Movies, the most-widely watched form of media caters to several people around the world. Movies help us peek into the directors’ vision, a vision that compels a class of audience and keeps them engaged. While some films purely entertain us, other films captivate our attention and leave us spellbound with memorable images and thought-provoking writing. Some films hypnotize us in the opening line, while the others give us a few parting words in the climax, that would be etched in our minds.
Sometimes they make us laugh through wit or through their perfect comic timing, sometimes they inspire, and sometimes they leave us with a lot to think about. It’s the character’s final words that often helps the audience remember him/her. With this, let’s take a look at Hollywood’s most memorable closing lines (in the order of the film’s genre) that have left a lasting impression on us.
P.S . Keep a box of tissues ready, as this list might leave you teary-eyed.
“This part of my life… this part right here. this is called ‘happiness’.”
This one is a heart-wrencher. It clearly justifies the saying ‘Faith in Humanity restored’. After facing the worst phase of his life that included a pain-staking job search, Christopher Gardner witnesses a stroke of good luck. Christopher’s hardwork pays-off with a handsomely paid job at a brokerage firm. As he walks on the sidewalk, surrounded by a crowd of successful stock brokers, he tears up – indicating that his plodding struggle is over, and his dream has finally been realized. It’s this kind of awe-inspiring moments that saw the movie win several hearts around the world.
‘’I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time… For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars… And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street… Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper… And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird… And Janie… And Janie… And… Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.’’
Lester Burnham’s sudden turnabout in the movie American Beauty is insightful – it gives us a deeper perspective on life. This monologue by Lester probably confirms the existential gratitude for all the little things he enjoyed in life, and letting go of the things that don’t matter. For those of you, who missed watching this film, are missing out on Kevin Spacey’s wonderfully descriptive voice-over.
American History X
‘We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.’
American History X highlights the story of a white supremacist who learns that his perspective is wrong, and tries to save his younger brother from following him. This monologue is portrayed in the form of a letter, as the closing lines to the essay Danny Vinyard wrote to his teacher Dr. Sweeney, as part of this subject course – American History X.
It is the first time in the film, that a line speaks about the racial tension in contemporary America. The first line speaks about the anger and prejudice that blocks one’s perception. The last line of this film emanates Abraham Lincoln’s speech, which reflects optimism and hope for a better tomorrow.
‘’With great powers comes great responsibility, this is my gift and curse. Who am I? I am Spider-Man.’’
A classic yet powerful quote uplifts a list like this, primarily because it comes from an iconic superhero like Spider-Man. Attributed to uncle Ben, making it all the more apt, coming from a man who died because his nephew Peter Parker misused his powers and didn’t stop a crime when he easily could’ve. This emotional scene appeared in the 2004 movie directed by Sam Raimi. But the fun fact here is, it didn’t directly appear in the comics. In fact, nobody mouthed these lines to Spider-Man. After handing over his uncle’s killer to the police, the caption box comments on the action, with the popular line – with great powers also comes great responsibility.
Silence of the Lambs
“I do wish we could chat longer, but I’m having an old friend for dinner.”
Arguably one of the most-ghastly psychopaths in cinema, Hannibal Lecter turns cannibalism into a skill. After a tedious cat and mouse chase between FBI officer Clarice Starling and Hannibal (The Cannibal) the serial killer eerily indicates that he is slipping back into the society to pin down his next victim. This film is a spine-chiller, we suggest you hold on to someone tight during the gory scenes, you know, just to make sure you aren’t Hannibal’s last victim.
”I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can’t remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world’s still there. Do I believe the world’s still there? Is it still out there? Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I’m no different.”
Memento got your attention faster than the others, most likely because it’s directed by the genius mastermind Christopher Nolan. Memento showcased the life of Leonard Shelby, a person suffering from short term memory loss, who tries to avenge the death of his wife. Retrospecting on the happier times spent with his lady love, the compelling narration will let you analyze your life and envision your future as well.
"My name’s Tom"
"Nice to meet you. I’m Autumn"
Based on the memories of the Tom Hansen’s failed relationship with a girl named Summer. After Tom recoups from a broken heart, he meets a girl who attends a job interview along with him. Soon after he makes a coffee date with her, and asks her name, Tom looks directly into the camera indicating that just like his ex-flame this too shall be a temporary relationship (just like the season, pun intended).
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau’s famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau’s, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau’s soon, hungry for more.
Apart from giving us colorful food scenes that kindled our appetite, the film featured one very predominant scene that curbed our emotional senses as well. The scene that undoubtedly got our attention is that of the food critic. After having been served a Ratatouille dish by Remy, the authoritarian food critic Anton Ego gets nostalgic recalling his childhood. The wonderfully depicted scene showcases the happy childhood experience of the Grinch, therefore, transporting the viewer to his world.
Toy Story 3
‘’So long partner’’
One of the most-emotional scenes that the Toy Story trilogy gave us is undoubtedly this one. As Andy decides to give Woody to Bonnie, your heart skips a beat, as the ending has already entranced you. As Andy waves good bye to Bonnie, she in turn raises Woody’s hand to wave bye. Andy gaps and says Thanks Guys, Woody says ‘’good bye partner’’. This flawless ending allows the most-loved Toy Story characters to signal farewell to their most-devoted fans as well.
As the farewell scene from the popular film Gladiator portrays Juba paying his final tribute to his friend Maximus he says, ‘’ I will see you again. But not yet, not yet.’’ Just like Juba, we wouldalso like to hint a ray of optimism as we leave. We’ll see you again soon, with a lot more memorable lines from the best movies Hollywood has given us. Do let us know what you thought of this list.