Being an introvert is often misunderstood as being boring, uninteresting, and plain. People have a tendency to care less and aggrieve towards those who are reticent, quiet, and what we often call “loner”, “weirdo”, or “creep”. Introverts are some of the most underrated and misjudged people today, and how most people perceive them is far from who they really are and what they really do.
Introverts are withdrawn and separated from society, not simply because they want to, but because they are always on a different page; they think and act differently and no one will get them other than themselves.
On the other hand, extroverts tend to be better at communicating and expressing their thoughts and feelings, while introverts are known to be reserved and hesitant when it comes to disclosing, and the movies listed can be a basic and useful guide for extroverts to understand and see the world in an introvert’s eyes.
Their most quiet moments can be the moments where they are the most thoughtful and/or imaginative, and in these films, we see this side of them.
These movies show introversion as a compelling way of life and not just a state of mind of being alone; they show the reasons behind it, its effects towards other people, and how they deal with it.
The following films convey what introverts feel and see that extroverts don’t. The films listed introduce us to a different yet interesting world of introverts who may not be socially active but have an active inner life.
1. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
The 2012 coming-of-age film portrays the life of a socially awkward teen named Charlie, played by Logan Lerman, as he start to discover life in the outside world, having been recently discharged from a mental health institution.
He is shy and confused in starting a normal life as a high school freshman, until he meets two seniors who became his guide toward discovering life as a teenager; through them, he was exposed to parties, more new people, and even drugs. Amidst Charlie’s enjoyment and happiness, he continuously gets dragged down by his fears and bitter memories.
Stephen Chbosky, the director, writer, and author of the novel from which the film originated, took a poetic and emotional approach to the movie. It shows the cause and effect of Charlie’s shy and reserved characteristics. The funny, romantic, and sad moods are used to portray dark topics such as gender issues, drugs, and sexual abuse.
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower” shows us that introverts always have something they endure and cannot find a way to express and share with others. It is so moving and will bring back good and bad memories from high school that would make not just introverts, but everyone, feel nostalgic and emotional.
2. Amélie (2001)
This surrealist film is about a naive French girl named Amélie (Audrey Tautou), who was diagnosed with a heart problem by her parents and kept her isolated from other people as she grew older. Amélie’s loneliness and curiosity triggered her to create her own world of imagination and surrealism.
Amélie spends most of her time being alone, observing other people’s actions, and she enjoys watching them. She is curious and excited, yet scared and awkward in social interactions, until a discovery triggered her to step up and communicate with someone to indulge her greatest curiosity.
Acclaimed French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet directed the 2001 comedy-drama, which received recognition both critically and commercially. “Amélie” is not an easy story to relate with, for it shows introversion and loneliness in a very different and creative way. Nonetheless, the film showed a great mixture of heart and entertainment.
Amélie’s character was shown in a sensual and charming way that is easy to fall in love with. The film realistically depicts an introvert’s life with its surface details that mirror the life of those who feel alone and curious about the world, who want to conquer and face their fears as they deal with people.
3. The Station Agent (2003)
“The Station Agent” is a 2003 comedy-drama film directed by Tom McCarthy, which revolves around the life of Fin, a man with dwarfism, who lives in solitude in an abandoned train depot.
Following the death of his only friend, Fin retired from his job and chose to live alone, but he finds himself growing closer to his neighbors each day; Joe, a hot dog vendor, and Olivia, an artist. The three become friends as they learn more about each other and do their daily walks along the railway tracks.
The portrayal of the three characters shows a great contrast towards each other, and creates an unusual chemistry among them. From the antisocial character of Fin, the over-friendly and outgoing Joe, and the emotionally damaged Olivia, the film shows how socially awkward the characters are in different ways. Their quirky and effortlessly funny way of acting during both light and heavy scenes translates to the movie and would capture the empathy of the viewers, in spite of its uniqueness.
The characters differ in their personalities, but they all share the lifestyle of living in solidarity and isolation from society, and formed a strong bond because of it.
4. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
This Oscar-nominated comedy-drama was directed by Wes Anderson, a director who creates characters that are eccentric and often times awkward, and the characters from “The Royal Tenenbaums” are no different.
The film is about the lives of three bright and gifted Tenenbaum siblings who were overachievers, who experienced success during their childhoods, and ended up with failures and misfortunes after their arrogant and selfish father, Royal, left the family.
Following the plot, the Tenenbaum siblings were distant from society. They were busy and would isolate themselves in their home, practicing and working in the fields of their individual expertises. They never experienced the childhood that normal people would experience, because of the fame and success they had. They never had decent social interactions and had their own personal places for work.
The film then shows the effects of this childhood lifestyle as they grow up, when they need to live independently. “The Royal Tenenbaums” is a dark comedy that is brutally honest when it comes to tackling the characters’ personal conflicts, but also values the importance of family and friends.
5. Pi (1998)
“Pi”, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is about Max, a paranoid and antisocial mathematician who dedicates himself to solving a piece of an equation that he believes will unlock the universal patterns found in nature, as he thinks that everything can be understood and analyzed through numbers. Max suffers from cluster headaches, social anxiety disorder, and paranoia that distances him from everyone living in his neighborhood.
“Pi” maximized its capacity to produce a quality, intelligent, and emotional film despite its tight budget. Without the use of special effects, extravagant sets, big name studios, or A-list actors, it was simply driven and completed with its powerful and thrilling plot, with a screenplay and elements that made it special.
The way the film was written, edited, and shot gives it a claustrophobic and anxious feeling. The black-and-white cinematography, jargon, lighting, and music, as the film goes on, feels foreign and makes whatever the character feels translate and even affect the viewers as well.
6. The Quiet (2005)
“The Quiet” is an independent thriller-drama directed by Jamie Babbit. It is about a deaf-mute teenager, Dot, who was adopted by a strange family following the death of her father. The family seemed normal at first, until she discovered disturbing dark secrets and issues kept within the family, as well as the family discovering her own secrets.
Now an orphan, Dot does not feel like she belongs to the family because of the hindrance of her disability. The communication has barriers; not just because of her deaf-mute situation, but by the family’s situation, especially their daughter Nina’s feelings and attitude towards her.
The distressing subjects of the film are difficult to watch. As the main character tries to adjust and adapt to her newfound family, the viewers also have that alienated feeling, wanting to know more and somehow blend in with the family, but also realizing that trying to adapt and grow used to living with people you are not familiar with are not easy processes.
As a mute, Dot can be seen as uncomfortable, troubled and out of place with the people she now interacts with without having to express them with words. Despite of the sensitive issues being shown, The Quiet also shows that silence, at times, could be a powerful way of communication.