Inspiring Movies on Netflix

Everyone occasionally needs inspiration to achieve something or identify what they want in life. Here are five inspiring movies on Netflix that’ll give you a boost.
Inspiring Movies on Netflix

When a movie inspires you enough to change your life, it doesn’t matter if it is too long or short, whether the direction is not on point, or if the soundtrack isn’t engaging enough. It has done its job.

From sports movies that drive home the importance of discipline to inspiring films that underline the need to keep pushing yourself and movies that simply remind you to reach out for help, the world is a better place when these inspiring films are made.

If you want to feel that gentle push of encouragement, watch these 5 inspiring movies on Netflix.

Mary Kom (2014)

This movie is not on this list because it’s your run-of-the-mill sports movie about dedication and victory despite obstacles. Well, it’s that, but it’s much more, too.

We all know Mary Kom is based on MC Mary Kom, the Olympic medal-winning boxing champion from Manipur. It’s an inspiring movie because it highlights Mary Kom’s (Priyanka Chopra Jonas) hardships and the resistance she had to fight against to get to where she is.

Another reason why this movie is inspiring is its emphasis on fighting societal stereotypes. Mary Kom’s coach, M. Narjit Singh (Sunil Thapa), is disappointed when she decides to marry Onler (Darshan Kumar) because marital duties will interfere with her training. So, apart from winning medals, she’s defending her dual role as a wife (and eventually, mother) and a sportsperson competing for the country.

Even though parts of it were dramatised a bit too much, the message is loud and clear from the movie – “kabhi kisi ko itna bhi mat darao, ki darr hi khatam ho jaye.” (Do not frighten someone so much that the fright itself dissipates). You can apply this to various situations in life, especially to your own negative thoughts.

Seventeen (2019)

This Spanish movie on Netflix inspires you while making you laugh and shed a tear or two. It’s the story of 17-year-old Héctor (Biel Montoro), who escapes a youth detention centre to search for Oveja, a shelter dog he befriended a couple of years ago, whom he named Sheep.

With his older brother Ismael (Nacho Sánchez) by his side (because an elder sibling’s aim in life is to keep the younger one out of trouble) and their grandmother Cuca (Lola Cordón), he goes on a heartwarming journey across the vistas of Cantabria in northern Spain.

Any movie with a dog in it has to be a cosy watch. Add to it the stirring theme of two brothers reconnecting during a road trip, and you know it will be a touching watch from start to end. Héctor would rather not speak too much, but his intuition and emotional maturity know no bounds, and that’s what shines through.

This inspiring movie on Netflix gives us a peek into what it’s like to rebuild relationships from scratch. It also inspires us to reach out to family even when we are at our most isolated.

The Lift Boy (2019)

This slice-of-life inspiring movie on Netflix is about a 24-year-old boy, Raju (Moin Khan), who takes over his sick father’s job as a lift operator. Raju is studying to become an engineer, and barring one subject (engineering drawing), he has performed well.

When the building owner, Mrs. D’Souza (Nyla Masood), befriends Raju, she tries to help him with the one subject he struggles with and eventually clears the exam.

The story is simple and appeals to our human instincts to help others without expecting anything in return. The Lift Boy doesn’t explicitly preach anything. It’s a simple movie about people living in a building in Mumbai and interacting with each other.

In that lift, they are all the same, no matter their differences in income and values outside of it, and that’s where humanity thrives in this film.

Stutz (2022)

We have all come to appreciate movies that highlight the therapist-client relationship without resorting to platitudes, such as Dear Zindagi (2016).

This documentary film goes a step further by portraying the realistic bond between psychiatrist Dr. Phil Stuz and actor Jonah Hill, who produced and directed this inspiring movie.

The duo explores various life stories that emphasise mental health and therapy. Their discussion highlights Hill’s struggles and self-doubts as an actor. It gives insight into different perspectives on therapy, reaching out for help, and other intricacies that come with life struggles.

Despite such a heavy theme, the documentary is candid and funny. It communicates powerful ideas in under 90 minutes and can be a great starting point for someone looking for coping mechanisms before they finally approach a therapist.

Vaathi (2023)

Movies highlighting the importance of access to education often crumble under the weight of the message they attempt to convey. This is not one of those movies.

Bala (Dhanush) is appointed as a maths lecturer at a government college as part of a large educational scheme by Srinivas Tripathi (Samuthirankani), who wants to adopt all government colleges and eventually turn them into private colleges with high fees.

Bala mobilises the village and encourages parents to send their children to the college, but when this leads to the government college getting more students, the trustees of private colleges try to shut him out. Bala is teaching not for the money but for his passion for education and his aim to remove the caste divide he sees among his students. There’s also a touch of romance, with his bond with Meenakshi (Samyukhta), another lecturer at the college, growing with each passing day.

Dhanush’s acting is the highlight of this movie. Bala’s journey with the students to get them a state rank is inspiring. Vaathi highlights the message about education and equality in a well-intentioned and well-executed manner.

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