The Pianist

I have this Polish friend who is a movie buff like me.  We have now made a pact to watch some of our favourite movies.  This is the first in the series, a movie recommended by him.  The only other Roman Polanski movie that I have seen is "Rosemary's baby" which to this day I remember how freaked out I was watching that movie.

"The Pianist", an Academy Award winner, and true to its category, is an engaging and very touching movie about the Polish Jews in World War II.  It is a movie adaptation of the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman,  a Polish musician of Jewish Origins. 

The movie portrays the survival struggle of Szpilman ( name means 'the playing man', very apt for a pianist :) ) during the German occupation of Poland.  Polanski is at his brilliance - the movie brings the Nazi treatment of the Jews in all its brutality and gory.  It is hard to stay unaffected or dry-eyed watching this movie.

 There were several scenes where I was immensely moved by the protagonist; however my favourite is the one where he is starving and finds a tin of cucumbers.  Even when confronted by the German officer, he clutches the tin desperately.  The touch of Polanski is a vivid portrayal of the man's hope even in such dire circumstances.
The movie is a tribute to all those meaningless deaths that occured as part of the Holocaust.  It is sad to realise that even after 70 years, the world is still plagued by similar religious persecution and pointless deaths.  History is being forgotten and in the process, it is being repeated.   It is an irony that the Israelis have forgotten what it is to be dehumanized and are meting out similar treatment to the Palestinians.  Human lives are still cut short and wasted - there is simply no respect for the living in today's world.

Contributed by Sujatha

Pride and Prejudice

One of my favorite movies and books ever!

I know others may prefer the previous versions of Pride and Prejudice, but for me, this one is the best. I watch the movie over and over again, getting involved in all its scenes which take me away from my world in Baghdad, Iraq, to that English countryside where ladies worry about nothing but when will there be a ball, or whom is going to ask them for a dance. It is a world where men attend for women, and feel proud to do so.

The song is pretty amazing too. It is not only fitting of the relationship between the two lovers, but its lyrics touch the soul with their depth and passionate sounds.

Contributed By Nadia

The Whole Wide World

The Whole Wide World is a biography of Novalyne Price Ellis, a teacher from Texas, who falls in love with a weird man Robert Howard. 

Though both are real people who actually shared this planet with us, somehow Vincent D'Onofrio and Renée Zellweger made the characters feel larger than life. 

Every time I watch the movie, both mesmerize me, leaving me staring at the screen, feeling like one of them, sitting with them, just few steps away! I definitely relate to both, the woman who aspires to do a lot and change the world, and the man who wants to stay aloof from the world which failed to understand him.  

Contributed by Nadia