Pineapple Express, Dev D, Go Goa Gone: What to watch on 4/20 to 'unwind'
There is no complicated meaning behind the phrase '420' and the date 4/20 being associated with cannabis/weed/pot/ganja/green/doob — or whatever it is that you call marijuana.
It dates back to 1971, when a group of pot smoking American high school kids tried to find an abandoned weed crop in their school area. They'd meet at 4:20 pm every day for their sojourn, since.
Over time, college and school going kids would view 4:20 pm as a time associated with smoking weed. Classes would usually get over at 4 pm, and by 4:20 students/smokers would be ready to light their first joint. 20 April, since then, has become a counterculture holiday, given its numerical sign (in the US) is 4/20.
However, 20 April is an unassuming Thursday in India, and we still have work and other mundane things to do.
But if you're an Indian pot, um, enthusiast (or just like watching stoner flicks for their humour), here's a list of movies and TV shows to watch to celebrate all things marijuana.
The minute you have James Franco and Seth Rogen in one frame, you already know the film's is going to be a laugh riot. This crazy film (there's not other way to describe it) is, in our humble opinion, every pot lover's ideal film to watch. Let us explain why.
These two have done many hilarious films and TV shows together: Freaks and Geeks, The Interview, Sausage Party; but Pineapple Express is truly the sort of film that breaks structure, makes you roll off your chair laughing, makes you claim WTF! (several times) and yet has a plot to boast of (a lot of stoner films don't).
The film is a situational comedy about a particular strain of rare weed called Pineapple Express and how three smokers (and many others) get caught in a web of complicated but hilarious events.
Nobody can make you laugh the way Sacha Baron Cohen can.
From Ali G to Bruno to the Dictator, Cohen's alter egos have always caught immense media attraction, but when translated into films, they've eventually fizzled out beyond the characters. Borat is the only film that engages till the very end.
Firstly, the film's full name is this: Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Take a moment to let that sink in.
The film follows a Kazakhstani journalist as he visits the US for the first time and the cultural differences are at the core of this film's humour (after Sacha Baron Cohen of course). The most hilarious thing about the film is that a lot of scenes are real and not scripted. This is Cohen pretending to be Borat in real life and putting people in peculiar situations, only to film it.
The one and only web series in this list is reserved for a very special show — HBO's High Maintenance.
What started as a 10 minute YouTube series, eventually was picked up by HBO and made into a season long show with six episodes each. The series is shot and based in Brooklyn, New York, and graphs an unnamed man who delivers pot to various people in the city.
In each episode, we meet someone new, and equally enthralling. We meet a cross-dressing screen writer, a recovering Meth addict, a mushrooms dealer from Australia, and an agoraphobic — all have our delivery man in common. Creator of the show, Ben Sinclair, who writes, directs and acts in it, speaks about High Maintenance in much detail in this Rolling Stone interview, in which he says the basis of the show was this: "The weed delivery guy is the only stranger you let inside your home."
This Is The End
This Is The End is every stoner's fantasy movie — not just because it stars all the pot-smoking/comedy geniuses in one film (James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and a host of other familiar faces including Rihanna and Emma Watson) — or because it references to a Jim Morrison song, but because it's a disaster, comedy movie that really justifies the phrase: "that escalated quickly".
The film focuses on a bunch of Hollywood actors who get stuck in a house as the world faces an apocalypse. All the actors play fictionalised versions of themselves in the film. Fun fact: the film's trailer was released on April Fool's Day 2013 as a sequel to Pineapple Express.
There had to be a serious film in this. But the reason Anurag Kashyap's Dev D is in a list of stoner films is because the experience of watching this film sober vs stoned is completely different. Trust us, we've tried. When you watch Dev D sober, it tells you the story of an egotistical drunkard who washes away his life by indulging in wasted opportunities.
When you watch this film stoned, however, it gives you several new perspectives to the age old story of Devdas. At first you realise how subversive this film is to the characters of Devdas, Paro and Chandramukhi. This can especially be seen in Kalki's character, whose story is told also from the perspective of the MMS scandal from Delhi Public School.
Unlike Bhansali's Devdas (which was essentially SRK porn), Dev D is told from three perspectives: Abhay Deol's Dev, Mahie Gill's Paro and Kalki Koechlin's Chanda. The film plays with music, colours and structure of story-telling, to give us a truly contemporary take on a fairly one dimensional (and rather moralistic) story.
Go Goa Gone
One of the main reasons why Raj and D.K's Go Goa Gone was so relatable is that it could have happened to any one of us. Here are three boys who go to Goa for a break, and end up attending a rave. In the morning, those who take a mysterious new pill turn into zombies, and the adventure begins. Kunal Khemu, Vir Das and Anand Tiwari fit the bill perfectly as the aimless protagonists who get caught among flesh-eating zombies in a marooned island in Goa.
Also, Saif Ali Khan's cameo as a Russian mobster (who's actually a Delhiite) is worth all the whistles. Great film to watch on a Sunday afternoon to unwind.
Happy 420 guys!