Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Other Language

This is meant to be a short post. About five movies that I have thoroughly enjoyed in last few years.

The Motorcycle Diaries was a very fine movie. It showed what I have always craved for. A journey into the unknown woods. The scene where Gael Garcia Bernal swims across the river to the leper colony resonated the strongest. It was an amazingly powerful and well shot scene, the one which left a lasting memory. Soon after I happened to watch Babel, a slow paced movie spread across four different terrains. Again, I found it to be an excellent movie and another scene where a Moroccan villager refuses money from Brad Pitt left a lasting impression on me. Dekalog is something which I am yet to finish. It isn't a complete movie but a series of 10 one hour short-films. All the five episodes I have seen so far started slowly, but gradually had me in its complete grip. They are technically impeccable, subtle yet quite profound in their narration. Almost every episode hit me with something. Entre Nos was quite good as well. The character Paola Mendoza portrayed was heartening to say the least. And last friday, I watched Owl and the Sparrow. It was very very good. Very well paced, endearing and with a real ending.

All these movies are in a language I don't know and yet I enjoyed them more than most of the English or Hindi movies I have seen. There is something different about watching foreign movies of a language you don't know. They have an unpredictability. In an English movie, I know to an extent how the scene will pan out, how will the actor tell his dialog. But with such movies, you don't quite know. The same dialog being told in a language one knows well has a different kind of subconscious effect on the mind when it is narrated in a language one doesn't know. And such movies are fresh, because you don't know about them. The thing which actually had me interested in Owl and the Sparrow in its initial minutes was just the fact that they were showing a place and culture I knew nothing about, and it was interesting to watch.

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