It’s one thing to be occupied and entertained during the quarantine and it’s another thing to come out uplifted, motivated and somewhat better than before. As Her Majesty said in her message “Better Times ahead”. We can also say things are just about to get worse before it gets better. This is a statistical reality. Another one is that some of us will come ahead before others. Better Times ahead for those who instead of getting defeated, will use this as a staging point to reinforce their will. We have to look at this situation as a transition of something else. A next phase and hopefully a better one! Things will not return to pre-Covid normal as we know it but feeding our hearts hope and inspiration instead of gloom will fuel our desire to get ahead for the changes ahead. So, here is my top 10.
- “Company Men”- A must watch for those facing retrenchment or redundancy. This happens to the best of us, including myself. A shipping executive finds himself laid-off. Their family had to make some brutal adjustments. He had to swallow his pride but learns to make himself useful despite the new realities facing him. This is how it feels, and this is how we must press on. Life is a series of transitions. There is a purpose to our suffering, and we must help each other through similar journeys. The sooner we humble ourselves, the better we are in moving forward.
- “The Pursuit of Happiness”- A heartwarming story of a struggling salesman and his son trying to get back on their feet after an eviction. The story makes our momentary sufferings seem trivial and delivers a lesson on how perseverance through trials eventually lead to breakthroughs. If you can’t find work, Learn! An internship eventually led to a job where he exceled. Success is never overnight. We are sometimes brought low; we have to keep our heads up. Show up for work, no matter what!
- “Up in the Air” – A thought provoking satire that points to the ironies that we often accept as truth. Is the executive lifestyle all that it is cracked up to be? Are we truly free when we are alone? You reach some of your aspirations in life and then what? A sardonic and humorous tale of life’s paradoxes. The characters will keep you entertained towards a thought-provoking ending.
- “The Social Network” – The engaging backstory of Facebook. See how it started with this movie. Entertaining and inspiring.
- “Wallstreet” (1987) – “Greed is Good” was one of the most memorable lines from the film. I first saw this in high school and I wanted to be a stockbroker afterwards. If you grew up in the 80’s the soundtrack is sure to bring back memories. It may not seem like it, but this is actually a good guy vs. bad guy movie but we are often fooled to be the latter with our desires. The later version was good, but you’d have to see the original first.
- “Forrest Gump”- A classic American tale that takes you through its most interesting times through the eyes of a lovable idiot. It’s heartwarming and emotional in the right places. Keep Running! We’ll be OK.
- “Big Fish” – A Story Teller’s Movie. Absolutely fantastic and enchanting. Larger-than-life depiction as it should be told. One of the greatest stories ever told in film of a life well lived. Good story telling always straddles the fine line between fact and fiction. Colorful exaggeration being its secret sauce.
- “A Walk Among the Clouds” – This story starts out with a tragedy upon tragedy ending with a tragedy which later twists into a hopeful ending. What could be the end is only the chapter in a new beginning. This romantic story takes you through condemnation and redemption. It ends with our values intact. Set in the California wine country, its treatment of love against the backdrop is reminiscent of “Como Agua por Chocolate”.
- “La Vida es Bella” – A father struggles to shelter his son from the brutalities of being in a concentration camp. Through humor, an Italian Jew keeps his son’s eyes towards a beautiful ending. Life is Beautiful, depending on how you look at it! Hopes do turn out to be true if we survive long enough. This movie is paralleled by The Pursuit of Happiness with good Italian humor and animated exchanges.
- “Slumdog Millionaire” – An Indian Muslim gets a break from being a contestant in “Who wants to be a millionaire?”, but right before he answers the grand-prize question he is abducted by the police and is riddled with other riveting challenges. He punches through with a loving devotion to his childhood sweetheart.
These are not all my favorites but some of the more “inspiring” ones from the top of my head. I also have a list of Netflix favorites which I will be posting next, along with some of the most disturbing and thought-provoking things I’ve ever watched. Do leave a comment and tell me what you think.