If you are a movie buff, you have always wished to witness firsthand, the release of the greatest classics cinema the world has ever seen. Of course, I wasn't born then, but I’d like to elaborate on why I wish so. This is a brief draft on the most critically acclaimed films released in the year 1994.
The head start was "Speed" that was released on the 10th of June. "Speed" is about the consequences that follow after a crazy bomber implants an explosive device in a bus, that would go off based on the speed of the vehicle. Today it may look like a typical and a rather clichéd action film - nevertheless, it was my childhood favorite. The film has an excellent premise that an action film requires and the subsequent two hours are gripping, intense and fast-paced.
Next in line was Forrest Gump, released on 23rd June. In contrast to the action in Speed, this movie takes us on an emotional roller coaster and leaves us in a pensive state. The iconic dialogue “ Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are gonna get." is very apt to describe the film as it is packed with surprises. The film explores the life of Forrest, a person with marginal IQ, covering 30 years of tumultuous American history. The film gives you a fair share of joy, sorrow and comedy. On the whole, it subtly encourages you, and the feeling you get at the end is priceless. The performance given by Tom Hanks as Forrest never gets out of your mind.
Considering Oscar-calibre films on one side, we can’t ignore fun-filled, light-hearted films like Baby’s Day Out on the other side. The movie revolves around an adorably smart baby, kidnapped by three not-so-smart, amateur, wannabe kidnappers. The events that ensue are hilarious. Baby's Day Out was tremendously popular in India. It was played at the largest theatre in Calcutta for over a year. Recalling a trip to Calcutta, a prominent film critic Roger Ebert said, "I asked if Star Wars had been their most successful American film. No, I was told, it was Baby's Day Out". Amidst hardcore and artful content, films like these make us relax, take a breath and simply enjoy!
In September 1994, we saw the release of The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction, my personal favourites. Stephen King’s The Shawshank Redemption is also, undeniably one of the greatest films ever made. The film is about the prison life of Andy Dufresne, who gets falsely accused of his wife’s murder. It is a film which easily stands the test of time and the kind which makes you want to re-watch it. At first, you appreciate the movie as it is. But every time you re-watch it, you tend to fall in love with the exquisite craftsmanship and the nuanced screenplay. The poetic dialogues and the strong impactful characters are one of the prime reasons for the film’s stature. Initially, the film turned out to be a box office flop, owing to various reasons. The primary logic was that the film was being overshadowed by numerous successful films released at the same time. Later, it went on to receive multiple award nominations, including seven Academy Award which led to a theatrical re-release which helped in its late success.
We have Quentin Tarantino's critically acclaimed Pulp Fiction which is no short of the gore and violence that he is known for. Pulp Fiction is a black comedy film hyperlinking various characters of the plot. How the sequences are non-linearly ordered is the exciting factor of the film. The film is broadly metaphorical and philosophical in the ideologies of the characters. The individual stories are intricately woven and are a completely fresh movie, one of whose kind we haven’t witnessed before. There are films where we see majestic action blocks made using high-intensity graphics. But a film like Pulp Fiction makes us understand how a single gunshot can be so impactful and can create a greater impact than an expensive CGI can.
With the power-packed action in Speed, heartwarming emotions of Forrest Gump, the eternally entertaining Baby’s Day Out, deeply satisfying Shawshank Redemption and the beautifully narrated Pulp Fiction,1994 provides us with an artful treat. In all aspects, 1994 is a magical year for cinema with several films that we would cherish for years to come.