After Life (1998) by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Check it out on Letterboxd Can there be a more difficult task than being asked to select a single memory from your life that you want to carry forever? As humans, we contain multitudes and we want to resist any attempt to put us into a box. But what happens if you’re asked to choose something which you’ll cherish for the rest of your life - would you let go of all the times when you were sad, angry, bitter, hypocrite and a bad human being?...

May 1, 2022 · 2 min · Siddhartha

3 Iron (2004) by Kim Ki-duk

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Check it out on Letterboxd We are all empty houses, waiting for someone to open the lock and set us free. There’s something romantic about living on extremes. This applies as much to my film taste as it does to my day-to-day life. Nowhere is this more evident than in a crucial element of cinema - dialogues. On the one hand, you have Celine and Jesse showing us the entire world through their words, while on the other you have Sun and Tae doing the same thing without speaking a word....

November 14, 2021 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Winter Sleep (2014) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Check it out on Letterboxd Over the years, I have increasingly gravitated towards films where supposedly “nothing happens”. Characters talk, no attempt is made to instill a moral point into the minds of the audience, which is usually accompanied with long, patient shots of people existing in their environments. This was an excellent specimen of the same dish. I had watched Once Upon a Time in Anatolia from the same director previously and much like films by Wes Anderson, I could immediately tell this was Ceylan’s film right from the start, although these two directors could not be any more different....

March 15, 2021 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Check it out on Letterboxd A slow, methodical display of patience and absurdity juxtaposed on the vast landscape, this film has something else going for it. When you read the synopsis or look at the posters, you expect a certain police procedural drama - the kind of which you’ve been accustomed to till date. What you get is a completely different take on the trope....

February 7, 2021 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Riding Solo to the Top of the World (2006) by Gaurav Jani

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Check it out on Letterboxd Motorcycling community is laden with fist-pumping-muscle-bulging-neckbeardy-speed-ninjas-Harley-fans, and it usually gets a bad rap all across the world. Gaurav Jani is none of these things. His passion and humility and curious nature reminded me why I loved biking in the first place. This is a must-watch for anyone fascinated with two wheels and the places they enable you to visit....

January 3, 2021 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Waking Life (2001) by Richard Linklater

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Check it out on Letterboxd There are films which you wish you had watched earlier in life, and there are others which don’t make sense until you have had your fair share of world experiences. Waking Life falls in the former category. The college sophomore me would have been really excited about discussing vague notions of self and freedom and free will and morality and dreams - and don’t get me wrong, mid-twenties me is equally as excited about these things as my former self, if not more so - but the problem lies in the superficiality of it all....

November 27, 2020 · 1 min · Siddhartha

Oslo, August 31st (2011) by Joachim Trier

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Check out this review on Letterboxd Anhedonia. The Wikipedia entry for this word says: a diverse array of deficits in hedonic function, including reduced motivation or ability to experience pleasure. At one point or another, we have all experienced some version of this phenomenon - may be characterized by an oversaturation of love, or caused by a prolonged mediocrity in life, or as in the case of our protagonist here, the complete loss of will and motivation to feel anything....

June 4, 2020 · 4 min · Siddhartha

The Darjeeling Limited (2007) by Wes Anderson

Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ Check out this review on Letterboxd You can spot Wes Anderson trademark from a mile ago, although this is the only movie by him which left me dissatisfied. The unique and swift camera movements are still there, the colors still pop out like from another universe, the absurd comic timings still bring a smile to your face - but you won’t feel the kind of personal emotional investment into the characters like you would in the rest of his filmography....

March 4, 2020 · 1 min · Siddhartha