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Films that explore the dark side of ambition

We all have the desire to succeed in life, but some of us are more ambitious than others. While being driven can get you places, sometimes, it can also take a dark turn and reveal the demons that reside within us. Several movies have drawn from the extremities an individual can resort to in their quest for ultimate glory.

Films that explore the dark side of ambition

List hai toh hit hai

  • Nikhil Kumar

Last Updated: 12.09 PM, Nov 01, 2022

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We all have the desire to succeed in life, but some of us are more ambitious than others. While being driven can get you places, sometimes, it can also take a dark turn and reveal the demons that reside within us. Several movies have drawn from the extremities an individual can resort to in their quest for ultimate glory. Here’s our list of the most compelling films that explore the dark side of ambition: Let's get the list going.

Whiplash (Amazon Prime Video)

A telling tale of an ambitious young musician and his overpowering mentor, Whiplash explores the unscrupulous world of jazz. Miles Teller plays a jazz drummer who strives for greatness but is uncertain about achieving his goals. When he gets into the country’s most elite music conservatory, he goes through a self-destruction streak which results in a cathartic consequence. This gripping drama, directed by Damien Chazelle, features an engaging screenplay and stunning performances by its lead stars Teller and J K Simmons.

Birdman (Amazon Prime Video)

Pushing oneself is an important aspect of achieving our goals, but going past limits can end up in failure. Michael Keaton's character Riggan Thomson is a washed-up actor who takes to an ambitious attempt of directing and starring in a Broadway production. He ends up going to extreme lengths to prove he’s a real artist. The Alejandro González Iñárritu film won four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director, and it features a star-studded ensemble of Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Naomi Watts

Black Swan (Disney+ Hotstar)

The strive for perfection can be a dangerous road for an innocent ballerina trying to shine among people who are equally accomplished. Nina, a young ballerina wanting to be on center stage as the Swan Queen in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake goes through a metamorphosis that ultimately leads to her doom. The dark imagery in the movie reveals the magnitudes of a deranged artist. Lead star Natalie Portman won an Academy Award for Best Actress, while director Darren Aronofsky was nominated for Best Director.

There Will be Blood (Apple TV, Amazon rental)

The rags-to-riches story of Daniel Plainview in Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnum opus, There Will Be Blood, is a riveting drama. It is the story of a self-made businessman who bent capitalism to his will in order to achieve great success in the oil business, but his path to success forces him to commit questionable acts, chipping away at his humanity. Three-time Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis won his second Oscar for his captivating performance in the film, while a young Paul Dano also delivered one of his career-best performances.

Nightcrawler (Google Play, Apple TV, YouTube rental)

Lou Bloom might be the most compelling character on this list with endless determination to become successful yet is willing to do immoral things to achieve that success. Jake Gyllenhaal portrays this evocative character in this grim and gripping tale of Los Angeles at night. Directed by Dan Gilroy, this lesser-known classic is a throwback to the neo-noir psychological thriller genre.

Wall Street (Disney+ Hotstar)

Stories about greedy and ambitious Wall Street stock brokers have been told countless times in film and television. But the one that continues to withstand the test of time is the 1987 Oliver Stone film, Wall Street. The story follows a young and ambitious stockbroker named Bud Fox, played by Charlie Sheen, who gets involved with the notorious and crooked Gordon Gekko, essayed by Michael Douglas. The character Gordon Gekko has become a pop culture icon and Douglas won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the character.

Well thats the list hai toh hit hai for today, until the next time it's your host Nikhil signing out.

Aaj kya dekhoge OTTplay se poocho

Written by Sneha Singh and Ryan Gomez

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