10 Films To Watch If You Like Kota Factory on Netflix
The two seasons of Kota Factory streaming on Netflix are a satire on the cutthroat competitive education scenario of our nation. We have witnessed whenever we discuss the system of education in our country, there is always plenty of dramatic content that forms the key subjects to discuss. These subjects include inequality in the education system of our country, student politics, and the romance between fellow students amongst others.
Most of these films strictly adhere to the hyperbolic strategy of storytelling and have always tried to project that one section of the society is evil and the other good and generous. In such circumstances, the emergence of a web series like Kota Factory pushes the envelope of creative thinking and highlights the core issues associated with the education system that has shackled the lives of the students.
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The characters projected in the series are real and hold the mirror in front of our society. Their characterization is so palpable that we can almost relate to the plight, inner conflict, and pressure they are encountering in order to compete in the rat race of cracking one of the toughest competitive exams of the world.
The web series also showcases how the presence of a mentor can not only help in nurturing the ripe minds of these young aspirants but also infuse a sense of confidence in their spirit to fight future battles. The situations these young students face are not only with the milieu of the narrative but we had also faced such predicament in the prime of our youth. Kota Factory is not only an entertaining show but also serves to inspire young individuals, which is its core strength. Here are 10 films to watch if you like Kota Factory on Netflix.
1. The Miracle Worker (1962)
The Miracle Worker is an inspiring true account story that depicts the early phase of Helen Keller’s life, played by Patty Duke. When Helen was very young she was infected with a virus due to which she lost her hearing and sight. She is then compelled to grow in the difficult world without the presence of light and sound in her life. This makes Helen into a violent and irascible individual. Her helpless parents are forced to appoint Annie Sullivan, played by Anne Bancroft, as a tutor to bring some solution to Helen’s troubled life. Annie works in the Perkins Institute for blind people. As Annie meets Helen and her strict and disciplined regime begins, we unravel how a strong determination can work as a miracle in one’s life.
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Under the deft directorial flair of Arthur Penn, the beautifully structured film cleverly centres around the turmoil in the life of a differently-abled girl. The narrative of the film finely balances itself to meet the demands of characterization, performance, and storytelling that focuses its attention on the role played by the teacher in bringing about an attitudinal change in helpless individuals. At the 35th Academy Awards, the film won awards for best actress as well as best supporting actress.
2. The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Breakfast Club is the tale of five high school students who had to face Saturday detention. The five students have never met each other before and have characteristics that are different from one another. Claire is a very popular girl in her school, Andrew is a disco jockey, John is a juvenile delinquent, Brian is a bookworm, and Allison is a dimwit. Over the next few hours, these individuals will shed their inhibitions and delve into unlikely friendships. As the narrative progresses they pass the day arguing, smoking pot, and bonding. They slowly open up to one another and in the process discover one another.
Claire is a popular girl but yet has trouble dealing with pressures from her peers, and she acts as an arbitrator when her parents quarrel. Bender’s father is a drunkard. He vents out his anger upon his son by abusing him physically and emotionally. Allison is also having a strained relationship with her parents and that affects her personality.
Andrew’s parents completely control and dominate him and due to which he lacks confidence in certain aspects of his life. At the same time, Brian’s parents also put extreme pressure on him to keep and pressurize him to score well in his high school. The Breakfast Club is an entertaining film that speaks about lots of issues and problems faced by students with subtle humour.
3. Dead Poet Society (1989)
Set in 1959, the narrative of Dead Poets Society unfolds at Welton Academy where the school authorities follow strict rules and guidelines. The authorities are very restricted and prepare the students to become respectable members of society and become respectable citizens in the future.
As a twist within the narrative former student John Keating (Robin Williams) comes back to Welton as a teacher to teach English to the student’s dramatic events take place. Though his unconventional educational method shocks the students, at the same time, these methods also become an inspiration for these young students. It helps them to think out of the box and think for themselves, thereby helping in the process of self-discovery.
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Director Peter Weir depicts with precision the changing temper of students and the changing balances of human relationships very sensitively. The film highlights the changing equations between a teacher and his students, who doubts his teaching process initially and later become confidantes.
The title of the film refers to the rebellious secret society, the boy’s form in which each of them reads a poem aloud. Robin Williams delivers a performance that is witty, sincere, and lovable. The film won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay and the BAFTA Award for Best Film.
4. Little Man Tate (1991)
Fred Tate (Adam Hann-Byrd) is a first-grader and does amazing paintings, meticulously plays the piano, and solves mathematical problems very swiftly and quickly. But his exceptional qualities make him stand out amongst his fellow students and he is not able to make friends in school. At the same time, he is unnecessarily worried about natural calamities like deforestation and ozone layer depletion. His mother Dede (Jodie Foster) is worried and decides to enroll Fred in an institution for specially gifted kids headed by Dr. Jane Grierson (Dianne Wiest). What happens later forms the dramatic crux of the film.
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The film explores the isolation in the contemporary world of a child prodigy. At the same time, it also underlines the importance of the relationship between Fred and an independent and rich mother as well as the disciplined world of Grierson. As a director, Jodie Foster conventionally structures a film in the genre of mainstream cinema, which conveys in an entertaining and wholesome manner. The film delivers the social message of togetherness and the need for preserving the unity of the family and emphasizes how under the influence of a mentor a young mind can cope with his surroundings and excel in life.
5. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Good Will Hunting is the tale of Will Hunting (Matt Damon) who is in his twenties and working as a janitor at the reputed M.I.T. He is a self-taught genius with a dark past. One night, he assaults a police officer that puts him in jeopardy. One of the Professors of the institute, Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgård), comes forward to help Will after he discovers that he is the one who solved two complicated mathematical problems on his board. But in order to make things work; he puts Will under the guidance of Lambeau. He is also put into a weekly therapy session with Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), which results in delivering therapeutic benefits.
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Directed by Gus Van Sant, the film stands for the rights of an emotionally wrecked person to be accorded the privileges of a normal human within a society. It states in a simple yet convincing manner that such people should be encouraged to develop their inner talents. The acting in the film is very engaging as all the primary characters get into the skin of their characters. At the 70th Academy Awards and 55th Golden Globe Awards, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon won the award for Best Screenplay.
6. Not One Less (1999)
Not One Less narrates the tale of a young twelve-year-old girl, Wei (Wei Minzhi), who has been employed by the village elders as a temporary replacement of a teacher for the school. But there is a condition that all the 23 students should be present in the class. If one of them is less Wei won’t be paid. Wei willfully agrees and accepts the condition. As she starts to work at the school he encounters a lot of difficulties on the way.
The school is having a lack of funds so she has to even use the chalk judiciously. Even some of the students in the class prove to be troublesome. But the dramatic turn of events in the story arrives when one of the students is missing from class because he has gone to the city to earn money for his poor family. Now Wei faces the enormous task of travelling to the city of Beijing and searching for the missing student and bringing him back to the village.
The director of the film Zhang Yimou depicts through the eyes of a young girl the respect for education and one’s culture while tackling many social issues pertaining to the economy, agriculture, and general empowerment, for civic society. The film won the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film festival in 1999.
7. Mona Lisa Smile (2003)
Mona Lisa Smile has Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) into the role of a protagonist who is an ambitious lady from California and socially unconventional. She joins Massachusetts’ Wellesley College as a teacher and discovers that though the institution is the country’s top liberal arts college and a pioneer in educating women across the country, the place is shackled by the traditions. Katherine plays a key role in infusing the dreams into the minds of the students and preparing them to dream beyond the requirements of society.
Directed by Mike Newell, the film highlights the status of women and how they should perceive themselves and earns their respect in society. Characters that are sharp and intelligent in their attitudes inhabit the world of the film. The screenplay of the film written by Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal creates a situation and constructs scenes that not only help the viewers to probe into the mind of the characters but also give rise to logical and conflicting situations. Newell builds an unpretentious, gripping, and entirely credible narrative and brings about in the process some extremely powerful performances. Some critics consider the film to be a female version of Dead Poet Society.
8. The Class (2008)
The Class is a French film that explores the different shades of being a teacher in a school where students from different races in the neighbourhood of Paris come to study. As the scenes in the film unfold we empathize about the struggle that the teacher had to undergo. The film also depicts the plight of the students who have not been stereotyped and their problems and issues appear to be palpable. François Begaudeau, who not only wrote the memoir-novel upon which the film is based and co-wrote the script but also acted in the film. The screenplay of the film is based on his experiences as a teacher at a French school that was different from the one portrayed in the film.
The narrative of the film avoids being melodramatic and concerns people associated with the education system of the school. The handheld camerawork of the film allows the viewers to become active participants. After the end credits had rolled the film refuses to leave our memory and we are compelled to think about the plight of the characters we have just witnessed. The Class film received the Palme d’Or at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
9. An Education (2009)
An Education is set in 1961, London, and narrates the tale of 16-year-old Jenny (Carey Mulligan), whose life is completely under the control of her parents (Alfred Molina and Cara Seymour), who are constantly in the process of grooming her to get into the reputed Oxford Industry. But things take a dramatic turn when David (Peter Sarsgaard) enters into Jenny’s life one fine day.
David is older than Jenny but yet a romantic relationship develops between them. Soon Jenny enters into a different world that is something alien as well as alluring to her. Her new lifestyle poses a threat to her education. Soon the headmistress at Jenny’s school Miss Walters (Emma Thompson) warns Jenny to mend her ways or else it will destroy her life completely.
Based on journalist Lynn Barber’s memoirs and adapted for the screen British screenwriter Nick Hornby, creates a wonderful structure and well-worked plot points that depict a complex story of a young woman caught between her desire for education and indulgence for pleasure, in a simple manner. The Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig excels in dealing with the social issues, adultery, and the subjugation of women. The film ends on a positive note with the protagonist extending her horizon beyond home and hearth. At the 82nd Academy Awards Best Picture, the film received three nominations, Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.
10. 3 Idiots (2009)
3 Idiots is primarily the story of students from an engineering college and the kind of pressure they had to undergo to prove their excellence. But the filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani along with his co-writers through the character of Ranchoddas Shamaldas Chanchad (Aamir Khan) aka Rancho presents us with a character that does not live his life according to what the dictums of the society want.
He strategizes his own unique ways to educate himself and even excel in the examinations. His character represents someone to whom education doesn’t feel like a burden but rather he innovates ways to decode the complexities of the education process in India. He is a kind of symbolic representation of following the wild goose chase does not always reap benefits.
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What makes the 3 Idiots a worthy watch is the filmmaker’s ability to tell a complex tale within the popular cinema sensibility and handle the medium with control, restraint, and extraordinary sensitivity and reveal complex nuances of a variety of human emotions. The film also showcases that the process of learning is directly proportional to the process of exploring one’s true worth and passion. It won the Best Film Award at the Beijing International Film Festival in 2011, five Filmfare Awards, three National Film Awards amongst others.