While cinema, if well made, is wholly consuming, one can argue that thrillers as a genre is naturally more engaging when compared with say, a romantic drama or a coming-of-age movie. And at a time when we need some kind of ‘distraction’ more than ever in our lives, many of us are in search for a good, suspenseful drama. This is where we come in the picture.
Helmed by Park Chan-wook, this South Korean flick is based on the Japanese comic of the same name. If you think Oldboy is your regular chip-of-the-block thriller, you would be highly mistaken. This is not only an innovative drama that follows the journey of a man who is hell-bent on revenge, but it is also a clear but subtle depiction of humanity and what long-term imprisonment can do to a human mind. The movie was remade by Spike Lee in America. Sanjay Gupta’s Zinda also bears a strong, uncanny resemblance to the film despite not being an official remake.
This Guy Pearce starrer was made at a time when filmmaker Christopher Nolan had not achieved the cult status and legion of admirers he has now. A non-linear narrative of a man who loses his wife in a deadly attack, Memento is a carefully crafted film which brings together a variety of complex themes to the table — grief, deception, love among more. Twist: the protagonist suffers from a short-term memory loss. AR Murugadoss’ Ghajini was inspired by Memento.
The Secret in Their Eyes
The Secret in Their Eyes is a one-man show as Juan José Campanella has edited, co-written, directed and produced the Spanish movie. A law clerk and a judiciary employee together investigate a gruesome rape and murder case. The film jumps back and forth in time. In a separate timeline, a love story is pursued, which strangely complements the more mysterious part of the narrative. An American remake starring Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman was made by Billy Ray in 2015, which was not even half as good as the original. Trivia: The Spanish film had bagged the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film post its release.
Of course, a listicle on thrillers features the modern master of the genre, David Fincher. Although, this is not your regular thriller as most of the ‘action’ here takes place inside the mind of the protagonist. But can you ever tell, is the million-dollar question. The film featured Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Norton in the lead roles, and it has been praised for its take on capitalism, the consumer behaviour and the meaning of life itself. You can stream the movie on YouTube.
Tom Ford is one of those rare and gifted beings who can simultaneously ace fashion and filmmaking. In this noir — which stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon — a gallery owner (Adams) realises the similarities that her first husband’s new book bears with their relationship. It’s unhinged, chaotic and will have you sweating in no time.
The Usual Suspects
In this 1995 Bryan Singer movie, a con-man recounts a deadly incident orchestrated by the mastermind Keyser Soze. The movie follows a non-linear narrative, jumping seamlessly between the present and the past. The now-disgraced Kevin Spacey won an Academy Award for his captivating performance in the film.
Helmed by David Fincher, the movie is based on the book penned by Gillian Flynn. A mentally unstable protagonist and the relationship she shares with her partner is the primary focus of the plot. The movie brought widespread acclaim to female lead Rosamund Pike. The film also stars Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris. You can stream the movie on YouTube and Netflix.
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