5 Films Revolving Around Mentally Challenged Characters

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This weekend, we have chosen for you, these well made and interesting, highly rated movies showing characters with mental challenges. Most of these won the academy award. Importantly, they reach out and touch our hearts. The topics are unusual and humourous. All of them are dated but haven’t lost their appeal. They remain as relevant today, as they were then.

From the movie Rain Man

1. Forrest Gump

Perhaps we don’t need to remind you of the endearing: “My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump”

Zemeckis the director presents the comic character, Forrest Gump with his characteristic technical excellence. He uses actual incidents from recent history and blends in the main character into the scenes with complete ease. Tom Hanks has done great justice to the role by moulding himself into a childlike persona where his reactions are entirely bizarre and unexpected.

2. Rain Man

Out of his world from behind the protected walls of the sanatorium, Raymond, who is autistic is thrown into situations that do not fit into his life of quiet, comfortable and familiar routine. This movie directed by Barry Levinson produced in 1988 was inspired by a real person, Kim Peak who was nicknamed the ‘Kimputer’. His name appears in the closing titles as a technical advisor. Although Kim Peak possessed an IQ of just 73 he had an unbelievable memory. Dustin Hoffman excels in the role of the challenged Raymond and Tom Cruise further provides integrity to the personality of the impossibly egotistical Charlie Babbit. Here begins an unforgetable journey when Charlie Babbit meets Raymond, for the first time learning he has a brother. A simple road trip turns out truly facinating and guarantees great fun. And what music!

3. One flew over the cuckoo’s nest

This astonishing film by Milos Forman takes you into a psychiatric hospital. The tragic comedy is heartrending in the way it has been dealt by the director. Jack Nicholson in the role of the free-thinking crook Randle Mc Murphy comes to the institution convinced that no prison is secure enough not to escape from. However, this institute under the supervision of  the monstrous nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) belongs to a different league. Despite a prison like discipline Randle Mc Murphy manages to create a revolt among the inhabitants of the asylum. The film is based on the best selling novel by Ken Kesey. It was produced in 1975 and won 5 Oscars.

4. Amadeus

Here’s another movie by Milos Forman and another great success. This biographical film based on the life of Mozart produced in 1984 collected 8 Oscars. The genius composer suffered from bouts of hysteria which is brilliantly portrayed by Tom Hulce. This historical epic, of course, has beautiful music.

5. I’m Sam

This film which has a ring of utter sincerety is about a mentally challenged man called Sam, played by Sean Penn. Sam fathers a daughter, Lucy and by age seven she intellectually outgrows him. This brings them to a situation where the social authorities want to place Lucy under foster care. This is where comes in Michel Pffeifer as the lawyer Rita Harrison who after much reluctance accepts the the case to protect Sam’s parental rights and Lucy’s desire to live with her father. While defending the father and daughter Rita herself goes through a personal change. Little Lucy is superbly portrayed by Dakota Fanning.

Photo: IMDB

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