5 movies Richa Moorjani of Never Have I Ever fame wants you to watch
From rom-coms to fantasy sci-fi
As Kamala, protagonist Devi’s (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) seemingly perfect cousin from India, Richa Moorjani gives us a couple of Never Have I Ever’s funniest scenes. The culture shock a naive Kamala faces while watching Riverdale had us LOL-ing, while hoping she too musters the courage to stand up to her controlling family and marry a man of her choice.
California-born Richa Moorjani beat out 15,000 applicants from a global casting call to bag the role of the gorgeous, overachieving cousin in the web series. Hailing from a family of performing artists, Richa took to acting early on, even performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival while in high school. She went on to studying theatre and dance and is a trained Kathak dancer.
Here, Richa Moorjani recommends five movies that each hold a special meaning for her:
Being a Kathak dancer who grew up in California, this epic film became the ultimate form of escapism for me. I’ve always felt so connected to this movie and have probably performed dances to the songs over 100 times since it came out, even learning some of the original choreography from Pandit Birju Maharajji himself in a workshop several years ago. The stunning set designs, elaborate costumes, music/dance, poetic dialogues and of course acting by some of my greatest inspirations (Madhuri Dixit, Aishwarya Rai and Sharukh Khan) cemented my dream to become an actor. Ishhhhh!
I was deeply touched by and resonated with the unique, quirky and sweet character of Amelie who goes out of her way to help and do random acts of kindness for those around her, while accidentally discovering love along the way. Shot entirely in Paris with French actors, it’s a wonderful example of how universal themes and emotions like empathy, compassion and love transcend all language/cultural barriers. My favourite quote: “You’ll never be a vegetable, even artichokes have hearts.”
I can quote pretty much every line in this movie. It’s my favoruite comedy, not just because of the fact that there are so few great female-centric comedies with heart, but the movie’s genius lies in the relatable moments like the uncomfortably competitive speech by the bride’s two best friends. “I feel like I can just communicate with you through a look…”. Slow clap.
The simply brilliant visuals and magical world created by James Cameron, combined with the strong spiritual message about the interconnectedness of all beings and things makes this film not just a work of art, but an important reminder of how imagination and storytelling can shift consciousness. The famous phrase, “I see you” speaks to our essential and basic human need to feel more than just acknowledged, but truly witnessed on a soul level. I can keep watching this movie over and over again, and never get tired of it.
The Little Prince (2015)
My husband and I watched this endearing and delightfully profound film (based on a French children’s book) when we first started dating, and we bonded over the powerful ideas conveyed about the importance of always living with a sense of childlike wonder and valuing human connection over all else. The extraordinarily creative stop motion animation combined with a score by the one and only Hans Zimmer gives the film a magical feeling while heightening the deep lessons woven throughout the story. It is nothing short of an artistic masterpiece. A quote I now live by told by the character of The Fox: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Photographs: Pavithra Ramasubramanian