We’re knee deep into the era of superhero blockbusters, where Hollywood continues to churn out movies that are largely indistinguishable from one another. The purpose of this is simple: certain types of movies are guaranteed to make a profit, as their goal is to entertain and more importantly show you something they know you will like, mostly because you already liked it before and are likely to go see the next movie that resembles it. You go to the movie, you see some big explosions, muscular leading men, beautiful women, epically choreographed fight scenes, the good guys win and you go home feeling all is well with the world. No meaningful ideas were presented, you weren’t challenged in any way, you didn’t have to think at all, it was just entertainment for the sake of entertainment.
There are also many filmmakers seeking to do more than just entertain, they don’t want to just show you more of the same of what you’re used to, they sprinkle in a little radicalism, a few controversial ideas, some notions highlighting how the way you currently think about the world may or may not, in fact, be correct or to your benefit. These ideas might be exhilarating, threatening, eye-opening, or you might not even notice they were being presented in the film, to begin with. The history of cinema is littered with films that challenge conventional wisdom and try to instil in their audience some fairly radical notions of what it means to be human, to challenge your belief system. We, Galalite Screens presents you a list of the 10 films that try to do just that which you should actually see (in no particular order).
- Fight Club
Directed by David Fincher, this movie is considered as one of the best movies ever made and one of the most controversial movies as well. It is still, a trendsetter and has a cult status among movie buffs and critics alike. The movie talks about an insomniac office worker and a careless soap maker form an underground fight club, which soon spirals down into something sinister. Want to know what’s happening? Give it a watch. Plus, you can see the flawless and one of the best performances of both actors – Edward Norton and Brad Pitt.
- The Shawshank Redemption
Directed by Frank Darabont, is an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story of the same name deals about two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. The movie is worth watching as it deals with their traumas and their emotional discoveries about life. This movie is one of the unique films where there aren’t any female leads.
- The Great Dictator
Directed and starred by Charlie Chaplin, this black comedy movie is a must watch one. Not only for his dual portrayal as a Jewish Barber and General Hynkel, a parody version of Adolf Hitler. This movie is equally funny and equally informative about how Jews suffered the attacks from Nazis and the scenes of Hynkel will make you split into laughs. The monologue in the climax scene is still considered one of the best scenes, as the scene has more impact than the whole movie.
- The Matrix
The Matrix franchise, directed by The Wachowskis’ Sisters is about a dystopian period where a computer programmer fights against a simulated reality called ‘The Matrix’ where humanity is unknowingly trapped. The movie was a path-breaking success in terms of the subject it deals, and the making style as well. Starring Keanu Reeves, is still considered as one of his finest performances.
- Dr Strangelove
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this black comedy film satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States. This is a similar kind of movie like Chaplin’s The Great Dictator, that mocks the present system, at that era. Starring Peter Sellers, into three different characters, shows his versatility performance and the movie is significant even today, because of it’s controversial story premise, made it in a satirical manner. The movie is considered as one of Kubrick’s masterpieces.
- 12 Angry Men
Another eye-opener movie, directed by Sidney Lumet, is a courtroom drama that tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they deliberate the conviction or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing the jurors to question their morals and values. This movie is a serious one, where the movie kept the audience thinking about their own morals and values about other fellow beings. The movie is that impactful, that you should definitely add to your watchlist.
- The Truman Show
Directed by Peter Weir, and starring Jim Carrey is another splendid movie that is really an eye-opener. The movie shows an insurance salesman discovers his entire life is actually a television show and that even members of his family are mere actors. He then attempts an escape from his dreary life. How scary is that? Isn’t it? Then try to watch this movie as well, you will really be astonished by watching this satire sci-fi film.
- American Beauty
Directed by Sam Mendes, the movie deals with a sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter’s best friend. When you read this synopsis, you might be thinking about middle age people whom you know, and their interferences and encounters. The movie not only deals with sexuality but also with parental love, redemption, materialism and self-liberalisation. Starred by Kevin Spacey, this movie is a definite watch, if you faced these kinds of things.
Directed by Andrew Stanton, this animation movie is all about a robot called Wall-E, who is responsible for cleaning a waste-covered Earth meets another robot and falls in love with her. Together, they set out on a journey that will alter the fate of mankind. Don’t ignore this movie by considering it as an animation flick. This movie sets upon a dystopian period talk about human-environment impacts and concerns, waste management and criticises consumerism and corporatism. This movie is definitely another eye-opener movie.
- The Big Short
Directed by Adam McKay, the movie has an ensemble star cast of Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling. The movie shows up in the years 2007-08, a few finance experts observe the instability in the US housing market and predict its collapse. Through their research, they discover the flaws and corruption in the system. The movie is actually inspired by real incidents that happened during the financial crisis in 2007-08. Watch out for some superb performances of lead actors as well as how some people play with the stock market, and corrupts it, bring financial crisis and make everyone’s lives miserable.