The year 2020 sure has been a roller coaster ride with plenty of ups and downs, and currently it seems as if the entire world just plunged down a gaping, bottomless and dark ravine which has shocked and frightened us all in equal measure. The safest way to rise above these trying times and deal with this pandemic is to stay at home and practice social distancing. While we all are trying to do this, it can get pretty difficult and challenging for some people to stay home-bound, especially if they enjoy active social lives, love being outdoors and relish interacting with other people.
Quarantine life hasn’t upset me in the least, in fact I haven’t stepped foot outside my home since 15th March and I feel perfectly alright. I have always loved staying indoors and I feel most content when I’m watching TV or burrowing between the pages of a good novel, but I know that this is not an easy period for many of my friends and family members.
If you happen to be one of those people who are fed up of being cooped up in the house and are frustrated beyond measure with this sudden house arrest, then I have a solution for you! (No, they aren’t tips on sneaking out of the house, but something else that is likely to give you a happy rush nonetheless!) Whenever I’m in a black mood, I settle down in front of my Television set with a huge bowl of popcorn and watch a movie from my list of ‘All time fav movies’. While the original list is quite big, I have managed to choose 5 movies that deserve to be mentioned in this blog post. So, the next time you feel sad or upset during the lock-down or at any point in your life, you can rely on these movie recommendations to beat the blues and restore your cheery disposition.
1. The Ice Age Series
The best way to deal with any negative feeling like sadness, stress or frustration is laughter and that is precisely why I had to include the Ice Age series in this list. Not only is this animated movie a total laugh riot, but is also infused with tons of memorable moments that will uplift your mood in a jiffy. The Ice Age series, as the name suggests, is based on life in the Ice Age era, when dinosaurs were still a part of our world and a major portion of our planet was covered in ice (which was approximately tens of thousands of years ago).
What makes this series unforgettable are the hilarious and totally lovable main leads- sweet and kind-hearted Manny (a mammoth), cynical and jaded Diego (a saber-toothed tiger) and the silly and happy-go-lucky Sid (a sloth). Also the presence of the acorn-obsessed Scrat (a saber-toothed squirrel) takes the comic factor in this series to an all-time high and even without a single dialogue to his credit, Scrat will make you laugh the loudest. The Ice Age franchise has 5 movies and while each one is amazing, my personal favourite, which made me laugh the most, was the 4th movie in the series titled- Continental Drift. So, if you are feeling low, then do yourself a favour and without wasting a single second head for your TV/laptop and start watching the Ice Age series!
If you think your problems are insurmountable, then wait till you watch this film cause Bala has a problem that is graver than yours. The protagonist- Balmukund Shukla known as ‘Bala’ (played by the phenomenal actor Ayushmann Khurrana) suffers from premature balding and as a result he is low on self-confidence and is unable to lead a happy life, personally and professionally. While Bala’s woes are no laughing matter, you will not be able to hold back your laughter as the movie chronicles the trials and tribulations of the ‘balding Bala’.
It is downright hilarious to watch the lengths and extents to which Bala is willing to go so that he can sport a thicker mane and as the movie progresses, you too will be thoroughly engrossed in Bala’s life and wonder whether his problems will ever be solved or not. This movie will make you laugh, giggle and smile and you will walk away feeling light-hearted. What made me include this movie in my list is not only its ability to thoroughly entertain the audience, but also the subtle and non-preachy way in which it manages to convey a vital message- if you want somebody to love you, then you must learn to love yourself first- flaws and all! After watching this film, you are guaranteed to feel happier and much more in love with yourself than before!
3. Pride and Prejudice
An emotion that is strong enough to wipe out every trace of sorrow and dejection is ‘Love’ and if we are discussing love and romance then it would be a grave injustice to do so without mentioning Pride and Prejudice. Jane Austen’s novel ‘Pride and Prejudice’ has several film adaptations however, the one that is closest to my heart is the 2005 adaptation starring Keira Knightley as the feisty and outspoken Elizabeth Bennet and Matthew Macfadyen as the rich and arrogant Mr. Darcy.
This movie is a window into a world that is so very different from our own, as it is based on life and social etiquettes of early 19th century England, and watching the idyllic life of the English country-side will instantly make you forget all your worries. The highlight of this movie is the slow and sure romance that kindles between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy who are as different as the bright and blazing sun and the cold and distant moon. Every intense and smouldering look shared by Darcy and Elizabeth will make your heart soar with happiness (especially the way Darcy confesses his feeling to Elizabeth) and as the movie draws to an end, you will feel awash in the glow of all the love and romance that consumes this splendid couple. Watch this film and be prepared to fall in love with love all over again!
Set in Kashmir, Notebook is as lovely and refreshing as the sea breeze that caresses your face on a bright and balmy day. I had to include this movie in my list for its unique love story and the fantastic locations that form the backdrop of this delightful film. Notebook is a romance drama but there is nothing run-of-the-mill about this love story which revolves around Captain Kabir Kaul, a handsome retired army officer and Firdaus, a strong and independent woman who is very passionate about teaching. Zaheer Iqbal and Pranutan Bahl are fabulous in their respective roles and play their characters with such finesse that it’s hard to believe they are debutant actors.
Traumatized by the wars and eager to put his life as a solider behind him, Kabir heads to Kashmir to become a teacher at a tiny and remote school (Wular Public School), that was founded by his late father. There, he falls in love with Firdaus, who taught at the same school before him but, there is a catch- he has never met her. Despite never having crossed paths, he falls deeply in love with her when he reads her diary which she left behind after she quit working at the school. As the film progresses, you cannot help but wonder- Will Kabir ever get the chance to meet Firdaus? Will he confess his feelings to Firdaus? Will Firdaus also fall in love with Kabir? There is only one way to find out- by watching this film! As you lose yourself in this sweet and endearing love story, all your worries and frustration will melt away like butter on freshly baked honey waffles!
5. The Karate Kid
To be honest, I have never been fond of any form of combat, be it karate, boxing, judo or any other sport that involves sparring, kicking or hitting of any sort, but when I saw ‘The Karate Kid (2010)’, I was blown away by this form of martial arts. Starring Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith, this movie is a must watch if you’re looking for some action, adventure and oodles of emotion, all rolled into one. This movie is not just limited to action, but also has a solid, beating heart at the core of its story that makes it so special and definitely worth a watch.
The film’s protagonist is 12 year old Dre Parker who shifts to Beijing, China from Detroit, Michigan due to his mother’s job transfer. Dre experiences a culture shock of sorts, as living in the East is vastly different from his life in the West and, to make things worse, he is confronted by a bully who goes to the same school as him. Unable to undertake constant attacks and beatings from his classmate, Dre is supremely unhappy with his life and is terribly homesick. As fate would have it, he soon crosses paths with Mr. Han, a Kung Fu master who also looks after the maintenance of the building where Dre and his mom live. Mr. Han saves Dre from his classmate’s brutal assault and taking pity on him, decides to teach him Kung Fu as a form of self-defense. It is super interesting and heartening to watch the journey of this frail and miserable boy as he transforms into a confident and mature Kung Fu fighter. This movie is sure to make you feel recharged and ready to take on whatever goal you wish to accomplish!
The next time you’re feeling low and down in the dumps, you don’t have to sit in a corner, sulking and waiting for these undesirable feelings to pass. You can instead do something about it and the best part is, you now have 5 new ways to ensure that you are back to feeling cheerful and on top of the world!