Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Favourite Dialogues

Owing to overwhelming pressure from the ardent followers of this blog, I am compelled to write this post. Ah, wishful thinking!!! Ok, now that I’m done indulging myself, let me tell the real reason to write this post. Some days back a couple of my colleagues were discussing some film dialogue, and I knew this post was long due. So here goes my list of favourite dialogues, of course the ones that I remember at the moment. Some of them are not even spoken dialogues but voiceover, but what the heck! And please do add your favourite/s.

The Thin Red Line

(VO)What's this war in the heart of nature ?
Why does nature vie with itself?.
The land contend with the sea?
ls there an avenging power in nature?
Not one power, but two?

A very powerful opening shot which sets the tone of the film.


John Laroche: Point is, what's so wonderful is that every one of these flowers has a specific relationship with the insect that pollinates it. There's a certain orchid look exactly like a certain insect so the insect is drawn to this flower, its double, its soul mate, and wants nothing more than to make love to it. And after the insect flies off, spots another soul-mate flower and makes love to it, thus pollinating it. And neither the flower nor the insect will ever understand the significance of their lovemaking. I mean, how could they know that because of their little dance the world lives? But it does. By simply doing what they're designed to do, something large and magnificent happens. In this sense they show us how to live -- how the only barometer you have is your heart. How, when you spot your flower, you can't let anything get in your way.

So lucid, so beautiful. Charlie Kauffman is a genius of geniuses.

Taxi Driver

Travis Bickle: You talkin' to me?

One line which became part of modern pop culture. Travis Bickle. The most flawed superhero of all times, and Robert DeNiro, the boss, the god! The combination couldn’t have been any more smouldering.

Full Metal Jacket

Private Joker: A day without blood is like a day without sunshine.

Private Joker: I wanted to see exotic Vietnam... the crown jewel of Southeast Asia. I wanted to meet interesting and stimulating people of an ancient culture... and kill them. I wanted to be the first kid on my block to get a confirmed kill!

Crazy Earl: These are great days we're living, bros. We are jolly green giants, walking the Earth with guns. These people we wasted here today are the finest human beings we will ever know. After we rotate back to the world, we're gonna miss not having anyone around that's worth shooting.

Each of the cold-blooded dialogues are a testament to the horror of the war. Each dialogue a smack on the face, a kick in the gut.

Maine Pyar Kiya

Jeevan: Ek ladka-ladki kabhi dost nahi hotey. yeh toh ek pardaa hai pardaa, kapkapaati raaton me, dhadakte huye dilon ki bhadakti hui aag ko bujhaneka, chhupaneka.

Long before he turned it into a mass movement, Ram Sene chief sat down in a dingy room and wrote those historic lines. A true lesson in Indian sanskaar, this.


Kuldeep: Jab who namaaz padhti thi toh dil karta tha ki mussalman ban jaaun.

When you think you’ll heard and read every possible way to say I am in love, Gulzar goes ahead and writes something and you go, ‘wow’!


Yeh bacchhon ke khelne ki cheez nahi, haath kat jaaye toh khoon nikal aata hai.

Long before I cared to notice that Raj Kumar was not exactly a great actor, I was floored by his style. Ok, it was a rub-off of my elder brother idolizing him, and I was only idolizing my elder brother by following his likes and dislikes. But Raj Kumar surely had style.


Renton: So why did I do it? I could offer a million answers, all false. The truth is that I'm a bad person, but that's going to change, I'm going to change. This is the last of this sort of thing. I'm cleaning up and I'm moving on, going straight and choosing life. I'm looking forward to it already. I'm going to be just like you: the job, the family, the fucking big television, the washing machine, the car, the compact disc and electrical tin opener, good health, low cholesterol, dental insurance, mortgage, starter home, leisurewear, luggage, three-piece suite, DIY, game shows, junk food, children, walks in the park, nine to five, good at golf, washing the car, choice of sweaters, family Christmas, indexed pension, tax exemption, clearing the gutters, getting by, looking ahead, to the day you die.

Andaaz Apna Apna

Gogo: Crime-Master Gogo naam hai mera. Aankhen Nikal ke Gotiyan Kheloonga, gotiyaan.

Juvenile and over-the-top it is, but I laugh my head off every time I watch this film and every time I hear this dialogue. And I do watch it every time it’s on TV.


Oh Dae-su: If you stand aimlessly at a phone booth on a rainy day, and meet a man whose face is covered by a violet umbrella, I'd suggest that you get close to the TV.

Without the context the dialogue might not seem as important, but it holds the key to the plot. It is almost funny but heartbreakingly so.


Bulla: Mera naam hai Bulla, rakhta hoon main hamesha khulla!

You may not have heard of Kanti Shah and his contribution to Indian cinema. He is not your regular V. Shantaram, Gurudutt, Raj Kapoor or even Manmohan Desia, Farah Khan or Vishal Bhardwaj. He is not the ‘face’ of Indian cinema, but the smelly ass of it, which most of you hoity-toity people so snobbishly turn your nose up at. But Kanti Shah and his film are, without doubt pure genius, and Gunda his crowning jewel!! As mithun Da would say, “Koi Shaq”!!

As good as it gets

Melvin Udall: You make me want to be a better man.

I know it’s soppy. But rolling off Jack Nicholson’s caustic tongue, it’s something else.

Reservoir Dogs

Mr. Brown: Let me tell you what 'Like a Virgin' is about. It's all about a girl who digs a guy with a big dick. The entire song. It's a metaphor for big dicks.
Mr. Blonde: No, no. It's about a girl who is very vulnerable. She's been fucked over a few times. Then she meets some guy who's really sensitive...
Mr. Brown: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa... Time out Greenbay. Tell that fucking bullshit to the tourists.
Joe: Toby... Who the fuck is Toby? Toby...
Mr. Brown: 'Like a Virgin' is not about this sensitive girl who meets a nice fella. That's what "True Blue" is about, now, granted, no argument about that.
Mr. Orange: Which one is 'True Blue'? Nice Guy Eddie: 'True Blue' was a big ass hit for Madonna. I don't even follow this Tops In Pops shit, and I've at least heard of "True Blue".
Mr. Orange: Look, asshole, I didn't say I ain't heard of it. All I asked was how does it go? Excuse me for not being the world's biggest Madonna fan.
Mr. Blonde: Personally, I can do without her.
Mr. Blue: I like her early stuff. You know, 'Lucky Star', 'Borderline' - but once she got into her 'Papa Don't Preach' phase, I don't know, I tuned out.
Mr. Brown: Hey, you guys are making me lose my... train of thought here. I was saying something, what was it?
Joe: Oh, Toby was this Chinese girl, what was her last name?
Mr. White: What's that?
Joe: I found this old address book in a jacket I ain't worn in a coon's age. What was that name?
Mr. Brown: What the fuck was I talking about?
Mr. Pink: You said 'True Blue' was about a nice girl, a sensitive girl who meets a nice guy, and that 'Like a Virgin' was a metaphor for big dicks.
Mr. Brown: Lemme tell you what 'Like a Virgin' is about. It's all about this cooze who's a regular fuck machine, I'm talking morning, day, night, afternoon, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick.
Mr. Blue: How many dicks is that? Mr. White: A lot.
Mr. Brown: Then one day she meets this John Holmes motherfucker and it's like, whoa baby, I mean this cat is like Charles Bronson in the 'Great Escape', he's digging tunnels. Now, she's gettin' the serious dick action and she's feeling something she ain't felt since forever. Pain. Pain.
Joe: Chew? Toby Chew?
Mr. Brown: It hurts her. It shouldn't hurt her, you know, her pussy should be Bubble Yum by now, but when this cat fucks her it hurts. It hurts just like it did the first time. You see the pain is reminding a fuck machine what it once was like to be a virgin. Hence, 'Like a Virgin'.

Just a bunch of crooks rambling away to each other, but there’s so much more happening there in the conversation. A riveting scene from the master of long-winding dialogues.

Kill Bill Vol II

Bill: A staple of the superhero mythology is there's the superhero and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When that character wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic Superman stands alone. Superman didn't become Superman. Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent....What Kent wears - the glasses, the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself, he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race.

Another piece of classic Tarantino. The dialogue is self-explanatory, I needn’t add more.

Meghe Dhaka Tara(Cloud-capped star)

Neeta: Dada, ami baachte chai (Brother, I want to live)

Ok, I am a big sucker for melodrama. But I cannot imagine a single soul who will not be stirred by this scene and this dialogue. It is brilliantly portrayed and is disturbingly heartbreaking. You have to watch it to know what I am talking about. In a confirmation of the popularity of Meghe Dhaka Tara, a recent survey by a leading Indian news group reported that this concluding line of the film was the most well-known line of any film.

Agantuk(The Stranger)

Manmohan Mitra: Aami oder moton Bison aankte paarina( I cannot draw bison like them)

‘Them’ here refers to the people who drew animals in the ancient Altamira caves of Spain. Dialogues are often mirror to a character. And very rarely a director or writer’s work can capture a personality in just one sentence dialogue. Satyajit Ray was one man who could so wonderfully do it. In this one dialogue, he successfully captures the angst of a man who has seen it all, been there-done that, yet is aware how little it is compared to the genius of so called primitive cave-dwellers.


Overthinker said...

your love for cinema amazes me everytime. the collection sprayed out here makes a fantastic read for those who missed out on some, at the same time serving as a reminder for those who jus watch and forget.

keep em coming.

sheehij said...

what? no sholay dialogues? :p

Anirban Mahapatra said...

Hey Vims, selecto excellento!! All the way down to the un-short-changeable Khulla Bulla (okay, I must confess I didn't hear of him earlier... but what the heck!!)

Parting shot from my end:

Apocalypse Now:

Captain Kilgore:

"You smell that? Do you smell that? Napalm, son. Nothing else in the world smells like that. I love the smell of napalm in the morning. You know, one time we had a hill bombed, for twelve hours. When it was all over I walked up. We didn't find one of 'em, not one stinkin' dink body. The smell, you know that gasoline smell, the whole hill. Smelled like... victory."

Bring em on, more...

Goldbug said...

i love this post. you should do it in installments as u keep remembering more! i can't believe you put kapkapati raaton dhadakte dilon.., etc here. I thought i was the only one who appreciated the overwhelming adjectivititis of it!

Goldbug said...

Never love a wild thing... you can't give your heart to a wild thing: the more you do, the stronger they get. Until they're strong enough to run into the woods. Or fly into a tree. Then a taller tree. Then the sky. That's how you'll end up... If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky.
— Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's

vimsical said...

@Overthinker: Yeah, i am thinking of next installment.

@Sheehij: Sholay dialogues..too many, too overused!

Anirban: There's something about the dialogues of war movies. There's always a commentary there, a sad mockery of the futility of war. Thanks for a good dialogue.

@Goldbug: Yeah, I love em all..the good, the bad and the ugly! And yeah, you seriously can't miss the...as you put it..adjectivitis of the dialogue. Some guy has written it and been as proud of himself as we are.
And a very poignat dialogue. And yeah, i plan to have another installment now. So look out! :P

overturned blue shoe said...

Nice collection!
Among others mine would be from Clockwork Orange, 'Whats it going to be then, eh?'