It is past long from the designated day to celebrate friendship. But a formal day doesn’t really suffice now does it? Friendship knows no formality neither it’s an institution sullied in obligations, ‘a pure bond’ is that what it is. Nothing better could describe it more than these memorable lines by Jeanette WInterson from the book written on the body.
Yes we are [friends] and I do like to pass the day with you in serious and inconsequential chatter. I wouldn’t mind washing up beside you, dusting beside you, reading the back half of the paper while you read the front. We are friends and I would miss you, do miss you and think of you very often. I don’t want to lose this happy space where I have found someone who is smart and easy and doesn’t bother to check her diary when we arrange to meet.
From time immemorial this bond has been the inspiration behind some of the most beautiful poems and stories. But now that everything stands overwhelmed by time and distance compression, the ‘creatives’ have taken to capture it through movies. The best part is; be it French or Dutch or German or Indian the essence of Friendship is raw and does not colligate to any differences.
If I could though I would have made it a 100 and it is distressing to have left out some of the very nice movies (motorcycle diaries, stand by me, my best friend’s wedding, Lord of the RIngs) however it is not be inferred that they are any less.
10) Dil Chahta Hai
This quintessence gem tracing the thicks and thins that are part and parcel of a friendship, paved its way to the A-list in 2001. The story of three childhood friends; Sam/Sameer, Akash and Siddharth/Sid was memorably portrayed by the trio Saif Ali Khan, Amir Khan and Akshaye Khanna respectively. While Akash does not believe in love, Sameer can’t give up on his quest for that one grand love meanwhile Siddharth has a quite world that he retreats into where even his friends can’t follow or fathom him. The complexities burgeon when Siddharth falls in love with a divorcee next door who is much older than him. Akash makes fun of Siddharth and questions the sanctity of the relationship, Siddharth takes offense and slaps him and the two friends drift apart while Sameer end up stuck in the middle being a mediator.
The story takes a huge turn when Akash himself falls in love and undergoes the disappointment and despair that an unrequited relationship so often brings along with it and it’s only in that lovelorn phase that Akash feels for his friend and finally understands that love neither has limitations nor does it comprehends the societal ‘justs’ from the one that it deems as wrong. The story ends on a bitter-sweet note when the three come around once again, having found themselves and each other as well.
The movie Hangover had us hungover for three years, ever since its first part came out in 2009 people just couldn’t get enough of the wolf pack. We saw them getting up in Las Vegas in the sweet company of the eccentric Mr. Chow who himself is a total recipe for disaster then we had Alan whose middle name might as well read ‘Downright Crazy’. Together with Mr. Chow they experience an unmatchable bachelor party sans the bachelor of course who they presume as dead only to find him in the most obvious yet unthinkable place at the end of the story
By the second chapter the viewer definitely thinks that it is going to be all settled with Stu finally getting married, not to a prostitute in an inebriated state but to a really nice girl but then Alan has his own great ideas about an ideal wedding influenced by the doubtful presence of Stu’s brother in law in the wolf pack. So a simple pre-wedding beach side, by the bonfire retreat with a menu of harmless marshmallows and some beers turns into a faceoff with a Russian mob that also includes a monkey who is actually at par with the rest of the cast and a missing brother in law with a missing finger (just as bizarre as it can get) Stu finally manages to reach his wedding at the nick of the time.
The Third or the last part ( we are made to believe) takes all four back to where it all started and in Las Vegas they find themselves up against Mr. Chow but how Mr. Chow ends up a forever alone and Alan gets a wife is one heck of stuporous tale waiting to be seen by you.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Marty (The Zebra), Alex (The Lion), Melman (The Giraffe) and Gloria (The Hippo) and those who are on the wrong side. In 2005 DreamWorks made us fall in love with them. The story started on Marty’s 10th birthday where he makes a wish to see the wild. And as the adage goes, you ought to be careful what you wish for because it might just come true, and so it does for Marty but you don’t proceed on crazy ventures alone. So we have Marty and his friends on a ship to Kenya after an unfortunate stint with the New Yorkers on Grand Central Station. Tragedy or Opportunity strikes when they slip off the ship and wash ashore on Madagascar or it had something to do with the ‘Penguins’. The New York giants then chance up upon the party king himself, King Julien and his aids; the cute mouse lemur ‘Mort’ who is actually 35 and the highly intelligent and rarely impressed ‘Maurice’. Though once in the wild, Alex’s animal instinct starts to take over and Marty ends up with a bite mark on his cheek. But the penguins come back from their native land having declared it as boring and provide a Japanese solution.
The next two adventures were Escape to Africa and Europe’s most wanted but they were more commercialized and made in compliance to the popular trends (* but then that’s a personal opinion). Conclusively, it is impossible to have enough of these four friends.
The Intouchables was the official French entry in the Best Foreign Film Category for the 85th Academy Awards. Even though it didn’t make it to the final list it managed to become the second most successful French Film right after the famous 2008 film ‘Welcome to the Sticks’ surprisingly critics have rated Intouchables better than the latter.
The story tells us about the unlikely friendship between Philip, who is a rich quadriplegic and is on a lookout for a compatible carer and Driss who has a criminal record including a 6 months stint in the jail for a robbery case. The two meet up by chance and Driss get hired, Philips’s secretary Magalie warns him against it but he counters her by saying that Driss is the only person who doesn’t look at him in pity but as an equal. What follows is a genuine camaraderie. Driss has a drastic influence on Philips he learns to appreciate Boogie Wonderland along with classical music, goes paragliding again and ends up rekindling his love life post the traumatic year of his wife’s death. While Driss takes up painting, develops an interest in Opera and modern art. The bond between the two helps them to outgrow their individual insecurities.
By the end Driss having acquired expertise moves on to a better job while Philip, although he has qualms whether he’d be able to get a better carer, engages in a long awaited date.
6) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Ya well couldn’t resist slipping in a chick flick in the list. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was released in the year 2005 and was so well received by the audience that The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 was released in 2008 on popular demand. In fact the impact of this movie in popular culture was such that at a 2008 Democratic National Convention, Hillary Clinton referred to her supporters as the The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits.
Based on the famous novel series by Ann Brashares, the story follows a group of four best friends. Who were technically friends even before they were born (their mothers met at a class for pregnant ladies). Lena, Tibby, Bridget and Carmen are about to part ways for summer vacations owing to the different plans that they have. So before they are ready to leave they decide to go on a final shopping spree it’s at one of the shops that they chance upon ordinary yet sort of magical jeans, which fits each of them snugly. They label it as the traveling pant and decide to share it among each other for equal amount of time.
The pair of jeans travels to Greece with Lena where she meets a boy of her age named Kostas and they both fall in love with each other, the jeans then goes to Tibby who undergoes a life changing experience with a girl named Bailey. Tibby mails the jeans to Bridget who is struggling with her past and the ghosts of her mother’s illness which she thinks might have followed her over the years. The jeans finally end with Carmen when she needed them the most.
5) Ice Age
If your friendship can survive an Ice Age, melt down, dinosaurs and a continental drift then there is nothing in this world it can’t survive. Nominated for the 75th Academy Award in the year 2002, Ice Age had us trailing the poor scrat trying to get hold of an acorn, Manfred the grumpy mammoth, Sid the clumsy megalonyx and Deigo the saber toothed Smilodon.
Following the onset of Ice- Age every animal is heading south to avoid freezing to death but Manfred is a cynical loner and is going north instead, on his way he meets Sid and saves his life from two megacerops. Sid himself abandoned by his family has nowhere left to go and is scared to be on his own so he decides to follow Manfred instead. Meanwhile Diego is in bad company and the leader Soto wants to prey upon a child Roshan who is the last human group’s chief’s son. The plan fails partially and the child ends up with Manfred and Sid, Deigo is deemed responsible for the failure and is ordered by his chief Soto to bring the child back. Manfred befriends the duo and plans to lead them into an ambush but as the trio travels through ice fields, getting to know each other and taking care of the child , they grow close and especially Manfred and Deigo when the mammoth saves his life by risking his own. Deigo realizes that he is on the wrong side and teams up against his herd. The movie ends on a good note when Roshan is reconciled with his father and the trio move ahead for newer adventures.
4) The Bridge to Terabithia
Before we saw him as Peeta in the amazing adaptation of one of our favorite books Josh Hutcherson touched our heart through his portrayal of Jesse in the movie The Bridge to Terabithia which was also adapted from a novel of the same name by Katherine Paterson. Jesse is a painter and an introvert and likes to wander into the forest beyond his house all by himself. In school he is a ‘nobody’ and prefers it that way lest he ends up giving a chance to the school bullies for picking up on him.
His life changes for good when a new girl Leslie moves in next door. Together they go exploring the forest and find an old tree house that they name Terabithia and imagine themselves as the king and queen. Back in school he learns to tackle the bullies and finally enjoys the place in the exciting companionship of Leslie but it comes to an abrupt end. Although a good always comes out of everything bad like a silver lining and so it does for Jesse who seems to have lost it all. He builds a bridge over the reek that links the forest or Terabithia in memory of the good times he had and makes his little sister May Belle ( with whom he finally connects) the princess or Terabithia.
3) Shaun of the Dead
What could be better than a bromance that includes a zombie apocalypse? Written by Edgar Wight and Simon Pegg, Shaun of the dead was declared a cult classic. This 2004 British Zombie Comedy had Pegg playing Shaun and Nick Frost as his best friend Ed. Shaun is a seemingly ordinary salesman with a direction-less life. Neither his colleagues nor his friends give him respect and even his father,Pete, is irritated especially because of his problematic friend Ed who is a small –time drug dealer. As far as Shaun’s love life is considered he has a girlfriend Liz but they never seem to be doing the conventional things associated with lovers.
The trouble starts when Shaun forgets his anniversary with Liz and a charged up Liz breaks up with him, disappointed Shaun seeks solace with his friend Ed. They drink it up and wake up next morning midst an uprising of Zombies. Shaun and Ed then decide to go to a place they consider would be safe and save the remaining unbitten survivors on their way. But Ed’s luck runs out when he is bitten by Shaun’s father. Shaun refuses to let go of his friend or kill him so he brings him back and keeps him in his shed, where he has moved in with Liz after their reconciliation.
2) The Lion King
Alright you might say that The Lion King was not really a movie about friendship but more of what Game of Thrones would have looked like had Disney worked on it in the 90s. But you got to nod that head of yours in agreement that had it not been for the two sweetest outcasts Timon and Pumba, Simba would have never reclaimed his lost kingdom back. Technically he would not have lived if it wasn’t for Timon and Pumba. Timon and Pumba made him what he was and yet let him retain his individuality as The Lion King. They never understated the fact that Simba was a ferocious lion and the king of the jungle and they loved him all the same because above his societal commitments he was their friend.
This movie not only taught us the value of family and why one should obey their parents but it also reinstated in us the qualities of pride and loyalty towards friends. It taught us to accept our friends as they were; a boar, a lion or even a meerkat and also to take precaution before indulging in a conversation with a baboon who knows voo-doo (the lame humor be excused) and of course the mantra to life. HAKUNA MATATA!
1) The Boy in Striped Pyjamas
The teacher looks into Bruno’s eyes and says, “I think, Bruno, if you ever found a nice Jew, you would be the best explorer in the world.” And Bruno’s thoughts wander back to his Jew friend in striped pyjamas.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by the famous Irish writer John Boyne, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas will strike all your emotional chords at once and will render you speechless with a lump at the back of your throat refusing to melt away. This 2008 classic is a historical drama film based on the Nazi extermination camps. Ralf ( the commandant of SS-Obersturmbannführer) and his wife along with their two children Bruno and Gretel move to a new home. However he hides the proximity of the camp from his wife and his children. Bruno is confined to front grounds only, but the explorer that he his Bruno disobeys and goes exploring through the forests till he reaches the camp. He meets Shmuel there a boy just his age, although they are unable to fathom the depth of the situation they manage to make their own assumptions and forge a bond.
Bruno’s eight year old perspective takes a roller coaster ride as he tries to comprehend his father’s work (though only the extent his father has allowed him to see), his teacher’s anti-Semitic remarks, his mother’s growing anxiety and the help Pavel’s past. Upon realizing that Pavel was actually a doctor Bruno understands that Jews weren’t really what they were made out to be in fact they were no different from Bruno or his dad. He promises Shmuel to be his friend and he keeps his word till the end. The story not only traces the horrors of holocaust from an eight year old’s perspective from both sides but it also leaves us with an agonizing hatred towards the extent a man can go.