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Make merry with movies

Make merry with movies
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December ushers in lots of surprises What with the Christmas around the corner, the excitement is bound to peak up to new heights Christmas carols...

December ushers in lots of surprises. What with the Christmas around the corner, the excitement is bound to peak up to new heights! Christmas carols rolling out of the stores, Santa Claus’ scarlet and snowy-coloured costumes adorning the shops, the scented smell of candles floating in the air, the time is ripe to pamper oneself with some festive excitement. What better way to usher in the special moments than indulging in films that centre on Christmas. There exist countless Christmas flicks that elevate the spirit and engulf one with a sense of exuberance. However, allow us to put a small bucket list of flicks for family viewing that is bound to render one helpless with amazing storylines.

Home Alone (1991): This is the first movie that pops up in one’s head the moment we talk about Christmas. This 90’s movie is reminiscent of what happens when a family is solely focused on celebrating Christmas vacations. The result - the family forgets to take one of their kids, leaving him behind to fend for himself from the dark, hell-may-care burglars, who decide to burgle the house. Macaulay Culkin, who stars as Kevin McCallister, is more of a man than a kid. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern (the burglars) are hardcore criminals, who try to outsmart the kid with the purpose of robbing the house. However, in return, they get outwitted. The roller coaster ride of the excitement of Kevin McCalister outfoxing the adult cons is what thickens the plot and leaves one in splits. The story happens to be during the Christmas season and the festive decorative material provides for ample ammunition for the kid to send the burglars scurrying to safety, and eventually, behind the bars!

Polar Express (2004): This movie has an enticing narrative that never fails to appeal to the senses. Directed and produced by Robert Lee Zemeckis, the movie is based on a book written by Chris Van Allsburg with the same title. The film begins with the thundering train chugging into a little boy’s locality awakening him. The train conductor asks him to board the train as it is bound to the North Pole. Puzzled, the boy boards it. The train chugs through the boreal forests not for a moment stopping for wild beasts inhabiting the grounds. Arriving at the North Pole, the kid realises that there are countless elves helping Santa Claus pack his goodies. The entire scene is breathtaking. Providentially, the boy is chosen by Santa to receive a special gift. Unfortunately, the gift is lost on his way back home. But on the morrow when he wakes up, under the Christmas tree, the boy’s sister discovers a gift box, when he unwraps; the Santa’s gift is staring in his face. His eyes can’t hold the twinkle of joy!

Arthur Christmas (2012): This animated movie is a fine pick for the entire family. The storyline is that Santa’s klutzy son Arthur finds out that owing to a technical snag a little girl’s Christmas gift has been accidentally misplaced. He takes to heart this misdeed and wanders off on the mission to deliver it to the little girl before the dawn of Christmas. Accompanied by his ageing grandfather, an enthusiastic Elf, and a team of eight strapping, magical yet untutored reindeer, Arthur sets out to correct the wrongdoing. The animation is truly spectacular. The whole story is lit up with a bright, colourful display of characters and is magnificently modelled. The soundtrack is too rousing, making one dance and shout with glee at exuberant melodies.

Miracle on 34th street (1947/1994): This is one fine movie that pulls on the heartstrings. Though an old flick from the 1940s, the film was remade with popular stars like Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins, Dylan McDermott in the early ’90s. The major portion of the story was rewritten to sync with the changing times, but the plot and characters per se are retained. The film is largely about the belief in Santa Claus. It all starts off with an old man by name Kris Kringle filling the shoes of a Santa Claus who is inebriated. Stepping into his new role of Santa Claus Kringle takes part in the parade and becomes an instant hit. Dorey Walker, Director of Cole Departmental Store, decides to hire him as the main Santa Claus for the holiday season. Over the time, Kris Kringle claims he, in fact, is the real Santa Claus, casting serious misgivings about his mental state of mind. Faced with this dilemma, it’s on Dorey Walker (Elizabeth Perkins) and her boyfriend Bryan Bedford to proving to the world that he is the actually the Santa Claus. This twist in the movie is what keeps the viewers glued on. And the judge’s decision is what one eagerly looks forward to! A movie definitely worth a watch!

Scrooged (1988): This classic movie is a stylised, retelling of the tale ‘A Christmas Carol’, written by Charles Dickens, in a meticulous and yet comical manner. Directed by Richard Donner and written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’ Donoghue, the movie sees Bill Murray don the role of Frank Cross, an extremely selfish television executive. He is so self-centred that he prioritises material things over relationships. Relationships mean absolutely nothing to him. While he is tumbling down this rabbit hole of self-centred and egoistically cravings, he is visited by a succession of ghosts on Christmas Eve with the sole intent of reforming him and helping him regain his Christmas spirit. At times, you think Frank Cross has lost it all, but somehow you sense there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for this poor soul.

There’s something magical about Christmas movies that puts the sparkle in the eye and engulfs you in a rejuvenating spirit of Christmas. ‘The Santa Clause (1994)’, ‘ELF’, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ ‘Jingle All the Way’, ‘The Holiday Calendar’ are few other scintillating movies that make the Christmas season a beautiful time for building great relationships. Netflix is also streaming quite a number of movies and serials during this Christmas season, including ‘Christmas Chronicles’, ‘The Princess Switch’, ‘A Christmas Prince’ and few more. But one definitely needs to tread carefully since not all Christmas movies are for kids or youngsters and some might even contain unwarranted adult stuff. Anyway, there do exist countless decent kids’ Christmas movies on YouTube, Amazon Prime, Netflix and others that are sure to warm up the spirit! Happy viewings!

- Daniel Indrupati

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