Good films have the power to broaden viewers' horizons and introduce them to a new cinematic language. For some, they're even the life-altering push they needed to reconsider their careers or shape them in new and exciting ways. Aditya Roy Kapur, Karan Johar, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Sonali Bendre and Bobby Deol talk about the films that changed their lives:
I don't know if it changed my life, but it definitely sent me down a path on which I find myself today. My favourite film of all time is Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) because it's just the best film of all time. I watched it when I was a little boy and I've seen it 50 times ever since. There's a scene in the film in which Arnold Schwarznegger gets to the window and fires this big gun at the chopper. Now I find myself 20-25 years later with the same gun in my hand. So it's had to have changed my life.
It might be too drastic to say that this film changed my life but it definitely altered the way I was thinking and made me feel like I must be a filmmaker. I saw a screening of Hum Aapke Hai Koun…! (1994) at the Rajshree office. It was a tiny preview theatre and while I was watching it, I was like, 'Oh my god, I want to make movies.' I walked out and held Suraj Barjatya's hand and said, 'Your film was like sunshine.' That sunshine had shown me the route ahead. It made a big difference to what I wanted to do in my life and career. It was life-altering.
A film that has stayed with me for a very, very long time is the Iranian film A Separation (2011), directed by Asghar Farhadi. I still remember when I watched it for the first time – I was blown away by the performances, the way the relationships were depicted was beautiful. It's a film I really love. When I watched Jab We Me (2007), I was in awe of how Kareena Kapoor was able to create this memorable character and just hit you right in the heart. When I watched that film in the theatre, I thought to myself, 'Maybe I'd like to act someday.' So a bit of that seed was sown. Mirzapur and Guilty Minds have both been very rewarding for my career, so those have changed my life too.
It's mostly been books that have changed my life, but if I had to choose a film, it would have to be my first film, or the first film I started working on, Naaraaz (1994), with Mahesh Bhatt. It really changed my life.
The work that really changed my life was the web series Aashram. Baba Nirala is the most difficult character I've ever played. The kind of love and appreciation I got for playing a negative character was something I never imagined. I'm very grateful to (director) Prakash Jha for giving me the opportunity to be a part of Aashram.