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Films to get you through those revision blues

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So, its that time of year again, when the highlighters, flashcards, and revision guides are brought out to get us all through the dreaded month and a half that is exam season.

Staying motivated is tough, especially with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat all just one tap away. One thing that I've found gets me in the zone for work is watching a good film.

I know it sounds counter-intuitive but stick with me on this one. Watching just any film, that would likely be a waste of valuable revision time. But watching the right film, well, that can sometimes be just what’s needed to motivate someone to smash out a day’s worth of revision. Here’s a run down of my top films that motivate me through exam periods. 

1. Legally Blonde (2001)

Watching Elle Woods turn her rejection and embarrassment into fierce determination, and ultimately prove to all who doubted her that she is much more than just a superficial ‘pretty girl’ is hands down the most satisfying moment ever recorded on film. The song ‘Watch Me Shine’ by Joanna Pacitti accompanies the oh-so-inspiring, motivational montage of Elle studying and succeeding, and makes the perfect addition to any revision playlist. If you don’t have time to watch the whole film, I implore you, just watch this montage; it’s available on YouTube (don’t worry I checked). Ultimately Legally Blonde is simply an iconic movie and it introduced us to the queen that is Reese Witherspoon. 

2. Dead Poet’s Society (1989)

This one’s a heartbreaker. Rest assured I’m not going to spoil it for you, but if you didn’t shed a tear by the end you are most likely a sociopath. This is the film where Robin Williams delivers inspirational quote after inspirational quote to a cohort of students who are about to embark on their journey into adulthood, and the world itself. The poignancy and profound beauty of this film is one that stays with you, and if the icon that is Robin Williams can’t motivate you, then I’m not sure what else can. As John Keating said, ‘ no matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.’

3. Monsters University (2013)

So this may sound like a strange one but bear with me. This was the film that told the story of how the unusual friendship that we came to love in Monsters Inc. between Sully and Mike actually came about; taking us all the way back to Sully and Mike’s university days in the process. Watching Mike, the small green underdog, overcome all obstacles, study hard and reap the rewards is undeniably satisfying, and I defy anyone to watch Mike succeed without feeling just a little bit motivated to follow in his tiny green footsteps. 

 

4. Good Will Hunting (1997)

Everyone should watch this film regardless of revision purposes, simply because it was the film that introduced us to the iconic Affleck/Damon duo. But more importantly, it’s a film about a young man who lives a seemingly normal life, socialising with friends and working part time as a janitor, but just happens to be a mathematical genius. With the guidance of a psychologist (played by the wonderful Robin Williams), he learns to re-evaluate his life, accept the past and make positive changes for his future. It’s a heart-warming film about the powerful relationship between Damon’s Will Hunting and Williams’ Sean Maguire. Watching Will progress and ultimately make strides towards achieving happiness and fulfilment is enough to make anyone sit up, take note, and feel motivated to do the same.  


5. The Internship (2013)

This one is a classic Vince Vaughn/Owen Wilson comedy and although it won’t be winning any Oscars anytime soon, for motivational purposes it is up there with the best of them. Throughout this film we see the middle aged, newly unemployed duo of Vaughn and Wilson attempt a drastic career change by competing for an elusive internship at Google. The film pits the two men against fresh-faced, twenty-something graduates who take to the various challenges like ducks to water, whilst Wilson and Vaughn are left floundering. However, when the two grown men find their feet and use their initiative to prove their worth, they find success, and watching two underdogs succeed in an industry dominated by youth is simply wonderful. Just goes to show, you’re never too old to try something new.

6. Moana (2016) 

There had to be a Disney film on the list somewhere, and this is it. I understand some people don’t enjoy Disney films, but I will dare anyone to watch this film and not feel just a little bit inspired. There is no shame in loving Moana; I know 20-year-old hockey players who can and will sing along to ‘How far I’ll go’ at the top of their lungs. Watching Moana show her feisty determination and bravery in not only saving her island, but also in bringing her community onto the water and eliminating their fear of the seas will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face. The music is wonderful, the animation is brilliant and it sends a strong message of the power of one’s own courage and what can be achieved with determination. I mean, what’s not to love? 

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