Holiday movies

by Rummana Ferdous Fagun

 Movies are a great way to enjoy leisure and now that the holiday seasons have begun it gives us more of a reason to indulge in movies. One can always fall back on classics and here are three of the many movies you can try watching with your family to spend some quality time.

It’s a wonderful life (1946)

Some movies, good or bad, should be watched only once. Once you know how the mystery unveils it loses its charm whereas some movies demand to be re-watched. Like good music, they are enhanced with familiarity. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ belongs in the second category.

The director of this movie, Frank Capra got the idea for the movie from a story, ‘The Greatest Gift’ written by Philip Van Doren Stern. The movie is about the people of a small-town, Bedford Falls which is still running because of the honesty and selflessness of individuals. And the everyman hero of the town is George Bailey (James Stewart) whose lifelong dream was to leave Bedford Falls and travel the world but he gets stuck in this town for various reasons.

His family life starts with marrying his high school sweetheart and they have four adorable children together. He helps people build a family by helping them build their houses though his father’s business ‘Bailey Brothers’ Building and Loan’. In a way he is the pillar of the community, saving it from the grasp of the sly businessman Mr. Potter. He sends his brother off to the army who comes back to be a shining star in his town.

He has much in his life to cherish but he fails to see that as he becomes frustrated with his life and then a miracle happens. After George Bailey (James Stewart) wishes he had never been born, an angel (Henry Travers) is sent to earth to make George’s wish come true. George starts to realize how many lives he has changed and impacted, and how they would be different if he was never there. It’s a classic for a reason. This movie captures the real beauty of life and puts forward a mirror to judge what life has offered, rather than focusing on what is missing.

Groundhog Day (1993)

Another classic that never gets old is the movie Groundhog Day, directed by Harold Ramis. The movie starts with Phil (Bill Murray) being his obnoxious self. He is a TV weatherman who works for a local station in Pennsylvania but is convinced that national news stardom is in his grasp. Phil is charming and witty as long as the camera is on him. In reality he is bitter, self-centred, and continuously gives his co-workers a hard time, especially his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) and cameraman Larry (Chris Elliot).

On February 2, 1992, Phil, Rita, and Larry are sent on an assignment that Phil especially loathes- the annual Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Like every year the citizens await the appearance of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who will supposedly determine the length of winter by his ability to see his own shadow.

When a freak snowstorm strands him in Punxsutawney, he wakes up the next morning with the strangest sense of déjà vu: he seems to be living the same day over again. The next morning it happens again, and then again. No matter what he does, he’s stuck in February 2, 1992; not imprisonment nor attempted suicide nor kidnapping the groundhog gets him out of the loop.

But the more Phil relives the same day, the more he’s forced to look at other people’s lives, and gradually he begins to care about others. He starts to respect people, he tries to save the life of a homeless man, and he discovers that he’s falling in love with Rita and therefore wants to be someone that she could love in return. This movie is a must watch.

Hachi: A Dog’s Tale (2009)

Though this isn’t a classic it deserves to be one. If you are ready for an emotional rollercoaster consider watching this movie, it will surely bring tears to your eyes. ‘Hachi: A Dog’s Tale’ tells the heart touching story of a professor and a puppy he rescues on a snowy night. The dog gradually becomes devoted to Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) and follows him everywhere he goes.

Though at first his wife, Cate (Joan Allen) was reluctant to keep the dog, she finally starts getting used to it. His daughter also falls in love with the puppy’s charming nature and seeing how happy her father is with him makes her adore the puppy even more.

After some help from a friend Parker learns that the dog is an Akita Inu and from his collar discovers the name Hachiko which is Japanese for 8. Every day the pup accompanies his master to the train station and waits for him there. Inspired by a true story the director, Lasse Hallstrom brings Hachiko to life. A statue of the real Hachi still stands at the Shibuya train station. He lived with a Professor of the Tokyo University, Odate, Japan in the 1930s.

The movie has a calming pace that soothes viewers, until tragedy strikes and Hachi’s (as Parker calls him) true colours shine through. A story of true friendship and loyalty, Hachiko will surely touch your heart.

Let the spirit of the season wash over you and let it remind you what is important in life.

 

 

 

 

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