Don’t you love a cozy afternoon with a good feature? And it’s especially amazing when you come across situations in films that are ardently relatable to you, when the characters speak to you and bring out the 'you' in you. Often, we find ourselves represented in films. They can reveal our inner fears or put forth a feeling we weren't able to elucidate. This is why mental health in films is so important, as a lot of us find ourselves in the struggles of the protagonist.
Starting with our good old 'Dead Poets Society'- a film speaking directly to young minds. As a teenager on the verge of adulthood, we are often so scared of what might happen, that we end up letting our fears overpower us. Maybe we all want someone to tell us that it's going to be okay. And that's exactly what John Keating in the film does, telling us that life is not just to be lived but lived extraordinarily. He goes out of his way to teach his students to question and not accept blindly. I'd rather spoil the surprise, and let you discover this amazing film by yourself.
Next, we have 'The Breakfast Club'- a classic film that sets in motion on a Saturday afternoon. A group of seemingly different high schoolers are sentenced to detention and we are introduced to a group of non-friends -the rebel, the nerd, the athlete, the popular girl and the kook. Soon we learn that each one of them deals with some form of pressure compromising their mental health. Many relate to the idea of appearing “just fine” and being on the brink of collapse. If there’s anything to take away from the movie, it’s the line: “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.”
Now we have 'Inside Out', an animation personifying various emotions in a young girl’s mind. Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust help guide Riley through hard times when she moves to San Francisco. The emotions work together to help Riley get through the turmoil of adjusting to a new life. It is a well-made film that puts mental health into a completely new context teaching us about the complexities of the human mind.
'Perks of Being a Wallflower' depicts the grim reality of living with mental health conditions
, processing past trauma and dealing with people who don't understand you. It normalizes what the main character Charlie goes through and shows him the bitter truth that in the end, there are people who do care and understand.
Lastly comes 'Good Will Hunting'. Will Hunting, a headstrong math genius at America's top university, is not a student but one who cleans the floors. He might perfect the toughest math formulae but he fails at the lessons of life. After many run-ins with the law, Will's last chance is a psychology professor, who is just the man to teach him. Far too many conversations later, Will ultimately discovers that the only person holding him back is himself.
So, without further ado, I say dive into one of these movies and call it a sweet Sunday afternoon.
Article by Shreya Mukherjee
Head Editor: Sreejit Dey
Editor #2: Michelle Alexandra