World Alzheimer’s Day 2018: Movies about Alzheimer’s you should binge-watch
World Alzheimer’s Day: Over the years lots of movies that has Alzheimer’s as the main theme have won critical acclaim and several awards including the Oscars. Here are 12 movies we’ve chosen that handle this difficult subject with respect and realism.Updated: Sep 21, 2018 20:16 IST
Alzheimer’s disease, a form of dementia, is a degenerative brain disease that leads to memory, behaviourial and communication problems. The disease is progressive in nature and gradually become severe enough to hinder daily chores. The world of entertainment, primarily Hollywood and Bollywood have made films that touch upon this topic and are so high on emotions that you might find your eyes welling up with tears or feeling your throat choking up trying to stop the overflow of emotions. On World Alzheimer’s Day today, we’ve listed a few films for you that you can watch and know more about this disease, and feel the much-needed empathy and compassion for someone who might be dealing with it:
Still Alice (2014)
Alice played by Julianne Moore is an educated and accomplished woman, who teaches linguistics at a university. When she starts having the symptoms of memory loss, her journey towards understanding herself and her family takes a new turn. Still Alice was critically-acclaimed and also got Julianne Moore her Academy Award the following year. The final scene summarizes the film, implying love as the cure to all problems. The film was largely praised because of the way it dealt with Alzheimer’s disease and love and support of Alice’s family.
The Notebook (2004)
The Notebook, based on Nicholas Sparks’ much-loved novel, tells the love story of Allie and Noah in flashbacks. As an old woman, Allie suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and Noah reads their life’s story to her, trying to revive those memories in her mind.
Iris starring Judi Dench, Jim Broadbent and Kate Winslet, tells the true story of a British novelist named Iris Murdoch and her husband. Alzheimer’s disease causes serious communication limitations, because the patient may progressively forget speech articulation and vocabulary, and the protagonist of this film who worked as a communicator, loses her ability to do what she always did best: communicate.
Memories of Tomorrow (2006)
This Japanese film is a tad different from the others listed so far because it is told from a first person perspective. The film brings Mr. Saeki, a businessman, played by Ken Watanabe into a series of unfortunate events when he’s diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and his whole life is on stand-by.
This film, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, proved to the audience that Rani Mukerji’s filmography was an interesting repertoire of roles and characters she could play. Amitabh Bachchan, who plays Rani’s mentor in the film, is shown to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in the latter half of the film and it was most riveting to watch a role-reserval of teacher to student, so to speak, in this highly-acclaimed film.
U, Me Aur Hum (2006)
The film opens up on a cruise liner when a middle-aged man starts making conversation with a woman near about his age who is busy reading her book. Little do we know that the man, played by Ajay Devgn, is the woman, played by Kajol’s husband and he’s trying to help her remember her life with him before she was diagnosed with an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The film was ahead of its times for Bollywood back when it had released and fans of The Notebook may also find some similarity in the film, but only in bits, I assure you.
A Spanish-language animated film on the amazing mix of friendship, and life set amidst the unusual landscape of an elderly care facility.
A Separation (2011)
Although, The Separation deals with more than one plotline, Alzheimer’s too is one such topic that filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who has also written the film, has touched upon. In the film, Nader and Simin are in the process of getting a divorce but they have decisions to make about their daughter and Nader’s father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. A Separation is a cinematic lesson on the importance of family values, dignity and pride.
Away from Her (2006)
This film revolves around a man played by Gordon Pinsent coping with the institutionalization of his wife because she is an Alzheimer’s patient. Julie Christie who plays Fiona Anderson falls for another man, Aubrey, played by Michael Murphy, a wheelchair-bound mute who also is a patient at the same nursing home.
Gray Sunset (1985)
A former university professor, Fuyukichi Takano, is let go from his museum job when he is diagnosed by Alzheimer’s disease, but his coping mechanism leads towards deepening his family ties.
Lovely, Still (2008)
Robert Malone, 78, has been alone his whole life. A week before Christmas a new mysterious woman moves in across the street and teaches him that love conquers all. Lovely, Still takes romance down the rabbit hole – leaving both its characters and audience to wonder about the true nature of love.
A sixty-something woman, played by the immensely talented Jeong-hie Yun, discovers a heinous crime that’s taken place in her family. In the midst of all this, when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she finds strength from within and a purpose towards her life and enrolls herself in a poetry class. Perhaps it’s true that an art form can ease the pain.
Have you watched any of these films? Which ones are your favourites?