Firstly, I made sure I got out of the house. It’s amazing what a bit of fresh air can do! I spoke to my family and friends, went back to the gym and I watched a few films that really helped me feel revitalised and inspired once again.
1. Dead Poet’s Society
I watched this for the first time a few weeks back and it’s already become one of my favourites. I adore Robin Williams; he’s just spectacular as the teacher who defies convention to inspire his students to think individually and outside of the box. It promotes themes of loyalty, courage and the beauty of the written word. The dialogue contains a few wonderful verses by the likes of Henry David Thoreau and Walt Whitman. The imposing opinions and need to ‘follow’ the rules set by society are fought by Robin Williams’ character, who dares the boys to stand up for themselves, do what they love and take their own path in life. He’s unconventional and different but this is what inspires each of the main characters to pursue their dream. Keating fights the restrictions of the school, ensuring that the boys learn the key to education – thinking for yourself. Despite the tragedy in the film, the ending shows us that the boys, regardless of the school’s attempt to control them one final time, have fought the constraints set upon them and now have the bravery to stand away from the crowd – Carpe Diem.
2. Rocky I-IV
It’s near impossible to pick between the four films; they’re all wonderful. Number 2 and 4 are some of my all-time favourite films and they never fail to make me feel truly inspired (and shed a few tears). Rocky, a man who despite having little intelligence, is a man with a passion and determination that knows no bounds. Despite the initial lack of belief in him by those around him, Rocky trains and fights his way to the top. Regardless of being injured in the first film (sorry, spoiler!), he still battles on, and that’s the main theme of the films. Perseverance. No matter who, or what, gets in your way or puts you down, never give up and always fight to the end. Rocky knows that if you don’t believe in yourself, you have nothing. You don’t owe anybody anything, and they don’t owe you – you owe YOURSELF. Work hard and never give up and you’ll always get there.
3. Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List is one of the most inspirational movies ever made. With strength, determination and bravery, you do not have to stand back and let atrocities occur. Filmed deliberately in black and white by Spielberg who believes that ‘colour is life’, the setting and atmosphere is haunting and even more believable – and the message is still incredibly relevant. The ending is heart-breaking, when we see Oskar realise with great emotion that he could have helped save more Jews from the concentration camps. He has seen the evil and devastation that one man’s hatred can bring and despite doing something truly extraordinary and standing against the masses, he still believes it’s not enough. Just before the credits you see Schindler’s grave and in a queue waiting to show their respects, are the REAL people and their families who he saved. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life. My grandfather was one of the only people in his family who made it over safely from the concentration camps and seeing this kind of compassion really moved me. This movie epitomises the need to think for yourself and to show courage in all that you do. If you know something is wrong, challenge it. Be different.
These are my top 3 inspirational films; however if you want more, I definitely recommend Good Will Hunting, Shawshank Redemption, Amazing Grace and Billy Elliot.
Just always remember to smile and be positive. Making yourself smile for 30 seconds actually helps release endorphins that make you happy – go on, give it a try! If you change your mentality to one of positivity and hope, then I truly believe good things will happen. Remember, you’re in control!
What are some of your favourite inspirational films?
‘Nothing is real if you don’t believe in who you are’ – Rocky Balboa