Top 8 of Some of the Most Insightful and Profound Movies – 2015

 

Image by Geralt

Image by Geralt

 

Movies play a very instrumental part in our lives, and have been doing so for many decades. They can positively or negatively influence your state of mind. There are movies that touch your heart and make you feel warm inside. There are movies that leave you feeling disturbed and distressed. There are positive and negative movies. There are movies that should have never been produced. Then, there are movies that are so profoundly insightful that they leaves you feeling stimulated and stirred for days.

 

The following are my top 10 of such movies and I will try to briefly explain why these movies have made an impression on me. They make you question the concept of ‘reality’. There are some minor spoilers, but definitely not major.  Here is my list in no particular order:

 

1. The Peaceful Warrior – 2006

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

This movie is based on a novel ‘Way of The Peaceful Warrior’ by Dan Millman. It is about resolve and self-belief. It is about self-discovery and the realisation that it is all about the journey, not the destination. The story is driven by the concept of Socrates’ philosophy: that we should live entirely on the present moment. This movie will awaken something deep within you!

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBd

Director: Victor Salva

Main Cast: Scott Mechlowics & Nick Nolte

 

“Dan Millman has it all: good grades, a shot at the Olympic team on the rings and girls lining up for the handsome Berkely college athlete all teams mates look up to with envy. Only one man shakes his confidence, an anonymous night gas station attendant, who like Socrates, keeps questioning every assumption in his life. Then a traffic crash shatters Dan’s legs, and his bright future. Now Socrates’s life coaching is to make or break Dan’s revised ambition.”
 

 

2. Inception – 2010

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

A mind-bending movie by Christopher Nolan. This movie allows you to reflect on the nature and complexity of the mind and the concepts of time and space. It makes you question the nature of reality. You are left in deep thought, wondering if there’s some legitimacy in the concepts of quantum physics/mechanics. The subconscious mind is exposed as the instrument of great power, but is also revealed for its vulnerability.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBd

Director : Christopher Nolan

Main Cast : Leonardo DiCaprio & Joseph Gordon- Levitt

“Dom Cobb is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible-inception…”

 

 3. The Matrix – 1999

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

 I remember after I watched this movie for the first time, I just set there, absolutely captivated and did not want it to end. I left the cinema feeling so conflicted and perplexed. Anyhow, I must mention here that I am not a big fan of the martial-art in the movie as such, it’s the dialogue or narratives that took my mind on a trip to wonderland.Here again, you will find yourself questioning what reality is and what it is not.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBd

Director: The Wachowski Brothers

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves & Laurence Fishburne

“Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo finds himself targeted by the police when he is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker branded a terrorist by the government. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity have been captured by a race of machines that live off of the humans’ body heat and electrochemical energy and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix.”
 

 

4. The 13th Floor – 1999

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

This movie has ‘Inception’ connotations blended in with ‘The Truman Show’ ideas and some Matrix theories. This movie, just like many in this list, inspires you to question your perception about what you view as real. It is about self-awareness and self-discovery.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBd

Director: Josef Rusnak

Main Cast: Craig Beirko & Armin Mueller-Stahl

“Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He’s about to tell the discovery to his colleague, Douglas Hall, but knowing someone is after him, the old man leaves a letter in the computer generated parallel world his company has created (which looks like the 30’s with seemingly real people with real emotions).”

 

 5. The Truman Show – 1998

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

 Strangely, I am not a big fan of his “funny” movies or his acting style. However, this movie is very profound when you really get into it. It makes you wonder if we are all little “Trumans”, really, living our lives in a fishbowl. Because if we are, then nothing is as it seems. Or perhaps it is just the movies folks nothing more J

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBD

Director: Peter Weir

Main Cast: Jim Carrey & Ed Harris

“In this movie, Truman is a man whose life is a fake one… The place he lives is in fact a big studio with hidden cameras everywhere, and all his friends and people around him, are actors who play their roles in the most popular TV-series in the world: The Truman Show. Truman thinks that he is an ordinary man with an ordinary life and has no idea about how he is exploited. Until one day… he finds out everything.”

 

 6. The Fight Club – 1999

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

Granted, this is a violent movie. I do not condone violence and do not like to watch violent movies. This movie, however, made its way to this list because of its unbelievable insightfulness. And also because the violence in the movie is a metaphor for the internal turmoil within each and everyone of us. We are rarely gentle with ourselves. There’s always that battle between good and bad all the time. This is exactly what I took away from ‘The Fight Club’. The concept of duality that is spoken about in metaphysics is implied, but not necessarily easily perceived.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBb

Directed by: David Fincher

Main Cast: Edward Newton & Brad Pitt

“A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground “fight clubs” forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion.”

 

 7. The Game – 1997

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

 ‘The Game’ is another movie that is very similar to the ones already mentioned in this article. It is similar because it implies that one’s supposed reality could be in actuality an illusion. I do not believe that it’s funny going about your day – a very stressful and down-right frightful day I must add – thinking that your life is ruined and you have lost everything, and then find-out later that it was all just a game and a joke. Granted, you will be relieved.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBb

Director: David Fincher

Main Cast: Michael Douglas & Sean Penn

“Nicholas Van Orton is a very wealthy San Francisco banker, but he is an absolute loner, even spending his birthday alone. In the year of his 48th birthday (the age his father committed suicide) his brother Conrad, who has gone long ago and surrendered to addictions of all kinds, suddenly returns and gives Nicholas a card giving him entry to unusual entertainment provided by something called Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). Giving up to curiosity, Nicholas visits CRS and all kinds of weird and bad things start to happen to him.”

 

8. The Fountain – 2006

 

Image from IMBd

Image from IMBd

 

 This is a movie that requires all 5 of your senses in order to truly get into it. It is not only about the narratives. The essence of the movie is beautifully complicated. You are once again left wondering what is real and what is not real in the movie. One of the reasons for this is because the movie takes place in 3 different parallel time-lines; the 16th century, the present day and the future. In each of these time-lines, you will witness the same character going through different states of discernment of his reality. You have to view the movie from the director’s point of view. For example, when you see the camera zooming in on a window, suddenly there’s a bright light flooding through, just after a certain scene. Ask yourself, ‘what does this symbolise?’ Because it is there for a reason. I am not going to lie, this is not an easy one, but worth your time.

 

Movie Synopsis from IMBb

 Director: Darren Aronofsky

Main Cast: Hugh Jackman & Rachel Weiss

“The movie ends with a white out, which represents the Big Bang or creation of the Universe. Following that, the white areas behind the credits condense, which correlates with the condensation of matter and ultimate large sale structure of the universe. These devolve to black screen, the early “opaque” stage of the universe, when early particle were forming. From this, stars begin to form, one by one until the credits end with a universe full of stars and the story of our universe to the present, told behind the credits.”

 

There are other movies which I wanted to add to this list, like ‘The Space Odyssey’, ‘Vanilla Sky’, ‘Pi’ (not to be confused with the ‘Life of Pi’), ‘Clockwork Orange’, ‘12 Monkeys’, ‘The Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind’, The Shawshank Redemption, Limitless, Groundhog Day, Forest Gump and many others. However, I decided to stick with this 8.

 

I hope you enjoyed my list. Please add to it, I would like to hear your suggestions.

 

Lungisa Sonqishe

 

 

 

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