Movies are great at doing a lot of things. When we are lonely and in need of some comfort, movies are there to meet us and give us what we lack, company. When we are somewhat sad and in need of laughter, comedies are there to make things brighter. When we want to dive deep into the world of horror, movies are there to scare us so much that we sleep with a night light. When we want to learn the darkest and deepest secrets of the human mind, or rather, how it works in a person with mental illness or a disorder, movies have the answer. Following are the best movies which show us what a mental disorder or illness look like.
The Black Swan
This was one of the greatest movies of our modern timeline. Released in 2010, it shows the life of a professional ballerina, Nina Sayers, played by Natalie Portman. Nina is very successful and often plays a certain ballet which requires her to stab herself in the stomach. She seems okay on the surface, but deep inside, she is hurting. The pressure of being a professional ballerina is getting to her, in ways which she expresses by hurting herself, physically. She keeps cutting her back, so that she appears as the swans she is playing. She also eats very little, to remain thin, something ballerinas are supposed to be, apparently. This movie shows us how much professional careers can distort the mind of a human, and the underlying and visible damage they can cause.
The Rain Man
The lives of Raymond and Charlie Babbitt are extremely interesting, in the least. Charlie is autistic but is also very smart. Raymond has an almost perfect memory. The two learn how to deal with their disabilities, but also get to meet one another, even though they are brothers. This was the movie which brought autism in the limelight, making more and more people aware of it, that it is not something stigmatic, bad, but rather something which simply might create a wall between people, brilliant people, at that.
The Breakfast Club
A bunch of teenagers in their high school. This is THE teenager movie. It explores various stereotypes such as jock, crazy kid, the popular kid, the nerd, as well as the rebellious one. Each of them had a history of mental health, without serious issues, but rather, those which often stem from family and those closest to them. This is one of those movies which tells us that everyone has problems, but some are better at hiding them or showing a different face.
This movie is about Alice, a linguist who is trying to manage her life after being diagnosed with Alzeheimer’s disease. Her life is basically collapsing as the people dearest to her leave her or are also struggling to cope with what she is becoming, what she can and cannot remember.
Silver Linings Playbook
This movie is about Pat and Tiffany, two people who seem pretty good, yet are suffering from their own demons, respectively. In this case, demons means mental disorders, manic depression for Tiffany and a bipolar disorder for Pat, neither of which are simple. It has its own moments which you can expect from a Hollywood movie, but in the end, it does a very good job showing us what these disorders and illnesses might look like.
These are some of the best movies showing mental illnesses. Others, like A Beautiful Mind, Inside Out, The Skeleton Twins, Infinitely Polar Bear, Matchstick Men, Welcome To Me, are also great movies, worth taking a look at.