A to Z of Films Meme (K)

Everybody’s sin is nobody’s sin. And everybody’s crime is no crime at all.

K

Kinsey

Being from the land of Kama­su­tra, but liv­ing in the era of moral polic­ing, Kin­sey was like a breath of fresh air. Dr. Alfred Kin­sey was the world’s first mod­ern sex­ol­o­gist, and a lot of today’s knowl­edge of our sex­u­al­i­ty was the direct result of his sem­i­nal work.Kinsey

It was a time when every­one accept­ed that mas­tur­ba­tion was harm­ful, but did it any­way. An era where every­one accept­ed that mis­sion­ary style sex with one’s spouse was the only ‘per­mis­si­ble’ sex, but engaged in oral and homo­sex­u­al sex any­way. It was a soci­ety of hypocrisy and it took one intel­li­gent sci­en­tist, who could be detached from sex and study human beings as a bio­log­i­cal species, to open­ly pub­lish that the Emper­or wore no clothes.

Kin­sey was an unusu­al and dif­fi­cult man, focused like a laser beam on his research, blind to every­thing else around him. After col­lect­ing and study­ing 1 mil­lion wasps, he acci­den­tal­ly stum­bled on study­ing human sex­u­al­i­ty. His detach­ment was instru­men­tal in mak­ing peo­ple reveal their per­son­al sex lives in his sur­veys. He and his team of researchers inter­viewed thou­sands of Amer­i­cans over sev­er­al years and laid bare shock­ing sta­tis­tics that showed homo­sex­u­al­i­ty, promis­cu­ity, and ‘non-stan­dard’ sex­u­al behav­ior to be ram­pant in con­ser­v­a­tive Amer­i­ca.

The movie brings to life an intel­li­gent but impos­si­ble man, often extreme in his ways, and makes us root for him. Despite the gay direc­tor mak­ing this film in times when gay rights is a hot issue in the US, it nei­ther focus­es undu­ly on it, nor is heavy-hand­ed about it. Liam Nee­son is out­stand­ing in his sen­si­tive por­tray­al as is Lau­ra Lin­ney, who plays the lov­ing, under­stand­ing wife who learns how to live with this dif­fi­cult hus­band.

The film’s final achieve­ment is that despite the provoca­tive and seri­ous sub­ject, it is a thor­ough­ly enter­tain­ing film, with its share of laughs and humor.

KanoonRunner Up

Kanoon

A grip­ping court­room dra­ma, a psy­cho­log­i­cal thriller, India’s first talkie film with no song and dance sequence. B. R. Chopra direct­ed this off-beat film in 1960, at a time when a suc­cess­ful sound­track and hit songs were con­sid­ered a must in Indi­an cin­e­ma. The anec­dote goes that Chopra was at a for­eign film fes­ti­val when he over­heard some­one remark­ing that Indi­ans could not make a film with­out song and dance num­bers.

A mur­der case where the bur­glar accused of the mur­der is defend­ed by a lawyer who is the prospec­tive son-in-law of the judge. The twist is that this lawyer is wit­ness to the judge him­self com­mit­ting the crime. Though the cli­max seems trite today, the movie nev­er­the­less enter­tains with good deal of sus­pense. Fine per­for­mances by Ashok Kumar and Rajen­dra Kumar as the judge and lawyer.

Noteworthy Mention

Koshish (Attempt), the life of a deaf-and-dumb cou­ple in India. Read my review here.

Khamosh, a mur­der mys­tery ahead of its times in Bol­ly­wood, direct­ed by Vid­hu Vin­od Chopra.

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  • Ah, I like your selec­tion Mahen­dra!

    I often quote the Kin­sey scale while edu­cat­ing peo­ple who are unaware of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty or sex­u­al­i­ty in gen­er­al. I think the movie is made very nice­ly and has a good blend of the­o­ry, humor, ‘adven­tur­ous’ social behav­ior etc. The oth­er movie I liked and was part of many scary dreams was Khamosh. If I remem­ber, the movie has no songs. For a long time I was skep­ti­cal about house­boats and I swore I’ll nev­er live on one. hehe­he!

  • Mahen­dra, Kanoon is one of my favourites too. This was one of the few films where Rajen­dra Kumar at least made an effort to act. You didn’t men­tion Nan­da, she had a small but impor­tant role to play.

  • JagChan

    Mr Mahen­dra,
    As you right­ly men­tioned, Kanoon was released some­where in 1960.
    At that time Nands was 20–25 years old.
    In the pic­ture Nan­da was Ashok Kumars daugh­ter and Rajen­dra Kumar was prospec­tive Son-in-Law.
    You for­got to men­tion Nand Pal­sikar, who gave a ster­ling per­fo­mance in the movie.
    Regards.

  • Dev

    Have watched nei­ther of the first two..thanks for the recomem­n­da­tions..

  • I’ve seen your note­wor­thy men­tion but not the oth­ers. Filed those oth­er names away!

  • Anand

    I had not com­ment­ed on (K) because I have not seen any of the movies that you list­ed. Plus I didn’t think of any rec­om­men­da­tions… until today 🙂

    I can’t believe that I couldn’t remem­ber Kaagaz Ke Phool.