Monday, July 14, 2008

Of 4 movies that made me cry

Guys are not supposed to cry at the movies or so the norm goes ... but that's a load of bull and a lot of people know it. I was listening to one of Dr. Mark Kermode's delightful podcasts when out of no reason I started to think about the movies that have made me cry. I think about them now because there are only but a few and I also think about them because they havent made movies like them in a long long time.

I've not listed any Bollywood movies because frankly I've never cried at any of them, but there are aq couple of regional movies like Akashadooth, a Malaylam movie tyhat was designed specifically to make everyone cry and the drama movies of acclaimed actor Kamal Hassan. I forget the name of the movie in which he plays the guardian of the mentally challenged Sridevi but the final five minutes of the movie is so heart-wrenching that it makes me flinch just to remember it. If anyone knows the name of this classic please let me know.

Before we get on with the list, here's a couple of movies you should not be expecting. Titanic, because it loses its magic after the first viewing; Bambi - because I've never seen it and Love Story - because I booed instead of crying.

So here are four movies (in no particular order) that brought out the tears:

1. ET

I saw ET for the first time when I was 23. As astonishing as that may seem it's true. ET was realeased the year I was born but we never got around to renting the movie. I was more obsessed with cartoons and the sorts and maybe, just maybe, my family wanted to protect me from it.

Because ET, is the most traumatic movie any child will ever watch. You have to remember that Spielberg was at his best when he made ET and every movie from Duel to Close Encounters (except Indy) was always emotionally close to the audience. Here he gives us the cutest alien there ever was, a relationship with a couple of kids you would kill for and the best seven year old kid's performance in Drew Barrymore.

And then he has the audacity to kill the alien. And just when we are wiping the tears off from an emotionally heavy death bed scene ET revives and there's just enough time for a final happy ride before the alien has to leave his friends forever. Let me be clear on this: that was not a happy ending. ET leaves and that was the end of it - he never came back and there was no sequel. Maybe that's the reason ET turned out to be the classic that it is, but it's still one ripping scene when he leaves. It was Spielberg's genius that left almost everyone streaming.

2. Crash
Directed by Paul Haggis, Crash is one of those movies that grips and refuses to let you go until its done. Criss-crossing across sixteen characters it describes in gritty realism the level of racism and hatred that dwell among people. If you havent watched this movie I suggest you do ... as its on of those rare masterpieces that go on to become a timeless classic.

Now, there's a particular scene in this movie that is extremely and I mean EXTREMELY powerful. I'm not going to spoil it for those who havent watched the movie but those who have should know what I'm talking about. The buildup to this scene starts right from the beginning and ends in this absolute shocker that left me flooding tears without even knowing about it. And then it slowly hit, this was the movie's climax and it crept and pounced so unexpectedly that I just wasnt prepared for it. A true gem of cinema, this has to be one of the most emotionally draining scenes in any movie ever. Trust me : watch Crash; you'll never regret it.

3. LOTR - Return of the King

Surprised ? You should be. This should not feature on any tear-jerker list but here it is. Directed by Peter Jackson and winner of a record-equalling 11 Academy Awards Return of the King is the conclusion of a fantasy epic. Big huge war scenes and amazing CGI were its highlights ... but there was also more.

If you are a LOTR fan like I am then there's a good chance that you were delighted with the adaptation. The performances were amazing, from Andy Serkis as the unforgettable Gollum to Sir Ian McKellan as the wise Gandalf. But right from the first movie the bond between Frodo and Sam was emotional and it caught your mind's eye or atleast it should have. Having been with them throught their mentally and physically enduring journey to Mordor they come within a few paces of Mount Doom. Frodo collapses under the burden of the Ring and Sam (played brilliantly by Sean Astin) picks him up on his shoulders with that memorable line:

"I can't carry it for you .... but I can carry you"

Lump in throat. Tears in eyes.

4. Life is Beautiful

An Italian movie starring and directed by Roberto Benigni starts off as a comedy and a mighty good one at that. When I started watching the movie and laughing at the gags I was beginning to feel uneasy. You see, I knew that this movie was not going to end well and it was making us feel right at home with the characters which is a classic way of making you reach out for the Kleenex at the end.

Which it did.

The rest of the movie is heartbreaking to say the least. Deported off to a concentration camp during the Second World War the movie is about a father who tries to shield his five year old son from the brutality of war using the only weapon he has: comedy. He acts out for his son to convince him that the concentration camp is all just a game where the winner wins a tank. The five year old wide-eyed son believes everything his father tells him up until the very end of the movie where the father asks him to hide in a sweatbox until everyone has left. The child chuckles as he watches through a peephole his father imitates a Nazi soldier while being marched away.

And then you hear the gunshot.

Minutes late the child comes out of the sweatbox to collect his prize. An American tank coming in to liberate the camp.

If you're a father or have ever loved a child ... you will know how depressing that final scene is.

That's it. These were the movies that had the emotional potential to throw a tear-bomb at me, and while there were others that made me feel sad, none touched me more than the movies above.

I hope you liked this list and before you go however, what were the movies that made you cry ?


Dee Jay said...

I wouldn't know where to start. I am such a total movie wuss!

My husband is a Trekkie and years ago we were at the theater for one of the Star Trek films. In it, they blew up the Enterprise. When that happened, I looked over at the giant of a tough-guy man I am married too and saw tears in his eyes. It's the only time I have ever seen him cry at a movie.

Alex Mcone said...

Star Trek eh ?

I think I remember the movie in which the Enterprise blows up. As I recall it wasnt too good and critics say that it killed off the franchise. Maybe your husband was crying because of that ?

I never got Star Trek but there's a J.J. Abrams reboot that comes out next year. Definitely gonna watch that.

Gorgeous BC avatar by the way. Makes me want to go out on a naughty wine date!

~Static~ said...

One movie that comes to mind as far as bringing me to tears was 'Hotel Rwanda', VERY sad story about the genocides in Rwanda. 'Amistad' and 'The Pianist' rank up there too. And also 'The Grey Zone' about a Nazi doctor who sympathizes with Jews who are forced to work in the crematoria of Auschwitz against their fellow Jews. Absolutely horrifyingly sad movies!

Alex Mcone said...

Hote Rwanda was a very disturbing movie. I never got around to seeing Amistad but The Pianist, I did see ... and boy Adrain Brody was amazing.

Maybe I should do a post about disturbing movies.

Manek said...

well the Kamal Hassan film which u had mentioned is Sargam which i think almost everyone who watched it cried..
and Seriously.... Lord of the Rings?????

Alex Mcone said...

Sargam ... yeah ? I thought Sargam was that malayalam movie with Rambha in it.

And as for LOTR .. you have to be a true fan, you heretic! :D

Serge said...

Why no Bollywood entries?
Lord of the rings? Come'on!

manek said...

I am absolutely sorry.. the name is Sadma not Sargam actually...

Well the movies i cried were JohnQ, Blood Diamond.....can't commend names now..

and really balled over to hear about LOTR. Its a wonderful movie but on all odds u might be the lone to have cried on it.

Alex Mcone said...

@ serge - there's not a single bollywood movie that made me cry.

@manek - Sadma ... YES!!

About LOTR, yeah I know I'm in the lone but its because I loved the books and the movies so much. Come on now, I know people who cried at the end of The Empire Strikes Back.

kingnutin said...

Second you on Life is Beautiful...

Philadelphia, My Left foot, Iron Giant.
Shvaas, Taare Zameen Par, The mighty, Phenomenon also, but they are contrite and very manipulative, designed to make you cry.

Alex Mcone said...

Coincidence. I was just reading your blogpost on the movies that ALMOST made you weep.

CV Arun said...

The kamal's movie you were mentioning was Moondram Pirai(dubbed as Sadma in Hindi).He received National award for his role. Some of my favorites were Anjali,Hotel Rwanda,Maniratnam's best ever- Mouna Ragam,Forest gump,Goodwill hunting.....

Never Mind!! said...

Came here from Desipundit and nice blog you have!!

I agree with you on Life is Beautiful. I shed bucket loads while watching Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par.

Thanks for validating taht its OK for men to cry :)

anonymous coward said...

Zindagi aur Maut, Upar wale ke haath hai Jahanpanah...
Hum Sab rang Manch ki Katputliyan hain...
Jinke Dor Upar wale ke haath main hai...
Kaun Kab Kaise Uthega...
Yeh Koi nahin Baata sakta.
Ha Ha Ha !

The climax of Anand is extremely touching.

Aniruddha said...

My tear shedding time was during Cast Away...

I hardly remember any other movie which made me cry...

vogon said...

. The Elephant Man
. Umberto D
. Gattaca
. Philadelphia
. Schindler's List
. Nayagan
. Ikiru
. Tears at quality horror movies too. :)

Yes, I am a guy.

Abirami Sivaramakrishnan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex Mcone said...

Wow ! Lots of new readers ! Welcome - each and every one of you.

Thanks for the responses and there's a lot of really emoitional movies in there.

Anonymous said...

Neat list!
Came here from DesiPundit.:)

Btw, that Kamal movie is Sadma in Hindi, Moondram Pirai in Tamil and Vasantha Kokila in Telugu!

VP said...

2 movies come immediately to mind : the final scenes of Gladiator and Forrest Gump.
gladiator because the whole movie you were rooting for maximus and when he finally dies and that scene in the fields plays, you realise that there could not have been any other ending to this story.
as for the other movie, forrest gump, the scene where forrest asks ginny whether their son is smart and the scene where he talks to ginny's grave

as an aside. imo the climax of se7ev is the most mind blowing climax ever.....

Achu said...

have u watched requiem for a dream? If not .plzz do.. it will make you cry .. and at the same time feel miserable..

Z said...

I have one movie and one movie alone: (No Spoilers)

Shawshank Redemption. Every single time I hear what Brooks writes in his letter, I just well up. And the ending, the scene of him in the rain- I just lose it. Its just the most brilliant movie ever!

Also, I totally understand about LOTR! Especially when Aragorn, the Elves and the men bow down to the four little hobbits! What a scene. And also the lighting of the beacons- not exactly sentimental but very powerful!

Good list.

~Static~ said...

Ok, ok. There is one more movie that made me bawl, I mean I literally cried me a river... Disney's Robin Hood (1973). Yes I'm a guy. And my mom took me to see it when it opened, I was 2 yrs old dammit! Naturally I cried, I cried many a time at that age fercrissakes... course I prolly shit my pants ALOT too.

Tommy Buettner said...

Everytime I watch the following movies I cry.

A League Of Thier Own...when Tom Hanks says "that's what makes the game so great...if it was easy, everyone would be plauying".

Field Of Dreams...when Ray Liotta says "Shoot, I would have played for nothing".

My wife laughs at me everytime, but I don't care.

john back pain austin said...

It's a Wonderful Life
Fly Away Home
Polar Express
Chariots of Fire
Brian's Song
The Rookie
We Are Marshall