10 Inspirational Movies To Watch During Quarantine

First off, I would like to thank you for an overwhelming response on our previous two blogs in this series.

Before social distancing took away the pleasure of connecting with each other on a daily basis, our team followed a monthly ritual. Once a month, we would hook up our office projector, hoard snacks and beverages, and get comfy on bean bags and sofas to enjoy a pre-selected movie. The usual choice was that of an inspirational one.

Not only did it serve as a great team-building exercise but it also had added benefits in terms of bringing us closer to each other as a work family rather than just colleagues, it further inspired us all to do and give life our best. It also accounts for unforgettable memories that will stay with us, all our lives. After all,

a team that laughs together, stays together!

But given the current social distancing scenario, we would like to present to you a list of movie to enjoy while trying to decide whether you should change out of those comfy day pyjamas into your evening ones –

Forrest Gump

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“Stupid is as stupid does,”

– says Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks in an Oscar-winning performance) as he discusses his relative level of intelligence with a stranger while waiting for a bus. Despite his sub-normal IQ, Gump leads a truly charmed life, with a ringside seat for a host of memorable events of the second half of the 20th century.

Entirely without trying, Forrest teaches Elvis Presley to dance, becomes a football star, meets John F. Kennedy, serves with honor in Vietnam, speaks at an anti-war rally at the Washington Monument, defeats the Chinese national team in table tennis, meets Richard Nixon, opens a profitable shrimping business, and decides to run back and forth across the country for several years.

Meanwhile, as the remarkable parade of his life goes by, Forrest never forgets Jenny, the girl he loved as a boy. She is the one who makes her own journey through the turbulence. A movie that is emotionally gripping and inspiring till the very end, it should be one everyone’s watch-list!

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The Blind Side

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A sports-themed drama-com, inspired by author Michael Lewis’ The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game, it is the story of second chances. Taken in by a well-to-do family and offered a second chance at life, a homeless teen grows to become the star athlete projected to be the first pick at the NFL draft in this movie.

Michael Oher was living on the streets when he was welcomed into the home of a conservative suburban family, but over time he matured into a talented athlete. As the NFL draft approaches, fans and sports radio personalities alike speculate that Oher will be the hottest pick of the year.

A story that encourages viewers to never give up and take on every opportunity in life with dedication and passion, it makes for an amazing watch!

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Stand and Deliver

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A tough, dedicated mathematics teacher in a largely Hispanic East Los Angeles high school defies expectations by demanding that his impoverished students learn advanced calculus, a challenge that transforms their lives in the process.

A story of resilience and true leadership, this moving drama was inspired by the true story of teacher Jaime Escalante.

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More Than A Game

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Five talented young basketball players from Akron, Ohio star in this remarkable true-life coming of age story. A tale of  friendship and loyalty in the face of great adversity, this one makes for an emotional watch!

Coached by a charismatic but inexperienced player’s father, and led by future NBA superstar LeBron James, the “Fab Five’s” improbable seven-year journey is engrossing till the end. It leads them from a decrepit inner-city gym to the doorstep of a national high school championship.

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Along the way, the close-knit team is repeatedly tested – both on and off the court, as James’ exploding worldwide fame threatens to destroy everything they’ve set out to achieve together.

“More Than a Game” combines a series of unforgettable one-on-one interviews with rare news footage, never-before-seen home videos, and personal family photographs to bring this heart-wrenching story to life.

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Dead Poet’s Society

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Robin Williams toned down his usually flamboyant comic approach in this successful period drama. In 1959, the Welton Academy is a staid but well-respected prep school where education is a pragmatic and rather dull affair.

Several of the students, however, have their thoughts on the learning process (and life itself) changed when a new teacher comes to the school. John Keating is an unconventional educator who tears chapters of his textbooks and asks his students to stand on their desks to see the world from a new angle.

Keating introduces his students to poetry, and his free-thinking attitude and the liberating philosophies of the authors he introduces to his class, have a profound effect on his students, especially Todd who aspires to become a writer himself.

The story revolves around a bunch of students – Neil (Robert Sean Leonard), who dreams of being an actor, despite the objections of his father; Knox a hopeless romantic; Steven an intellectual who learns to use his heart as well as his head; Charlie who begins to lose his blasé attitude; unconventional Gerard and practical Richard.

Keating urges his students to seize the day and live their lives boldly; but when this philosophy leads to an unexpected tragedy, headmaster Mr. Nolan fires Keating, and his students leap to his defense. Dead Poets Society was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Williams.

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Pay It Forward

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A young boy stumbles upon a simple way to change the world in this drama. Trevor is a bright 11-year-old boy who comes from a troubled home; his mother Arlene is an alcoholic trying to hold down two jobs to support her son, while Trevor’s father Jon Bon Jovi left his family behind some time ago.

At school, Trevor’s class is introduced to their new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet a guarded man with severe facial scars. Simonet gives his class an unusual assignment – think up a practical way to make the world a better place, and put it into action.

Trevor comes up with the notion of “Pay It Forward” – do a needed favor for three different people without being asked, and then ask them to do the same for three others. Trevor starts by letting Jerry a junkie living on the streets, stay in his home. Next, he tries to fix Arlene up with Mr. Simonet, since both seem to be lonely and the clean and sober teacher might help Arlene stay away from alcohol.

Finally, he tries to rescue one of his schoolmates, who is constantly tormented by bullies. Meanwhile, journalist Chris Chandler finds himself stuck on the road without a car late one night when a man stops and give him the keys to a new car, asking him only to pay the favor forward to someone else; astonished, Chris wants to find out where this philosophy came from. Based on the novel by Catherine Ryan Hide, Pay It Forward also stars Angie Dickinson and Liev Schreiber.

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The Fault in Our Stars

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Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them – and us – on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous, given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. Based upon the number-one bestselling novel by John Green, explores the funny, thrilling and tragic business of being alive and in love.

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The Bridge On The River Kwai

The Bridge on the River Kwai opens in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Burma in 1943, where a battle of wills rages between camp commander Colonel Saito (Sessue Hayakawa) and newly arrived British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness). Saito insists that Nicholson order his men to build a bridge over the river Kwai, which will be used to transport Japanese munitions. Nicholson refuses, despite all the various “persuasive” devices at Saito’s disposal.

Finally, Nicholson agrees, not so much to cooperate with his captor, but to provide a morale-boosting project for the military engineers under his command. The colonel will prove that, by building a better bridge than Saito’s men could build, the British soldier is a superior being even when under the thumb of the enemy. As the bridge goes up, Nicholson becomes obsessed with completing it to perfection, eventually losing sight of the fact that it will benefit the Japanese.

Meanwhile, American POW Shears having escaped from the camp, agrees to save himself from a court martial by leading a group of British soldiers back to the camp to destroy Nicholson’s bridge. Upon his return, Shears realizes that Nicholson’s mania to complete his project has driven him mad.

It went on to win seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for the legendary British filmmaker David Lean, and Best Actor for Guinness. It also won Best Screenplay for Pierre Boulle, the author of the novel on which the film was based, even though the actual writers were blacklisted. Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, ended up getting their Oscars under the table.

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Lagaan: Once upon a time in India

Lagaan is the story of a battle without bloodshed fought by a group of unlikely heroes. Led by Bhuvan, an enigmatic young farmer with courage born of conviction and a dream in his heart. He is helped by Elizabeth (Rachel Shelley), the beautiful English girl who came to India and lost her heart, and Bhuvan’s pillar of strength – Gauri. the young and perky village girl who dreams only of a home with the man she loves.

A story of extraordinary circumstances thrust upon ordinary people. A tale of adversity faced with fortitude and injustice with dignity. There is slowly awakening pride, along with the grit and determination of people who have everything to lose. Faith and courage come face to face with arrogance and ruthlessness.

In the end,  the human spirit triumphs.

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Lakshya

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Lakshya movie is the story of a young and clueless Karan who is a lazy, good for nothing fellow. He lives on the income generated by his father and elder brother, who run the family business. All Karan does is have fun with his buddies and romance a woman named Romi. When he watches an action movie, he and his friends decide to enlist in the army, but the course proves to be too much of a bother and he abandons it half way, thus making his lose respect on the home front. Romi also stops respecting him.

This leads Karan to re-join the army and show to his family and Romi that he too is focused about path he has to take in this lifetime. But will he be resilient enough to carry out this task?

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Do share your thoughts with us and feel free to share incase we have missed some other good ones – will surely add them in our next addition.

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