Most people derive their personality traits and habits from a variety of things. They can be influenced by the mannerisms of an actor, so much so that they begin to talk and walk like him. Or they can be motivated by the ideals of a political leader and shape their profession accordingly. Me? I walk a very different path because I watch way too many movies.
From a very early age, I started going to the theatre to watch everything from Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ to ‘Raja Hindustani‘. And it took me some time to realise that a lot of these movies affected me very intrinsically. Yes, I did inherit some of my traits from my parents, but most of my values and perspective on life came from films.
So, here are those 7 movies that have shaped up my personality and taught me life values better than any single human could.
The Incredibles (2004)
No matter how many times Vin Diesel or Salman Khan says “family” in ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘Race 3’, respectively, no other movie has taught me the importance of the word than ‘The Incredibles’. On the surface, Brad Bird’s movie seems like an action movie, which it is. However, as a son, the over-arching theme of sticking together as a family is what stuck with me. Although I’m sure my father’s not going to be kidnapped by a maniacal villain, I understood that if anything adverse happens, having each other’s back is the best plan.
The Harry Potter franchise (1997-2007)
It’ll be unfair to credit only one of the movies for playing an important part because this franchise saw me through a decade of my life. While the diverse characters, languages, races and creatures fueled my creativity, the themes of camaraderie and having a family away from home really moved me. Harry Potter’s flawed personality and his will to sacrifice himself for his friends still resonates with me. And on top of that, it served as a massive shout out to us bespectacled mortals who’re also fighting our own Voldemorts.
Rang De Basanti (2006)
This movie by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is probably one of the most influential movies of our generation, so there’s no doubt why it is on this list. I regard ‘Rang De Basanti’ as one of the most important films of my life because it changed my views on patriotism. It told me that blindly believing in political ideologies will turn me into a bigot. It told me that it’s okay to question what the Government is doing. And it told me that when all else fails, even if you’re the only one fighting for what’s right, you’ve to make your voice heard.
500 Days Of Summer (2009)
There must be thousands of romantic movies that are currently filling everybody’s minds with unrealistic expectations and ending on a note that in no way subverts those notions. Thankfully, I wasn’t as effected by those because Marc Webb’s modern classic had all my attention. When I went through the circle of a relationship, I felt alone and miserable. But ‘500 Days Of Summer’ showed me that that’s a perfectly humane thing to feel. Unlike most films where the hero ends up dying for a girl (why?), the realistic ending of this movie taught me that there’s no point in holding on. Learn from your mistakes and move on.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
If you ask someone that who’s their best director, they’ll probably mumble and fumble before giving a very diplomatic answer. I, on the other hand, have no second thoughts that my fav is Edgar Wright. And that’s because he taught me how to be naturally funny, rather than relying on the cliched joke-punchline formula. Additionally, after watching Shaun and his team get through a zombie apocalypse, I learnt that finding humour in the worst moments of your life is the best way to get through it.
12 Angry Men (1957)
Growing up, I had always heard about the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover”. However, it wasn’t until I watched Sidney Lumet’s debut film that I really understood the crux of it. It taught me to shed my privileges and look at things from an objective point-of-view. While a lot of history books boasted about democracy, the story about 12 jurors taught me the value of it. And most importantly, it firmly established my love for constructive criticism in every aspect of my life.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
I was never the brightest student of my class and neither was I the coolest. And that was all the more evident during my college years. But when James Gunn showed me that people who were outcasts or misfits can team up to save the galaxy, I was motivated to not give up on life yet. Sooner or later, as I learnt that the people around me are misfits themselves, I grew closer to them, respected them for their endurance and felt thankful for accepting me as I am.
Movies combine light, sounds, emotions, colour, stories and so much more into an experience that’s bound to be etched into your brain. They can teach you so much more than text books and affect you on the longer run more than you realise. So, now that you know all about me, tell me what are the movies that you feel you relate to as a person?