Finally, we are looking at the last
few weeks two days of 2010. This year has gone past so fast that I'm left wondering whatever happened to the 365 days in it. All things said and done, I had a lot of fun filling (or trying to complete) the two resolutions that I had for this year: watch more movies and read books in the New York Bestsellers list every week.
Firstly, movies. Ummm! What can I say about them. At the beginning of this year, I was a green horn in movies, mostly due to the fact that I used to watch a grand total of five or ten movies a year (combining all the languages I knew). For that movie to hit my horizon and make me watch it, there had to be fate's play in it. It had to be hugely popular, I had to be free to watch it, there had to be friends to watch it (my watching a movie alone was a rare event before this year, or rather last August) AND there had to be someone to constantly egg me to watch it. All this combined was as regular as the meteor showers happening on a night with clear skies and visible to the naked eye! (which is next to never). Now, I can identify the major directors (I knew only Speilberg and Cameron before) and the actors (the number has gone up from a measly 5 to about 10-15 now - atleast I can say, actor X from movie Y is the guy on movie Z as well).
I found out I just can't stand slow movies and movies with subtle plots (500 days of Summer, anyone?). Add to that list, crass movies and gory ones (Saw series - though brilliant in story, I couldn't watch even one without gagging) and movies with crappy endings (the latest to join that list is Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey). And, I do like urban action movies but really can't get the wild west action (unless there is a fast story to it). Science fiction (Inception!!) and anything to do with animation (I've even watched Princess and the Frog :D) and romance (how about the Proposal?) and comedy and kids' movies (Up!!) are totally fine with me. I can also watch movies with stories I've not seen before ( ranging from Animal House to American History X) even though they might not fit into any genre said above. But there have been movies like The Notebook which I've hated mainly because its slow even though it falls under romance genre.
I've received a lot of help in finishing this resolution: my friends around me and my roommates watch a lot of movies, discuss about them and take time to appreciate movies. This is vastly different from how it was before last year. My friends took care of English, Tamil and Telugu movies while my roommates took care of Hindi and Telugu. I got to watch a lot of bakwaas Hindi movies (before this year, I wouldn't have imagined sitting through movies like All the best and Golmaal but now I've watched them all) but there were some good ones as well (Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, 3 idiots, Wake up Sid). Even though I watch a lot of movies with friends and roommates, I do catch up with some movies on my own too. Angadi Theru was a good one I discovered that way.
A caveat: Even though I've watched a LARGE number of movies, I'd have skipped some parts of it (I've lost the ability to sit through songs and fights in a movie and have even searched for a forward button in theatres) and not seen some parts of it (scary chases (I've closed my eyes when the Tree was being attacked in Avatar and during the climax in Transformers) and brutal killings (Rakth Charitra, ugh! I was hovering on the forward button... but Surya acted well in it)). Some of my friends opine that only watching a movie completely counts as watching it. But I think that as long as I can follow the movie and not watch the boring/slow parts, songs, fights, etc. it can still be considered. Two reasons for this: one, I'm not a film critic to watch the complete movie and then criticize it. I watch it for fun and if I don't like something, I can totally skip it. IMDB has been great in helping me keep track of the large number of movies. My IMDB ratings are for my tracking - just to say how likely I am to watch it again in future. And two, if the movie cannot hold my attention to keep me engrossed enough to not skip it, then I can skip it. Movies like Endiran and Inception and Up! have me watching them without so much as thinking about skipping even a small scene in them. So, to each his own in deciding to figure out resolutions.
However, this resolution took a lot of time since I had to carve out time from other stuff to watch movies (since watching movies was not in my list before). Most weekends saw me trying to complete that week's quota of movies. Some days, I had to give up something else to watch movies - just for the sake of watching it. I'm going to take a step backward in 2011 and not force myself to watch all the movies that release (I already started doing it in December for some of the tamil movies - they were that crappy). Instead, I'm going to stick to genres and popular movies/directors/actors I like and see how it goes. So, this resolution achieved what it was intended for - give me a crash course on movies in general and help me identify what movies I like. Here's my list of top 10 favorites in 2010. Let me know how it rates against your favorites of 2010.In all, it was a fun ride and helped me sift through all the good, the bad and the ugly out there in movies and figure out what genres and directors (and sometimes even actors) I liked and more importantly, what I did not.