With exams just around the corner, this piece is an aim to inspire you to study on of your off days where you’ve given up on your books and just need a break. Hopefully, these movies will motivate you more than Sandeep Maheshwari.
Films have been long overlooked as an educational tool. Cinema is just an anecdote of the literature of the world. We tend to forget that what often spurs the imagination is both visual and auditory. For many of us, watching movies is an escape. After 5 hours of comprehending the political theory, even Kuch Kuch Hota Hai acts as a relief. The power of cinema is boundless. Movies on this list have all one thing in common, value for education and not a conventional way to prove it. Thus, making them great breaks between your study sessions. And more than that, great tools to uncover your hidden love for art and knowledge.
Take a journey with these lead characters that will provoke you to take a journey with your books. These movies will motivate you not just for these exams but will act as a reminder of how education isn’t just for a degree.
- Freedom Writers:
Freedom Writers is a frank and formulaic entry in the inspirational inner-city teacher genre, with an energetic Hilary Swank. It’s an inspiring drama that touches on many themes of power, violence, and casteism. Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) arrives for her first day of teaching at Wilson High, a school which once was at pinnacle of academic performance now is filled with underprivileged students who use drugs, live on streets where people are killed regularly and have even served time in prison. Erin’s commitment to transforming her students by writing and reading is what is inspirational of all. This doesn’t just celebrate great teachers but the unity that arises out of diversity once all walls of discrimination are broken.
- Dead Poets Society:
There are some films that, if you watch then for the first time at the right age, have the capacity to inspire and embolden you: Dead Poets Society is one such film. Its uncynical, idealistic and hopeful making it not resonate with film snobs, but what it lacks in critical kudos, it has recouped in audience appreciation. Robin Williams is on top form as the iconoclastic John Keating, the unconventional English teacher who uses his love of poetry and classic literature to break down barriers at the oppressive Welton Academy. Keating inspires his young charges to ‘seize the day’, challenge the school’s strict rules, and truly be themselves. The film is packed with emotionally-charged, touching scenes but the one that won’t fail to make the hairs on your arm stand up is this one where Keating’s students demonstrate what he means to them – “Oh Captain, My Captain…”
- The Pursuit of Happiness:
It’s a magnificent real-life tale that teaches you to not give up, irrespective of whatever happens. The perfect elixir you need when you have to do the entire syllabus in one week. Never miss an opportunity and studying hard, after a few years, Chris works his way up the career ladder from medical equipment salesman to financial hotshot. If there’s one story that demonstrates that you should never give up, no matter how bad things get, it’s Chris’.
- Good Will Hunting:
Matt Damon masterfully plays the eponymous role of Will Hunting a 20-year-old mathematical prodigy with a rough past, a tendency for street fighting and run-ins with the law. The film shows how an underachiever can turn things around. People who have always had problems with focus and concentration this one is for you. This movie familiarises you with the concept of heartbreak. The heartbreak one feels when appreciating a true genius but to fall short of it yourself. The film stars Matt Damon as a janitor at MIT who likes to party and hang in the old neighbourhood and loves reading things of the Internet and imbibe them into his photographic memory. Even though it follows a predictable narrative arc, Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey and is loaded with enough powerful performances that it remains an entertaining and emotionally rich drama.
- School of Rock:
In this movie, the irrepressible Jack Black plays a down-on-his-luck musician who makes use of a combination of creative interview techniques, Led Zeppelin riffs, crazy love for music, and a ridiculous amount of ‘winging it’ to transform a class of upper-class unhappy kids into a real group of tiny rock Gods. While the movie was never going to challenge for the Best Picture Oscar, it’s a fantastic off-beat example of how education can inspire really positive change amongst the most unlikely looking people.
- Stand and Deliver:
Another inspirational film made for those who might not be able to concentrate cause of family troubles, societal troubles and other out of hand issues. This movie leads a powerful narrative of how that academic success is not out of reach just because of their background or their current struggles. The story demonstrates the possibilities open to anyone no matter what they may have been told in the past. With Ramon Menendez as the director, the film is much less clichéd than La Bamba.
- Sister Act 2:
Back in the Habit: A nun reprises her role in the music scene by joining a Catholic school’s mission to take their choir further in the state championships. The lesson in this film is that any student can find their place with the right encouragement. And if you don’t grove to the songs and if they don’t stick to your head while attempting your exams, you may take a box of Ferrero Rocher from my house.
Featured Image Credits: Vulture