), stands right on top, the one and only Keanu Reeves in and as John Wick. No matter how many movies you have watched about a lad and his dog, this film always puts a smile on my face, no matter how many times I have watched it.
Each time someone says, ‘You working again?’ I want to say, ‘I’m just working out some things,’ and drive away in my Ford Mustang. But when reality hits, I only want to share that that car is so amazing, the speedometer clarifies: ‘Ground Speed’.
You could head over to Amazon Prime and watch The Curse Of La Llorona and empty the room of pesky children or watch The Conjuring 2 again (it is scarier than the first one, methinks). And when you are alone, and realise the importance of a general sense of quiet about you, quickly bring out the popcorn and go mush with The Holiday, Notting Hill or even Blue Valentine.
No? Look, Mr. Robot (Amazon Prime) is over. So you must drown your sighs into something else. It might as well be the Belgian thriller called 13 Commandments if you must follow a prophet.
I’ve always been fascinated by our violent past: the wars and the crimes they generated, the machines we used in order to win those wars. But it’s obvious that it’s what inside people's heads that makes or breaks out connect to time. And should a wooden cube show up at your doorstep, would you not climb into it, and see the future?
Twice Upon A Time arrives when I am wondering about the future, about what I am doing and why, about where I am going, if I am going at all…
Virgin River is not exactly Sweet Home Alabama, but if you have been thinking of packing up and leaving for a place where nobody knows your name like I have, then it’s a sweet ole romantic show.
Perhaps in the new year, we shall find more fireworks added to our lives and not just in the sky. Perhaps we will find ourselves in new digs and with new people doing new things. Perhaps we will be guided by Bourdain to try out new foods, new wine at new places. But most of all, I hope that you find happiness…
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.
Read her columns here.
First Published: IST