Film Class with Dr. Asokan: My top five
In both pharmacy school and in residency, my view has always been that “nothing productive happens after 7 pm on a Friday night.” For those of you eagle-eyed readers out there, that is definitely a reference to an episode of How I Met Your Mother titled “Nothing good happens after 2 am.”
I grew up loving film and TV, not only because of the escapism, but more so the amazing stories they told. Within minutes you could be transported to a different world where you can exist as a fly on the wall, watching protagonists go through their hero’s journey. Film provided me with a different type of support and understanding that sometimes real people could not.
There are many films that have impacted my life, and I provide my top 5 below. Check them out when you have some free time to de-stress.
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight really opened my eyes to both great filmmaking (thank you Christopher Nolan) and just the awesomeness of Batman. It was my foray into the superhero genre back when those movies were few and far between. The Batman (2022) with Robert Pattinson keeps that same spirit with great film making, an excellent story, and an especially broody Bruce Wayne who has not yet accepted that his true mask is the one he wears as a billionaire, playboy, philanthropist.
Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (2022)
This movie quite simply deserves every single award. The acting, messaging, and absolute absurdity of this film was a joy to watch from start to finish. Apart from the multiversal web the story spins, the story itself is grounded as it expands on the various nuances of the first-generation Asian American experience, which I wholly related to.
The Father (2020)
This film affected me in many ways. Through my pharmacy education, a disease state that particularly terrified me was Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. The simple fact that as we grow older, our memories start to fade and we can forget the familiar is a terrifying concept. In this film, you witness a father slowly succumb to his disease as he struggles to hold on to reality. This film is jarring, emotional, and of course, well produced. Similarly, I recommend Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004).
In Bruges (2008)
I enjoy organized chaos and In Bruges is exactly that. It follows two hit men after a botched job to a small town, Bruges, where they must lay low before getting home. There are misunderstandings, endearing character work, and the wittiest dialogue I have seen in a while. This black comedy is a great, snappy film to watch! Similarly, I recommend Snatch (2000) or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005).
Apart from dramas and thrillers, I also enjoy a good horror or psychological horror film. This movie fits that bill to a tee. I ran across this movie randomly, and its storytelling and mood are pitch perfect. Buckle up, the movie plays with time and that’s all I’ll say! Similarly, I recommend Primer (2004).
Aneesh Asokan, PharmD, MBA, is the Board of Pharmacy Specialties resident at APhA in Washington, DC. He enjoys learning about association management and the credentialing of pharmacists. Outside of residency, he enjoys exploring DC, going to concerts, and cooking new cuisines.