Two people meet, become friends, set out on an adventure, overcome a problem and maybe even fall in love and live happily ever after(or don’t). The world of cinema is full of movies that portray touching romantic relationships and heart worming friendships. But a relationship that is inspiring, intense and full of respect is that of a mentor and a mentee. Many movies have been made over the years on this concept and each of these movies portray the relationship in different ways. Here are some of the best.
1. THE KARATE KID (1984)
The movie revolves around a teenage Jersey boy named Daniel who moves to Los Angeles with his mom. Like any other new kid in high school, Daniel gets bullied by senior class kids and even gets beaten up many times as the bullies turn out to be Karate students. But Daniel’s life takes a turn when he meets Mr. Miyagi, a Japanese janitor in his apartment building. Mr. Miyagi is well-versed in the art +of martial arts and decides to teach Daniel the sport. Throughout the movie, it is evident that, for Mr. Miyagi martial arts is not just another sport but a way of living. His teaching methods are unconventional. He not only teaches Daniel the right moves and tricks, but also inculcates in him the philosophical wisdom that the sport has to offer. Daniel, along with leaning how to fight, learns how to live.
2. HUNGER GAMES
Katnis Everdeen and Peeta Mellark get selected as the tributes from District 1+2 to compete in what is known as ‘The Hunger Games’, a televised show which has youths fight to death until one survives. Katnis and Peeta are assigned a mentor, rather a ‘victor’ from the previous hunger games, Haymitch Abernathy. He is responsible of teaching them the techniques and tricks of survival. Not only does he help them acquire skills and makes them appealing enough for sponsors, but also, teaches them how to think, making them more independent. Haymitch’s mentoring methods are a bit direct and aggressive. It is evident that he is a man of realism and also a bit of a cynic. He doesn’t sugarcoat anything and Katnis is mature and strong enough to take things as they come and that’s the most beautiful thing about their relationship.
3. COACH CARTER
Based on a true story, Coach Carter portrays a very strict and disciplined teacher-student relationship. When Ken Carter accepts a job as the basketball coach in the very school he studied in, he notices that he needs to make many changes for the betterment of his students and sets out to do so. As he finds the players very disrespectful and arrogant, he gets them to sign a contract regarding their behavior, dress code and grades. The students dislike him for it initially, but as they realize that his coaching and his mentoring are getting positive results, they grow used to his methods and start respecting him. Though Mr. Carter is only their basketball coach, he helps these students who have been the victims of bad neighborhood and have come from a difficult background. He advises them to make the right decisions and realize their potential. The students look up to him and forever carry him in their hearts.
4 .THE MATRIX (part 1)
The movie is a sci-fi that that shows a correlation between the real world and the digital world. Thomas Anderson also known as Neo, realizes that he has been living far from the real world as he is contacted by a mysterious man named Morpheus. Morpheus shows Neo that the real world which is at its dawn of destruction is ran by machines which have created an artificial world called ‘The Matrix’. Now, it is up to Neo to decide whether he wants to stick to everything familiar or join Morpheus in his rebel against machines. Morpheus is like the wise mentor to Neo. He not only trains Neo but also tests him. He never forces Neo to join him but gives him a choice. And that’s why he never tries to convince him that he is the one. He keeps showing him the bitter truth of the real world. He wants to make sure that if and when Neo finally decides to join them, it is not because he is obliged to but because he wants to. And that is the greatest achievement a mentor can achieve.
5. THE SCENT OF A WOMAN
Charlie, a college student who is looking to earn some extra money is given the task to look after a blind man named Frank who is a retired Lt. Col. in the US army. Charlie thinks it’ll be easy taking care of an old blind man until he meets Frank himself. Frank is eccentric and impossible to handle. He is bipolar and very unpredictable. The relationship shared by the two cannot be labeled as a typical mentor-mentee relationship as Frank does not teach Charlie a particular sport or a skill as we have seen in the above mentioned movies, but, Charlie does learn a lot about life and principles through Frank. They embark upon a friendship and learn to understand each other. They help each other in their own ways. It is not a one sided relationship. Even Frank, who is stubborn and hot headed, learns a thing or two from Charlie, and this kind of synergy of the pair is what makes this movie one of my personal favorites.