Sharadiya Dasgupta has a day job in the financial services industry. She enjoys fashion and all things fabulous. She hopes to have her wardrobe spilling over with Chanel, Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino, Sabyasachi, Manish Arora some day but till then she is happy writing about these labels and their creations. She has a degree in Mathematics. Books (strictly fiction), films, music and microfinance are her other areas of interest.
Why in Christ's name would I want to write about love now, of all times? As Rick would say "With the whole world crumbling, we pick this time to fall in love".
So as the whole country (when I say that I mean my extremely limited understanding of the whole country, that is to say the country covered by media OB vans and social media patrons - beyond that remains an oblivion) prepares for its crusade against corruption, negative real income, plummeting Sensex, floundering governance and what-not, I thought I will give the movement a flower power spin (Oh c'mon it has been a little low on sex appeal right?. Now now don't hold this against me my pledged-to-the-cause brothers and sisters, I have always had poor wit) and provide some distraction to the overstressed, newly-awaken citizens. Like those really cool, bunch of boys sang "All we need is love". Maybe they were right, who knows?
So here's my top 5 celluloid love stories: (they ain't too artsy, brainy or thought-provoking - just the kind which might warm your burning-with-rebellious-anger heart over the long weekend)
Casablanca - Because it gave us lines which we have used in our state of advanced inebriation, made a fool of ourselves and yet got away. I mean who has not sat by the bar with a drink, looked up and said -- "Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine" (You haven't?....try it tonight, just make sure she is worth it). Because it gave us immortal, unbelievably cool men - Rick and Captain Renault. And also Laszlo, though he had the advantage of being the author-backed cool. Because it is a beautiful, heart wrenching love story set against war and the complex conflict of right and wrong. It is also about that thing which at times is greater than human love - the worthy cause. And most importantly because of the simmering Humphrey Bogart and the iridescent Ingrid Bergman.
Before Sunrise/Before Sunset - It's like Richard Linklater stole all my thoughts and confusions about love and wrote these two brilliant, life changing movies. Two people talking, like two people generally do in real life- fleeting, desultory, vague, meandering, senseless and sometimes-profound and never for once will your attention waver. After probably a hundred views at times I cease to think of it as a movie. It is too damn real - especially the unpleasant parts, the ones you would not want to acknowledge although deep down you know it's true. My fixation with these two movies is to the extent that there have been numerous times I have caught myself saying and thinking the lines from the movies like they were my own lines. I love them both, and I grudge the fact that of late I am leaning more towards the sequel. It is another inescapable affirmation of the fact that I am growing old and hence more cynical and (forced) wiser. Alas.
Love, Actually - Because it gets me into the Christmas mood like nothing else can, even on a sweltering day in May. It is one of rare those rom-coms that do not make me cringe at all, even when I am at my critical, rationale best (worst?). The corniness is never overdone. Even the fantastical Prime Minister track seems plausible, attributable to a large extent to the gorgeous, gullible charm of the most Brit (tied with Colin Firth) of all leading men - Hugh Grant. And the scene with a flustered Emma Thompson fighting tears, while Joni Mitchell's hauntingly beautiful "Both Sides Now" plays in the background gives me goose bumps every single time. And "It's a self-preservation thing, you see" ranks right up there with my all-time memorable film dialogues. (As you would have guessed by now, dialogues are my weak spot).
500 Days Of Summer - I was told I have an uncanny resemblance to Summer Finn (played perfectly by Zooey Deschanel - in the movie's language, the role was 'fated' to be hers) and when I finally watched it I was blown away by the similarities. But besides that narcissistic reason it is a wonderful, earnest love story - probably the best in recent times. It is real, bitter-sweet, funny, heart-breaking in parts, completely convincing and utterly charming. Additionally it also introduced me to the glorious sound of The Smiths.
In the Mood For Love - It is lyrical, melancholic and the closest you can get to poetry in cinema. It's the kind of movie which sucks you in gradually and you take days to emerge from it.
Disclaimer - This is a highly personal list and is devoid of any objectivity, whatsoever.