This is a series about movies that have truly, deeply moved me: made me happy, horrified me, or made me sad – essentially movies that have left a mark forever. Some of them are universally acknowledged as timeless classics some of them not. It’s my list, not necessarily in any particular order of liking. They are all near and dear to me. The idea is not to review these movies, but to try and explain why I felt a certain way about them and why they are so dear to me. One thing is common for all these movies, at the end of each one, I found myself with a contented expression and a feeling of fullness in my heart. It’s kind of a feeling of eating a delicious meal after being hungry for a long time, or after drinking a cold glass of water after being thirsty for a long time. A word in Hindi/Marathi describes that feeling aptly – “Santosh” or “Trupti”.
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Psycho is known as the most well crafted movie in the Horror/Thriller genre. Personally, yes it was scary and creepy; however, I was more saddened at the end of the movie than scared. When I first watched Psycho (the Hitch version not the Gus Van Sant one), I knew it was a horror movie but my knowledge about the movie ended there. As soon as the movie started, I was eating out of Hitch’s hands. By the end of it, I was shivering with excitement and yet was weighed down by the tragedy, by the loss of youth – of Marion’s as well as Norman Bates’. There will be folks who would call me sick or judge me for feeling sad for the Norman Bates character, but to them I say – “To each his own”!
The movie succeeds in every aspect of film-making –pacing, editing, camera-work, just the right combination of suspense, humor and anticipation. In the performance department, the Norman Bates character was immortalized by Anthony Perkins. This role was his claim to fame, and sadly became him for the rest of his acting career. Tony Perkins did many a good roles in films and theater but he could never get rid of the “Norman Bates” character from himself – just like the “Mother” had become “Norman Bates”.
One small quirky genius of a moment comes in the last few seconds of the movie. Pause the scene at 1:17 seconds, then pause it again at 1:18 seconds: do you see the skull of the mother super-imposed on Norman’s face? It might just be me, but if it truly is what it I think it is, then I bow to Hitch for keeping it so subtle, so so subtle!!