3 Great Films That Explore Mental Illness

Mental health is vital and there shouldn’t be a debate about that. Those that deal with certain mental health issues are deserving of care, understanding, and compassion. 

We as a society should also be aware of such mental illnesses that exist in today’s world and certain measures that can be taken to help those around us. 

Here are 3 great films that explore the importance of mental health. 

Silver Linings Playbook 

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This 2012 film tells the story of Pat (Bradley Cooper) who moves back in with his parents after serving a court ordered stint in a mental health institution. Pat then meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who claims that she can help Pat to reconcile with his ex-wife only on one condition which is to be her dance partner at an upcoming competition.  

This comedy drama certainly has its romantic aspects but viewers can’t deny that Silver Linings Playbook has an important commentary that revolves around mental disorders. Pat suffers from bipolar disorder while Tiffany struggles with borderline personality disorder. Viewers will be presently surprised and intrigued to see these two different dynamics working together in order achieve their separate goals. 

Silver Linings Playbook also stars Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker and Anupam Kher in the supporting roles. A warm score, knockout performances and excellent direction from David O. Russell makes Silver Linings Playbook a must watch! 

You Were Never Really Here 

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Joaquin Phoenix stars as Joe, a brutal enforcer who attempts to rescue a missing teenage girl. Throughout Joe’s rescue mission, he comes across the truth about the abuse of power and corruption in society. Joe’s only goal is to save the missing girl and nothing shall get in his way of doing so. 

We can all agree that Joaquin Phoenix is currently one of the best actors working today in Hollywood. His performance as Joe might just be right up there alongside Joker’s Arthur Fleck and The Master’s Freddie Quell. Joe suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Two major reasons why is because Joe has witnessed physical abuse of his mother during childhood and was also part of the military in his younger days. 

There’s a lot to like about You Were Never Really Here. From its haunting yet relaxing score to its intensely terrifying scenes, You Were Never Really Here proves that this is a psychological drama like no other!

Lars and the Real Girl 

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Socially awkward and shy Lars (Ryan Gosling) finds it extremely difficult to make new friends or socialize. His brother and sister-in-law in particular are very worried about his condition. One day, Lars tells them that he has a girlfriend he met on the Internet but Lars’ love of his life is actually a life-size plastic woman. 

Ryan Gosling is fantastic here as Lars, his performance here hits all the right beats as a person who suffers from a delusion disorder. He portrays this struggling character with the utmost respect and compassion. Ryan Gosling ensures that the portrayal of  Lars is not an over the top one and keeps his performance grounded throughout the film’s runtime. 

This film also takes it’s time to express themes such as loneliness, love, death and the importance of how we as a society can help the people around us who suffer from certain mental disorders. Lars and the Real Girl is not only a heartfelt film but an important one that should be recognized by all viewers! 


Aryan Singh is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Aryan Singh
Author: Aryan Singh

Hey There! I'm Aryan. I love Films ❤️