Ashok Selvan devours all kinds of movies. While cinema was just entertainment for him when he was in school, working in a couple of films changed everything. He now adores being a part of the whole setup.
The movies that stayed with him:
“I watched Paruthiveeran during my Class 12 board exams. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say that I found it mind-blowing. Until Paruthiveeran, cinema was just a way to unwind. But after Paruthiveeran, I fell in love with the medium and began respecting it more. It was one of the films that motivated me to try cinema. I kept thinking about it for two days, and couldn’t overcome the hangover. The tragedy was not contrived. The story needed it. I usually don’t re-watch movies. However, I watched Paruthiveeran for about six times.
2. Wild Tales
One of my friends had watched it at Chennai International Film Festival. When he recommended it, he said, “Idhu oru mass padam da!” When I watched the film, I knew what he meant by the word mass. At several junctures, I was clapping unconsciously, and I realised it left a great impact on me. Wild Tales, an anthology of six shorts, is an Argentine-Spanish film. The film deals with violence and revenge, and talks a lot about bottled up emotions, and how cathartic one feels when they are let out. A very intuitive film to me.
3. There Will Be Blood
I am a big fan of Daniel Day-Lewis, who played the lead in this film, and the director Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favourites too. I always thought that this film’s message – the shadow that success can cast on an individual – was strong. It kind of dealt with what happens after happily-ever-after. Day-Lewis’s performance is reference for actors like me. I loved him in Lincoln, too. But he was outstanding in There Will Be Blood.
4. In the Mood for Love
I watched it when I was in college, after a friend raved about it. A lot of my friends are in the industry and they keep recommending some nice films. That’s how I happened to watch In the Mood for Love, too. Every frame is stunning. Christopher Doyle handled cinematography. I love his work. There had been times when I would replay some of the scenes only to enjoy the way the frames were set. I have watched it about four times and I think I would never be bored of it.
It’s a film I really looked forward to watching because it’s directed by Alejandro G Iñárritu, who made the popular Amores Perros. It is a poignant film, and as an artiste, it made me think about how a falling artiste would feel, and how a man would handle mid-life crisis. I was also thinking of what Shahrukh Khan said in an interview. He said he would be mobbed when he walks on the streets now. But, there will be a time when nobody would care if he walks alone. I contemplated on that after I watched Birdman. And, it also made me wonder if one does art for himself or for the world.
I also loved watching Udaan, Devar Magan, Braveheart, Gladiator and District 9. I started loving cinema more because of Crash. And, The Pursuit of Happyness was the last movie that made me cry.”