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The Power of Film

Image by Denise Jans

Movies are often filled with a plethora of lessons and emotions that impact audiences in several ways. Watching different types of movies has the ability to open us up to new perspectives in life, especially for teens. Nowadays, younger generations get to understand the complex history of world events and social issues from books and the Internet. They can get a deeper understanding of a specific topic. However, movies can bring the reality of the matter by using visuals, scores and of course, acting. The portrayal of such stories let us know the depths of a character or event. We can understand the sentiments of both sides during the occurrence of a traumatic event.

In my opinion, war and thriller genres may not be for everyone. The characteristics of them include several aspects like violence, abuse, graphic scenes and more which might make some people uneasy as they watch it

Poster from Studio Ghibli

Such scenes may not be reflected in daily lives which put people off when watching them. However, this doesn't mean there isn't anything we can learn from those types of movies. War films like Grave of the Fireflies and Saving Private Ryan show us the preciousness of family when war took place during a specific period. Thriller films like Wild City or series like Chernobyl reveal the complexity and darkness of history to us.

But that's not to say we watch movies for learning purposes only; watching comedy films, for example, help us unwind and release stress after a long day. And there's some science to back up why laughing is good for us. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles. Also, it increases the endorphins that are released by your brain, thus relieving your stress response. Who would've thought? But not only does it benefit our health, but watching comedy films can transport you into a world of delight and joy. I highly recommend films like Men in Black: International and Deadpool for people who are looking for a good laugh.

Poster by Warner Bros. Studio

According to Little White Lies, a study was conducted by WeTransfer. They surveyed 10,000 people from 143 countries on where they get their creativity juice. A number said primarily talking with friends, nature, travel and more. However, watching movies was one of the highest-scoring sources of inspiration, especially for those who work in creative industries like film, design, photography and publishing. People who can think out of the box, continually coming up with different ideas have a unique skill set. And at times when one goes through a creative block, watching fantasy movies is definitely a great way to boost their creativity. When watching fantasy movies like Harry Potter or Star Wars, it lets us imagine and explore what we would do if we were in that world.

Poster by Columbia Pictures Studio

As we grow older, we go through many hurdles in life. Once puberty hits, we begin to go through waves of changes both mentally, emotionally and physically. All of this results in dealing with complexities, so how do movies help with this? As mentioned before, movies can inspire and stimulate our minds. The genre of drama, for example, includes scenes and characters that allows us as an audience to understand and relate in such settings. This will bring about many emotions, be it sadness, joy or anger. But, these emotions are part of growing up. I suggest watching dramas like The Pursuit of Happyness and Hello World to better understand and grasp emotions so that we don't overwhelm ourselves when certain emotions hit us.

In terms of themes like rationality in films, crime-fiction is an excellent choice to understand our minds. According to Time, audiences can pretend to be a detective and see if they can figure out the suspect before the movie or TV series tells you. This lets people understand the motives, thoughts and decisions behind a character or scene, thus making them better understand the film. Crime-fiction movies like Bluebeard and Memoir Of A Murderer include tons of details for us to solve the puzzles in it. Characters who seem like they're the victim might actually end up innocent. We can train to hold on to our empathy when it comes to judging someone. As the saying goes, "never judge a book by its cover", therefore, whether it's in reality or a movie, we shouldn't judge a person's personality by what we see on the surface. We must learn how to understand the person first before making assumptions.

It's clear to see the aspects of how movies impact us and why it's an invaluable tool to better understand ourselves and the world around us. Watching movies not only aids our personal journeys, but it teaches us different perspectives, morals and values, and that's something beneficial for all.

By Soong Eason


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