Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
The startup world mostly talks about the blitz and glamour. They talk about how ‘cool’ it is to have beer or a pool table in the office. They go on and on about their flexible working hours and how they will be the next ‘Uber’ of something.
Yeah, that’s all great. But what gets you through are the dark parts. It is full of sleepless nights where the question of “Did I make the right choice?” echoes in your head. We are only human. Things are going great, but there are other times that are difficult.
You are not always in the position of power and there are so many ways to find your rock. Sparing two to three hours for a good old film can really help you through the day. It sure works for me.
Here are three brilliant films that explore the feeling of repression, lethargy and restlessness.
- Repression: Carrie, 1976
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images – © 2011 Getty Images
Rage is actually a good mechanism to protect yourself. We think too much of what others feel that it makes us blind to realize how much we get hurt. Sometimes we want to explode and scream on the top of our lungs, “What’s going on!” It’s okay to be angry at the world when things don’t work out. But we can’t go crazy uncontrollably. We have our social life to keep.
Let Carrie do that for you. Based on the Stephen King’s beloved novel, this movie tells a story about a repressed fragile girl. She is abused by her disturbed mother and treated poorly by the other kids. They are so cruel they dump a bucket of pig’s blood on her at the prom after they maliciously vote her as prom queen. Then she goes telekinetically psycho on everyone.
It’s so pleasing and rewarding that the anger and stress mounted inside of you are cleansed out when the credits are rolling. The King himself loved this film so much that when he was asked what he thought about the upcoming 2013 remake, he said, “The real question is why, when the original was so good?”
- Lethargy: While We’re Young, 2014
Photo by Jon Pack
We have to stop living in the past. That way we are forever young.
This comedy takes a look into a childless couple Josh and Cornelia, brilliantly played by Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts, who are in their forties and can’t remember the last time they had a ‘fun, spontaneous’ night out. The real stories begin after the two meet a young couple in their mid-twenties. The two are so spirited and energetic the older couple wants to spend more time together doing silly stuff like wearing a hippie hat or attending a hip-hop dance class.
The film compares one vibrant couple to another couple who clings onto youth as if it has gone away. But I like how Josh and Cornelia come to realize that youth is here to stay and the past time they have spent being ‘adults’ has given them wisdom. The balance in everything is always the key.
As George Bernard Shaw perfectly puts it, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” So let’s keep playing.
- Restlessness: Take Shelter, 2013
© 2011 – Sony Pictures Classics
You feel like no one believes you, but your guts tell you otherwise. You know you are right, but it’s hard to explain why. You are restless. You need just one person to believe in you and tell you that you are good enough. These emotions are explored in this movie.
The main character Curtis, beautifully portrayed by Michael Shannon, has these bad, vivid dreams: The storm destroys his home or his car is attacked by a horde of unknown people who eventually snatches his daughter away from him. He takes his warnings seriously and does what he can to guard his family. He goes far lengths to build a shelter in his backyard and people start to talk about how unstable he has become.
The very talented director Jeff Nichols subtly builds suspense slowly throughout the film leaving audiences at the edge of their seats. The story is so driven with the power of love, belief, commitment, terror and dread.
The film ends with an ambiguous ending which were interpreted in many different ways. The master of storytelling Nichols reflected that he had a “strict idea of what the end of Take Shelter was.” But the ‘beautiful part’ is that the audiences are “also telling you something about themselves too through their reactions.”
Have you watched this film? How did you react?