The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Film Fridays: Three Study Break Films

During finals season, there isn't much time to go to theaters and watch a movie. Instead, here are three movies you can enjoy from the comfort of your bed for a quick study break.

Dog (2022)

Nothing screams exam break like getting to see cute dogs. “Dog,” inspired by a real road trip Channing Tatum took with his puppy, is a beautiful film about a growing bond between man and dog. 

The film revolves around former U.S. Army Ranger Jackson Briggs, played by Channing Tatum, and Lulu, a female Belgian Shepherd. Briggs is no longer able to serve due to a brain injury, despite his objections. His friend recently passed away in a car accident, and he is tasked with bringing his friend’s military dog, Lulu, to the funeral. Lulu is a violent and difficult dog, and Briggs’ cold and pompous behavior does not make them a great pairing. 

Their journey is difficult and full of emotions. From stumbling upon a marijuana farm and being accused of a hate crime to having their car break down, Briggs and Lulu face every obstacle in their path to reaching the funeral. In the end, though, their biggest obstacle is their inability to get along. 

If you want an emotional and touching film that will leave your heart fulfilled, look no further than “Dog.” 

Casablanca (1942)

If you aren’t a dog person, or even if you are, there is nothing like a romantic movie to leave your heart satisfied. “Casablanca” is a romance film set in the Moroccan city of its namesake during World War II. Known for iconic lines such as “Here's looking at you, kid” and iconic music such as “As Time Goes By” by Herman Hupfeld, this film will surely put you in the right mood. 

“Casablanca” begins in 1941 but occasionally flashes back, helping explain the complex history between characters to the audience. The film centers around Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and his complicated relationship with former lover Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman), who shows up years later in Rick’s nightclub in Casablanca after leaving Rick and their plans to run away together without telling him. 

Lund returns because she needs Rick’s help, but will the history between them lead to something more or will there just be bitterness? Her return forces Rick to make difficult decisions that he never expected, and despite Rick’s desire to remain neutral in the face of war, the conflicts around him forces sides to be chosen by him and others. 

Full of emotions, dialogue and an ending you won’t see coming, “Casablanca” will leave you impassioned and reinvigorated for finals. 

The Book of Life (2014)

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What is better than a competition between friends that holds major repercussions for gods and goddesses themselves? Look no further than the fun, family-friendly and action-packed film, “The Book of Life.” This jukebox musical, featuring songs from Radiohead and Mumford & Sons, will put you in the mood no matter how much work you have for finals.  

“The Book of Life” is an animated film centered around three young best friends, Manolo (Diego Luna), Joaquín (Channing Tatum) and María (Zoë Saldaña) in the small Mexican town of San Ángel. Almost immediately, a friendly conflict is formed between Manolo and Joaquin when a god and goddess bet on which one they believe will marry María. 

The movie follows the three friends as they grow up, each on different paths. Manolo is a bullfighter who refuses to kill the bull and loves to play music; Joaquín is the esteemed general of their army, and María was sent to school outside of San Ángel and is now making her return. Marrying María proves no simple task, as she makes it clear that she is not just some prize to be won.

The movie takes a major turn when Manolo attempts to impress María, and in the process, dies and wakes up in the Land of the Remembered. Joaquín is forced to deal with threats from Chakal (Dan Navarro), the wicked bandit king; Manolo attempts to make his return to the overworld, and María is faced with a difficult decision while trying to demonstrate that she, too, deserves respect. 

“The Book of Life” is a heartfelt and entertaining movie that keeps you in your seat and reminds us of the importance of remembering those we have lost. 

Contact contributing writer Sassan Fahim at sassan.fahim@richmond.edu.

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