Khalid Mohamed

Film critic

Voted for

Mouchette1966Robert Bresson
Pather Panchali1955Satyajit Ray
Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
Citizen Kane1941Orson Welles
Taxi Driver1976Martin Scorsese
Some Like It Hot1959Billy Wilder
La dolce vita1960Federico Fellini
Rashomon1950Akira Kurosawa
All about My Mother1999Pedro Almodóvar



1966 France

Unforgettable account of a world without love and compassion. Nadine Noitier adheres to the Bressonian acting principle, almost an automaton after she is violated. The end scene of her suicide strikes one as heart-wrenchingly inevitable. The visuals against a pastoral backdrop, the mise en scene are harrowingly powerful. The film has stayed with me ever since it was made, and don't have the courage to see it again. Au Hasard Balthazar, L'Argent and Une Femme Douce are equally impactful but Mouchette is the one that has the most lacerating power.

Pather Panchali

1955 India

Humane cinema, a force of nature from India as it looks at a rural family which faces tragedies as well as stolen moments of happiness and togetherness. The performance by the old woman, the grandma of the children, is especially remarkable, she didn't live long enough to see the film. That apart, the influence of Jean Renoir and at the same time, a fierce originality in its black-and-white visuals...achieved at a negligible budget, still make it stand out as the best Indian film ever made which moved viewers around the world globally.


1958 USA

The master of suspense has given us entertaining whodunits and thrillers galore. Vertigo, its colours especially the use of red, the strange chemistry between James Stewart and Kim Novak, the use of locales, and the concise climax, make it a favorite which expand on every viewing.

Citizen Kane

1941 USA

Stunning biopic, inspired by the life of media baron Hearst, Welles here is at his most playful and yet almost true-to-life, while making spectators wait for the discovery of the meaning of "Rosebud". Topical in terms of media manipulation today, Welles plays the lead role, a larger than life, with utter conviction. The many-layered script, of course, is a masterpiece.

Taxi Driver

1976 USA

The seams and folds of America are investigated by Scorsese with a New Yorker's knowingness. The neurotic, Travis Bickle, the taxi driver, is at the same time unsettling and relatable to. Technically, innovative, the solo scenes of Robert De Niro ("You talking to me?") have achieved a deserved cult status.

Some Like It Hot

1959 USA

An American comedy that is so naturally laugh out loud that my jaws ache after repeated screenings. The screenplay is a riot. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are superb counterpoints to one another. There is something wisftul about Marilyn Monroe doing her act of a dumb blonde...and yet you're no other actor would have suited the role better. The closing shot is a stroke of tongue in cheek genius.


1960 India

20 years in the making, here's an apocryphal opus about the doomed love story of a Mughal Prince and a courtesan Anarkali magnificently portrayed by Madhubala. A musical, it can boast of an imperishable score by Naushad. Shades of an Eisensteinian influence can be detected. .Asif could never equal this labour of love of his, with every penny of the huge resources spend on the ornate sets, sumptuous costumes and poetic dialogue in chaste Urdu, which has practically vanished from the Bollywood films of today.

La dolce vita

1960 Italy, France

The high society viewed through the eyes of a cynical reporter, it is packed with authentic characters who derive pleasure from the hedonistic night life of Rome. Funny and melancholic by turns, Marcello Mastroinanni is flawless. And that Anita Ekberg cameo by the fountain side sums up the bittersweet shenanigans of the bougeoisie and the upper class which inhabit this intricately plotted masterwork.


1950 Japan

Way ahead of its time, the Japanese Rashomon set the template for multiple interpretations of a single incident. Dazzlingly photographed in black-and-white, it set the path for Kurosawa's just status as one of the greatest and uncompromising director of film history.

All about My Mother

1999 Spain, France

An affecting saga about a mother who loses her son in an accident, and is compelled to unfold her past life which bravely and unflinchingly takes on the place of transgenders in normal society. Spain's Almodovar's use of colours, sets, costumes, poignant dialogue has remained one of a kind.

Further remarks