Movie Recommendations Pandemic Feelings Uncertain Unmotivated
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Right now, rightfully, a lot of people are feeling a lot of things. Mostly anxiety, and lethargy- this cloying sense of resignation. There’s also isolation, or claustrophobia. It then bears upon cinema and other art forms to rejuvenate and reconcile with these feelings. Here is a list of emotions we had already or are currently feeling and films that are the perfect antidote to them.  

Films That Motivate You

Feeling lethargic, burnt out- lacking energy, initiative and reserve is common. Routine never helps, and now routine within confines is even worse. Here are films designed to get you out of that slump- pulsating, thrilling, and above all, energizing.

Dangal Mad Max Fury Road Baby Driver Motivation Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road

Streaming Platform: YouTube, Google Play
Maybe it was the ridiculous frames-per-second rate, but watching this George Miller film with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, essentially one elaborate chase, is an exercise in holding one’s breath.

Dangal 

Streaming Platform: Netflix
With at least one scene even half hour to make your hair stand on end, this film dynamizes wrestling by placing it in unfamiliar contexts- in a workplace, between father and daughter, and then finally, the climactic female wrestling competition that moves you to a pound of flesh so effectively, you won’t mind the caricatures. 

Baby Driver

Streaming Platform: Netflix
With a stellar sound design punctuating the punches and choreographing the chase sequences, this film starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver, directed by Edgar Wright, is as foot-tapping as it is breath-taking. 

Movies Or Shows To Watch If You Missing Travelling

In case those of you who put #wanderlust on your Instagram or dating app descriptions have nothing else to do, here’s some armchair traveling you can dip your toes in. 

Tamasha Anthony Bourdain Before Sunrise Travel FilmsTamasha

Streaming Platform: Netflix
From sun-kissed Corsica to geometric Japan, the graffitied Delhi, and even a Punjabi farm, this film journeys the different continents under the watchful gaze of cinematographer Ravi Varman who noted that he wanted the film to be shot like a street photographer would. 

Before Sunrise

Streaming Platform: Daily Motion
The first part of Richard Linklater’s triptych follows a couple- in Before Sunrise they meet and part ways, and the other two films filmed decades apart show how this love between Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy engages and unravels. A minimal plot, all these films have the characters walk through cities engaged in bitter and banter. This film is set in Vienna, where they first meet, on a train. 

The Layover with Anthony Bourdain 

Streaming Platform: Voot
A food and travel show hosted by the late Anthony Bourdain, this has him spend 24-48 hours in different cities- Paris, New York, San Francisco, Taipei, São Paulo and more. It’s human, funny, with Bourdain’s quick and dirty wit. 

Films To Watch If You’re Uncertain About The Future

This lockdown threw us into an odd mix of waning resolve and a bleak, blurry future. No one knows when things will go back to “normal”, or if this “normal” will even be something we would recognize. In the face of such blurred possibilities, here are films of steadfast resolve. 

Swades Udaan Cabin Fever Uncertainty Movies Recommendations

Udaan

Streaming Platform: Netflix
Vikramaditya Motwane’s debut feature is about a teenager on the cusp of adulthood, battling domestic violence, doubt, and his young step-brother who pushes him to grow up faster than he would have. Amit Trivedi’s soundtrack layers this tale with the right amount of crescendo.

Cabin Fever 

Streaming Platform: YouTube
A sweet three-part short film, shot during lockdown shows how all the pent-up energy, bizarre hopes, and angsty reactions that the lockdown has curated, specially for us, can sometimes produce something novel, and unexpected. 

Swades

Streaming Platform: Netflix
My memories of this Shah Rukh Khan film was hearing of people who decided to move back to India after watching this movie. This is Ashutosh Gowarikar at his most persuasive. Watching it in the theater, I remember an odd resolve taking over me, a sense of inspired action. As them-youths call it- a fire up my ass. 

Films And Television To Watch If You Miss Going On Dates

Gay Wondrous Life Caleb Gello Japanese Wife Terrace House Netflix

The Gay And Wondrous Life Of Caleb Gallo

Streaming Platform: YouTube
From Brian Jordan Alvarez, most famous for his skit, “What actually happens when gay guys see other gay guys and straight people aren’t around”, clocking in at 6 million views, this is a mini-series filled with crazy characters all wanting to date one another, the gays, the gender fluids, and the experimental bisexuals in warm-n-sunny LA. A good reminder of the horror and the hormones that dating entails. 

The Japanese Wife

Streaming Platform: YouTube
A Bengali man and a Japanese woman introduced as pen-pals, fall in love and get married through letters, but there is one catch- they have never met each other. An epistolary love the unfurls slowly, and melancholically, this is as old-school dating as it gets. 

Also Read: The Reality Show Binge: 6 Shows You Need To Watch

Terrace House 

Streaming Platform: Netflix
An earnest Japanese dating reality show, it is as unscripted as reality television can be with awkward interactions, and long pauses. It has six people living under the same roof- nothing ostentatious, no big prize money. It contains a stillness that is, despite that, bingeable.

 

Films To Watch If You’re Missing Your Office Husband/Wife

The workplace-films is its own genre, one that is a perfect playground for anxiety, antagonism, affection and allegiance. If you miss your workplace and your platonic (or not) work-husband/wife, watch these films to vicariously experience what you would have otherwise have felt, in a no-pandemic world. 

Call My Agent Rocket Singh The Intern Office Films

The Intern

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime
A delightful cross-generational story of Robert De Niro interning under Anne Hathaway, this comedy-drama is a reminder that no age is too late to begin, retirement is just a construct, and the office-space can be one for growth, joy, and companionship.

Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year

Streaming Platform: Amazon Prime
While the beginning of office-camaraderie in this Shimit Amin film, starring Ranbir Kapoor as the wide-eyed turbaned salesman, are adversarial, the film morphs into one of solidarity that will make you remember the calcined white walls of your corporate office through a filter of nostalgia.

Call My Agent!

Streaming Platform: Netflix
Set in Paris, this follows the life of four agents representing the who’s-who of French glitterati. Filled with office competition, jealousy, but also love, and a unique impulse to stand up for one another despite consequences. Watch out for the last episode of the second season, unfolding at the Cannes Film Festival.

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