This time the real horror was not in movies but in real life.
2017 was one hell of a year. So many terrible tragedies, so many unpunished monsters. Dire world events aside, there was this horrific realization that really good stories and art was being tossed aside in lieu of garish spectacles that were passed off as “good movies”.
Stories were our escape from the catastrophes and the mundane and daunting realities. Now, it just something that is created so half-heartedly, as if this part of joy is also not something we deserve. Don’t we all want to live a life in stories that enrich us, that helps us escape and sometimes, give us the courage and ideas to deal with our problems?
Now, we are burdened with stories that come out in vast amounts and very few of them, are worth the experience.
2017 boasted of some amazing projects, big-budgeted films and our beloved celebrities gracing the big screen with amazing work. Unfortunately, more for the audience than the creators, these movies did little to impress.
From Hollywood to Bollywood, this was a year that brought forward one point- good quality stories, and not quantity or high profile actors, is what makes a movie work.
If I had to think of one movie that impressed me from either industry, I would have to wait, think, check the internet to remember which titles were released this year. Then I would go to IMDB, read the summary and try to remember what the story was and how it ended. After that the important question: Did I like the movie?
There were a few movies that stood out for me this year. Here’s the list:
Get Out: This movie released at the beginning of the year, and guess what, I still remember it. Why? Because of its unique story-telling and interesting plot. The tables are turned here and our protagonist- an African-American- learns a terrifying truth about his white girlfriend’s family. The creepiness depicted in the movie simply seeps into you, makes you shudder and realize how evil intentions can be.
Bareilly ki Barfi: A sweet little movie about being jilted in love, writing a book about it and finding true love in the process. The story is also about Bitti, a carefree modern girl who wants to be accepted for who she is- bad habits and all. The movie does have a cliched ending, but as the narrator too points out- there is sweetness (barfi) in the title, then how could the movie not end on a happy note?
Raabta: This movie may not have done well at the box office, but it had a theme that not many have attempted in a long time- reincarnation. It’s a personal preference that I do love stories with a reincarnation theme and this one does not drag out as most films do. It focuses on the lovers and then the strange connection that brings them together. It is a little “chocolate-y” but not cloyingly so. A little nice part was that only the heroine remembers her past life and the villain. The hero is blissfully unaware of his past as a warrior king. Even toward the end, he doesn’t recall a thing, but he assures his heroine that as long as she believes in her past life, he believes and trusts her.
Ittefaq: A mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Two murders, two suspects, one truth. It is up to the aptitude of a policeman to decipher the mystery. The story weaves two versions of a story at once and it is seamless. The acting is convincing and able. By the time the truth is revealed, the film ends and doesn’t drag out a mindless chase scene. Very well made thriller/mystery.
Justice League: It may not have won the hearts of critics and the audience, but for me, this was a superhero movie that was convincing. The focus isn’t on the effects but the acting and story. The world is in danger from an entity that is so powerful that Superman has to be resurrected. Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman have to use their fighting skills while Batman brings them all together and provides support and encouragement. For the first time, these heroes weren’t slacking off or making jokes or ribbing each other. Humor wasn’t forced and for the first time in a long time, a superhero movie impressed me. Here’s a team who takes saving the world seriously. Of course, they have amazing, other-worldly powers too.
There were many other movies that I did watch, and some of them did well at the box office too. But they were stories that didn’t impress me too much. The special effects, sometimes, tend to take the charm away from the movie. And if it is a book adaption of a book that has been read, then the expectations are always high.
As a horror movie fan, there were horror movies that were released- quite a lot of them. But again, none of them managed to make me shiver even a little. Thankfully, there were movies that I hadn’t watched from previous years that provided me with entertainment and yes, some scares.
Hopefully, 2018 will be the year of great stories, inspiring music, and scary horror movies. Fingers crossed.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!