Perhaps no form of entertainment has affected the thoughts and ideologies of a massive populace more than the realm of cinema. In the massive rubbish pile of movies that have been made purely out of the aim of commercial exploitation, there have always been the one-off movies that have more than mesmerized, more than inspired us. The 10 movies listed below are probably the greatest odes to the spirit of agitation, resistance and repugnant conflict.
V FOR VENDETTA (2005)
This is the greatest anti-establishment movie ever made. Anyone who has watched this movie will most probably agree. The movie has become a symbol for anarchy. A masked protagonist, V (Hugo Weaving), narrates anti-establishment poetry through word and motion, resonating with many around the world.
RANG DE BASANTI (2006)
No other Indian movie has captured the angst of youth desperate for a better country like “Rang De Basanti” has. It opened up a can of worms about the state of affairs in India due to the political class and all its cronies.
NAYAK: THE REAL HERO (2001)
A cult political Hindi movie, “Nayak: The Real Hero” is about a man who becomes Chief Minister for a day, and changes the political scenery of the state to something much more positive. The movie pre-empts Aam Aadmi Party ironically. Was the party influenced by this movie to a certain degree? We’d like to think so.
THE HUNGER GAMES (2012)
Set in the not so distant future, “The Hunger Games” chronicles the relationship between the aristocratic class and the like of the everyday bourgeois you and I. With Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss Everdeen, a working class hero of sorts who with winning the Hunger Games manages to give power to her people, displays not only what society has become, but also how its destitute give back when there is nothing more to lose.
I, ROBOT (2004)
Perhaps a long stretch from reality at the moment, “I Robot” is one movie that shows one man’s defiance of following the system for the sake of following them. Will smith as Detective Spooner sees the breakdown in this system when a murder of a single important individual leads to the trickledown effect of all hell breaking loose and a rebellion of sorts between man and machine.
THE MATRIX TRILOGY (1999-2003)
To the nerdy amongst us, as well as the conspiracy theorists, “The Matrix” trilogy is possibly the greatest movie made on rebellion. Neo (Keanu Reeves) sees his whole world turn upside down when he accepts reality against the pseudo-reality that has been spun into real-time. What transpires is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of an alliance of man against again, computers and reality. For those who understand the analogies in the movie, the spirit of rebellion against wrong governance and impending death is only too obvious.
Perhaps among the most underrated political dramas in the country, Mani Ratnam’s “Yuva” is a steady reminder of just how deeply infiltrated politics is in the country’s lifeline. Taking the issue of student and college politics by the horns, the long array of actors in the movie do a brilliant job of depicting exactly what the state of the political arena is, no matter the context and also, how standing one’s ground has varied repercussions.
INTO THE WILD (2007)
Rebellion need not always be about making a noise about wanting to get one’s way: it may be as subtle as Emile Hirsch’s portrayal of Chris McCandless, who in real life, left all his meritorious grading by society for a life of new experiences as he fulfilled his ultimate dream of making a road trip to Alaska.
Among the more sober movies in this list, “Swades” is about reverse brain-drain. What it also has is a sense of mutiny against old ideologies and the country’s proud indulgence in blind-faith and self-proclamation of being the greatest nation ever. In Shahrukh Khan’s portrayal of Mohan Bhargava, we see every country-loving intellectual’s want to make a change, whatever it be.
If there ever were a movie that described lunacy towards how the system made you believe that everything is always alright, no matter how bad things are, it has to be yestertyear’s superflick “Network.” Playing on the protagonist’s unearthing of the controversial manipulation of mass media, a viewing of this movie is sure to get you rattled up about how life is, and how what we often think is so dependent on how we are taught to think.