If you think Hollywood makes the best movies well think again because Asia also has a lot of cinematic gems that will inspire you, scare you and touch your heart. So have a break from the old Hollywood glam and have some of the best and critically-acclaimed Asian films that you won’t regret watching:
Japan’s Battle Royale
Think Hunger Games is cruel? You haven’t seen anything yet not until you’ve seen Battle Royale. This is basically where Hunger Games got its plot and it’s seriously gorier and more psychologically damaging. Battle Royale is about a bunch of school students who went on a field trip to hell. They were sent to an island to fight and kill each other until only one survives. Kind of like Physical Education except with knives, guns and rocket launchers and the best student will be the last one alive. This movie is more than just a killing spree bonanza. It also explores human behavior and how much are we willing to do to stay alive.
Korea’s Miracle in Cell No. 7
Koreans are known for their tear-jerking movies and love stories but nothing can be quite as heartwarming as Miracle in Cell No. 7. It’s the story of a mentally challenged father who was wrongly accused with rape and murder of a little girl. He was then detained in cell no. 7 where the ruthless criminals were. His lovely and smart daughter snuck in to prison to be with him and changed everyone’s lives. Years later, she tried to clear his father’s good name. It’s a story that is sure to make you cry buckets no matter how old you are.
India’s 3 Idiots
Bollywood has a lot of movies made each year but 3 Idiots is probably one of the most popular of them all. It’s a story of three engineering students and the lessons they learned in life as they study, love and get into trouble. If you’re looking to be inspired to pursue your lifelong dreams, this movie will definitely give you the right motivation. Oh and bring a bucket because it’s also a sob fest!
China’s The Flowers of War
War films are often action-packed and full of thrilling scenes but this one is different because it will make you cry and think about the movie for days. It’s a historical war drama film starring Christian Bale who disguises himself as a priest in order to put the women to safety during the infamous Rape of Nanking that took place when Japan invaded China. This movie broke my heart and the fact that the events that have been portrayed in this film are nothing compared to the actual experience of the Chinese in the hands of Japanese soldiers is even more heart-wrenching. Though this movie got a lot of bad reviews for allegedly being ‘historically incorrect’, I say it’s the impact that counts.
The Philippines’ Magnifico
The story of Magnifico is truly an unforgettable one. This is one of the very few Filipino movies that made my cry so hard I even feel sad every time I remember it. Magnifico is a boy from a poor family whose kind heart and innocence helped his community and his family to be better in life. Jiro Manio’s unparalleled acting skills as Magnifico will definitely drive you to tears as he worked alongside veteran actors. This movie won several awards outside the country because of its sentimental and inspirational content. There are a very few Filipino movies with this much heart and I hope someday we’ll see another Magnifico on the big screen.