• Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Arts and Culture

Sam Bhattacharjee’s Top 10 Films

MOVIE CHOICES: Sam Bhattacharjee

By: Asjad Nazir

After producing films like Commando 3, Tuesday and Fridays, Hate Story IV and co-producing projects Operation Cobra, and Welcome To New York, Sam Bhattacharjee made directorial debut with Barun Rai And The House On The Cliff.

The supernatural film starring actor Priyanshu Chatterjee, Nyra Banerjee, and Sid Makar was shot extensively across the UK and is now available on Eros Now.

Eastern Eye got the filmmaker to select movies he loves, in no particular order.

Chak De! India (2007): This film came into the limelight with a very different take on India’s most underrated game, hockey. The gripping drama drew attention to the popular sport in a way no other film had ever done before. Shah Rukh Khan is just brilliant as the determined coach and his motivational quotes are amazing. Who can forget the title track, which continues to be a rousing anthem and part of popular culture?

83’ (2021): The sports biopic based on India’s historic cricket world cup win in 1983 is a great combination of beautiful storytelling and patriotism. Even though you know what will ultimately happen, the very well-made film keeps you hook until the rousing finale. I associated very well with the film, as the year before the win, my dad had got the TV set home in India.

The Matrix Franchise: This isn’t one film, but you can’t really separate the franchise. I have grown up with these films and glad they returned to the same world with the recent The Matrix Resurrections. The magic of cinema and creation of the characters, including Neo, was a revolution in digital and VFX in cinema.

Harry Potter films: Once again I can’t separate the films in this fantastic franchise. The big screen adaptations of the best-selling books are a firm family favourite that appeals to the young and reawakens the magical kid inside every adult. The relatable films make you realise the inner you and make you effortlessly flow with the magic.

Love Actually (2003): This wonderful Christmas-themed romantic comedy from writer/director Richard Curtis is an all-time favourite of mine. He assembled a wonderful cast for a collection of individual stories that look at different aspects of love and relationships. The feel good film also shows you how Christmas is an important time to unite families.

Munna Bhai MBBS (2003): This wonderful comedy-drama introduced us to an iconic title character and a great filmmaker in Raj Kumar Hirani. The heart-warming story of a gangster with a heart of gold and loveable sidekick offered up a number of valuable life lessons for everyone. It was great storytelling and had an equally good sequel with Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006).

Swades (2004): Director Ashutosh Gowariker followed up his Oscar nominated film Lagaan (2001) with another film that is very much rooted in Indian culture. The story of a man who unexpectedly gets reconnected to his roots after a trip to a village built a bridge between people settled outside India and those living in often forgotten rural areas. It has a lot of powerful moments.

Gol Maal (1979): The original Gol Maal made by legendary filmmaker Hrishikesh Mukherjee is an all-time classic. The intelligently made comedy is hilarious and has so many memorable moments from start to finish. The name has been turned into commercial franchise and carried forward by filmmaker Rohit Shetty.

Barun Rai and the House on the Cliff (2021): This film will always remain on my list of favourites because it marked my directorial debut and enabled me to tell a story I believed in. I learned a lot making this unique film, which will be carried forward into my future films. The film offers up plenty of surprises and I hope you will watch it on Eros Now.

3 Idiots (2009): Fantastic filmmaker Raj Kumar Hirani has been an inspiration for storytellers around the world. He has set a new benchmark with his record-breaking films. This multi-layered movie is iconic and will always remain at the top of his list. It is hugely entertaining, but like so many of his films teaches you something valuable, which is the essence of great storytelling.

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