“Movies are like an expensive form of therapy for me” said the famous director Tim Burton. Although he meant it from the perspective of the making of a film, this stands true for most of us who have access to movies. Which is almost all of us! In times of helplessness and gloom, it is this very piece of cinematic content that comes to our rescue to help port us to an universe filled with dreams and fantasies. A universe that’s a little more comforting than the one we live in, thus making us a little more accepting of our reality. For the better that is! So, here’s a list of 20 such films that’ll help you feel a little more positive during this time of hardship. This too shall pass!
The Gods must be crazy holds a very special place in my heart for being one of those movies from my childhood that my family and I used to sit together and watch. This comedy on how a bunch of tribal bushmen living in interior Africa deal with a Coca-Cola bottle dropped from an airplane thinking that it’s a utensil of the gods, is everything that you need to bring a smile on your face during this difficult time!
Everything is Illuminated shows is a film that talks about the power of human bonds across cultures and geographical boundaries. A young american Jew on his quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather during the holocaust, goes through a journey of self discovery and friendship thus getting closer to his own roots.
“You're changing that boy's life.”
“No. He's changing mine.”
And that’s what this movie is about. Michael, a homeless African-American teenager, is adopted by a woman and her family who help him excel in American football. This heartwarming story teaches us how one friendly gesture can often change more than just one life!
If you’ve had that one teacher that changed the way you look at life and education, then this is the movie for you. An accomplished sports writer decides to take some time off his busy schedule to go and revisit Mr. Morrie, his former university professor. Their reconnection through conversations about love, happiness and death, will sure make you feel more grateful!
In a world that tries to fit us into boxes by restricting us from using our superhuman power of imagination and exploration, Forrest - a man with low IQ, teaches us the art of living and letting live. Comedy meets life in this film that makes you laugh your heart off while shedding a few drops of happy tears.
Sometimes a little time for introspection is all that one needs, to value their existence. Chuck Nolan happens to get this time after he survives a deadly plane crash only to be stranded on an island by himself. This film not only gives us a sense of the difficulties of being stranded alone but also the importance of life that we often take for granted.
If you thought love was one emotion, wait till you watch this film and have your notions shattered as the filmmaker takes you through a complex journey. A journey of two people trying to forget their love, unable to put up with the pain of drifting apart from each other. This film tells you it’s okay to not have everything figured out. It gives you a new hope every time you watch it again and visually depicts how beautiful chaos is.
Based on a heart-warming true story, Patch Adams is about a doctor who aims to treat patients using humour. Everybody around him in the medical community is very against the idea of an emotional bonding with the patients. However, Patch is Adam-ant that his technique is worth taking a chance for, thus introducing the world to the brilliant concept of Hospital Clowns.
What if aliens were never scary beings? What if they had feelings? What if they, like us, lived off of emotions, language and bonding? What if we can actually befriend them? What if a linguistic expert and her team had to teach foreign beings the language of human communication inorder to understand their purpose of visiting our country? Five What ifs and one movie, Arrival is a film about bonding beyond space and time.
“I can always tell when adults are about to cry.”
No matter what the status or the condition of the family is, kids have this magical tendency to make any place their own and beautify it with their fantasies and imagination. The Florida Project talks about the harsh reality of kids that have to live in poor economic conditions, through the perspective of these very kids that don’t let it affect their childhood.
A major part of our nostalgia is associated with the shows and cartoons that we used to watch as kids. The ones that always made us sing along with a bright smile on our faces. This film is about a reluctant reporter’s journey covering an article about one Mr. Rogers, a kind hearted man who runs a TV show for little kids.
“This piece will be for an issue about heroes. Do you consider yourself a hero?”
This film is a simple musical love story about two individuals - Sebastian and Mia, that might or might not end well. But why this film is soothing is because it is a reminder of how you live your life is a choice that you make! It needn’t always be a jolly ride but dancing to your own tunes once in a while, never harmed anyone!
When your monotonous corporate job is threatened, what do you do? You could either sit and sulk about it or do what Walter Mitty did. Leave on a global journey that’d turn out to be much more adventurous than he’d have ever imagined. His secret life tells us how we ought to live as much of this huge world as we can in our short life!
Based on an inspiring sports story of how President Nelson Mandela united his people following the inhuman segregation based on their racial origins, Invictus is the film about the 1995 Rugby World Cup and a president's determination that helped reunite a nation.
Although the base of the film is about a prison break, in its essence it talks about the appreciation that the bond of friendship holds between two individuals. This is beautifully narrated through Ellis’s perspective of his developing admiration towards the new inmate Andy. If I were to find friendship this meaningful in prison, then I sure wouldn’t mind committing a crime or two.
Yes, this film is also about a very scary virus outbreak that occurred in the state of Kerala in the recent past. However, unlike other films like Contagion, Virus talks about the power of humanity through a group of courageous individuals who risk their lives in an attempt to curb the epidemic. This film will surely leave you more hopeful in the time of the desperate pandemic scare.
The differences created by Language, Race, Culture, Gender and Society, stand null as compared to the pure emotions of human bonding. One such unusual friendship is portrayed in this film when a street smart immigrant is hired to take care of a disabled French nobleman. Their lifestyles are poles apart but their emotions the same. Celebrate the joy of living through this film!
Imagine five people from different phases of life, cultures and economic backgrounds, are put together in the same place. Now imagine they are teenagers at the peek of their adolescent rage. That is the Breakfast Club! A story about Five kids who learn to coexist with each other despite their origins and preferences. Thus teaching us the audience, the importance of love, life and philosophy through their beautiful story.
Love at first sight has always been a hyped phenomena. But what about love at no-sight? The kind that develops over who the person is rather than what they look like. An ode to the era of love through letters and words, Lunchbox is the story of a budding romance between a middle-aged couple who bond over food, loneliness and the desire to break the monotony of their lives. Maybe it's time for you to get that pen and paper out!
Lost In Translation is yet another film that holds a very special place in my heart. It’s a story about love and friendship between an overworked actor and a newly-wed confused woman, who meet in a city foreign to the both of them. The friendship that they develop amongst the unfamiliarity and the solace they find in each other amidst the chaos will surely plaster a smile on your heart!
What better timing to quote this dialogue from the movie than now?
Bob: Can you keep a secret? I'm trying to organize a prison break. I'm looking for, like, an accomplice. We have to first get out of this bar, then the hotel, then the city, and then the country. Are you in or you out?
Charlotte: I'm in. I'll go pack my stuff.
Bob: I hope that you've had enough to drink. It's going to take courage.