Learning Through Movies

Now that we are in the lockdown and struck at home, what’s the one thing we all are doing?? Don’t tell me its doing the dishes and mopping the floor!!! Anyways, atleast as per Google, its Binge Watching! There is a significant increase in the viewership of content streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Contrary to popular belief, I am not going to lecture you here on how binge watching can be counterproductive, you should read a book instead, learn something new blah blah… When life throws lock down at you, you binge watch!!

But why not watch which is fun, as well as leaves you with something after you have finished watching? There is a up and coming concept of self-development called “Learning thru movies”. Here, a coach or a PD teacher engages the audience with a movie instead of the typical lecture. He or she typically plays the movie, pausing wherever necessary to dig deeper into understanding the concepts behind that scene.  Visual learning is one of the powerful methods to retain the concepts learnt. Also, there is the added advantage of learning by association, where the students associate themselves with the character of the movie as the plot unveils. I have tried this technique in a couple of classes and have witnessed wonderful results. So, here are some movies you can watch and learn something from it while you have fun. And, since I am going to explore some of the plots, here is your spoiler alert!!! 

1. THE REVENANT

Equal parts revenge saga and survival story, The Revenant was inspired by the frontier tale of Hugh Glass, who in 1823, against all odds, endured a mauling by a grizzly and abandonment to his fate by his fellow fur trappers. The Revenant teaches us resilience, persistence and the importance of “Hope” in our lives. Leonardo DiCaprio`s Oscar Winning performance is cheery on the top.

2. THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

Gardner, played by Will Smith, endures homelessness with his young son, with grit and determination. The Pursuit of Happyness teaches us You can’t let people discourage you from your dreams. It’s okay if people don’t believe in your dream as long as you believe in it yourself. We can also learn that there should never be any excuse not to try. And its never too late to start something new. Acting of both the Smith`s is heart touching.

3. KUNG FU PANDA SERIES

Ok, hold on. Don’t dismiss It yet as an animated kids’ movie. I bet you can’t stop watching the 2nd and 3rd movies in this trilogy once you complete the first one. The movie imparts lessons about continuously challenging oneself to be better and the importance of having good mentors. And there are no accidents in life. There’s no Bigger Pain than not Doing Something You Love. Everyone has their unique form of motivation. Its who decides how your story ends.

Ok, hold on. Don’t dismiss It yet as an animated kids’ movie. I bet you can’t stop watching the 2nd and 3rd movies in this trilogy once you complete the first one. The movie imparts lessons about continuously challenging oneself to be better and the importance of having good mentors. And there are no accidents in life. There’s no Bigger Pain than not Doing Something You Love. Everyone has their unique form of motivation. Its who decides how your story ends.

4. ROCKY SERIES

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for most of your life, I’m sure you are familiar with the name Rocky Balboa. Played by Hollywood action legend Sylvester Stallone, Rocky was the title character of six boxing drama films that chronicled his rise from an unknown battler to the heavyweight champion of the world. In each successive film, Rocky was confronted with various life crises, ever-stronger opponents, and his own aging body. Throughout the series, Rocky came to define the perennial underdog, continually drawing strength from the struggles he faced to overcome the odds and succeed. Rocky teaches us to never quit. Being down doesn’t necessarily mean you are out. You make your own destiny.  One of the best series to binge watch. 

5. The Shawshank Redemption         

The Shawshank Redemption is based on a short story written by Steven King and directed by Frank Darabont. The movie portrays the bond being shared between two men during the years of their imprisonment who share emotions and find solace in each other, ultimately paving their way to salvation. The movie also shows how to maintain one’s self significance in the most disintegrated and hopeless place. It leaves us with “PERSISTENCE AND PERSEVERANCE ARE KEY TO SUCCESS”.  Keep your mind occupied when you are going thru difficult times. I agree the beginning of the movie may be a little depressing. But trust me. Sit through and you are up for a wonderful thriller.

6. 12 Angry Men

With a small cast of 20+ people, shot in a single room, black and white, still 12 Angry Men never stops to amaze me even today. 12 Angry Men chronicles the murder trial of an 18-year old boy from a slum, charged with stabbing his father to death. It is about a jury of 12 different individuals from distinct backgrounds; given the task of deciding unanimous whether the boy is guilty or not. Considered one of the best movies, it teaches us the skills of influencing, handling a team, understanding group dynamics, Negotiation, Risk taking, Sticking to your gut, Importance of Communication. Its nothing short of a quick MBA course.

7. Forrest Gump

Forrest Gump had a below average IQ of 75, yet he he still managed to teach Elvis how to dance, receive a football scholarship from the University of Alabama, be named to the All-American team, meet John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, receive the medal of honor for his heroism in Vietnam, play in ping pong diplomacy against Chinese teams, have an interview on the Dick Cavett show with John Lennon, meet President Nixon and expose the Watergate Scandal, create the extremely successful Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, invest in Apple computers thereby becoming a millionaire, run across the U.S. just because he felt like it, and in the end became an awesome father. He teaches us to be authentic, Don’t let others to turn you down, channel the pain into something productive, don’t be afraid of being honest, Dedication will take you places, so do what you love.

8. Cast Away

Cast Away is a dramatic story of an ordinary man facing an extraordinary situation. Tom Hanks, playing as a FedEx delivery supervisor, whose plane unfortunately crashes into the ocean. He is in an isolated island as the sole survivor of the terrible crash. There he lives a solitary life full of uncertainties and depression. He tries to cope with new environment with his wit and feeble camping skills. As a survivor, Tom Hanks attempts every strategy possible to live on the island. The thought of reuniting with his family becomes his reason to live. The movie celebrates the rediscovery of life’s simple joys as it features Tom Hanks’ struggle with the natural environment. It also signifies the importance of hope and persistence. (Additional Watching; The Terminal, movie with a similar theme)

9. Catch Me if You Can

Frank Abagnale, Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) worked as a doctor, a lawyer, and as a co-pilot for a major airline — all before his 18th birthday. A master of deception, he was also a brilliant forger, whose skill gave him his first real claim to fame: At the age of 17, Frank Abagnale, Jr. became the most successful bank robber in the history of the U.S. FBI Agent Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) makes it his prime mission to capture Frank and bring him to justice, but Frank is always one step ahead of him. No matter if you associate yourself with Frank for his resourcefulness or with Carl for his persistence, they both teach you so many life lessons. Confidence is the key to success, experience is never a match for your skills, don’t fear the unknown, Never give up!!