The global appeal of the story of the poor, oppressed, and suffering protagonist rising to the top of the world is undeniable. The plot has been the subject of tens of thousands of films. Classic literature has used the storyline to reflect on the changeable nature of human existence, from Cinderella’s glass slipper to Charles Dickens’ orphaned Pip’s trip in ‘Great Expectations.’ The worldwide appeal of a rags to riches story has never been ignored in world cinema. Moviegoers all across the world empathize with and experience the cathartic relief of the protagonist on screen who overcomes and breaks the barriers that stand in his way. Viewers’ wounded souls are soothed by such films, which represent a hypothetical scenario in which they can gain unanticipated money and success.
Despite the fact that rags to riches films are no longer the darlings of big Hollywood production houses as they were in the 1930s, a decade following the Great Depression, they remain in great demand on multiple platforms, which is why Netflix maintains a broad collection of rags to riches films. So, here’s a list of some of Netflix’s best rags to riches movies that you can watch right now.
Table Of Content
8 Mile (2002)
‘8 Mile’ delves into a young musician’s dilemma of having to choose between two worlds on the route to a great future. The plot follows Jimmy Smith Jr., a young white rapper, set against the backdrop of Detroit’s pulsating hip-hop arena in the mid-90s. He’s trying to find his position in the crowded hip-hop culture that’s divided by the ‘8 Mile’ motorway. It is regarded as a boundary by city people, and a virtual wall of race, class, and color exists. Jimmy now has a rapping competition on his hands, which he must win because it is his only way out of the ghetto, which includes his run-down trailer home, his alcoholic mother, his younger sister, and her abusive boyfriend.
It took a long time for the true story of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in Major League Baseball, to reach the big screen. Despite the fact that filmmaker Spike Lee had cultivated it as a dream project with Denzel Washington since the 1990s, the films never materialized. Later, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Brian Helgeland turned Jackie’s inspirational story into a biopic, ’42,’ starring Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the sports executive who changed his fate. Rachel Robinson, Robinson’s widow, was also present during the filming of ’42.’
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Vikram Gandhi’s film ‘Barry’ depicts former US President Barack Obama as a college student. The film is about his experiences as one of the few black students at Columbia University in New York in the early 1980s. Within the university, he was known as Barry, and it was a place demarcated by sharp lines of division based on racial politics and judgment. To find his place at the university, Barry had to combat stereotypes and racial attitudes among his peers and other staff members. As he becomes connected with many societies and social circles, the arduous process leads him to self-exploration and identity search. The film follows Barack Obama throughout his formative years, a pivotal moment in his life as the first black president of the United States.
‘Dangal’ is the kind of film that introduces a non-Bollywood moviegoer to the delights of Indian cinema. The film is based on the true story of amateur wrestler Mahavir Singh and his two daughters, Geeta and Babita Phogat, and went on to become a massive hit with record box office numbers in India. ‘Dangal’ follows a father’s remarkable journey and fight to raise two world-class wrestlers, despite social taboos, bureaucratic red tape, familial pressure, and his age. ‘Dangal’ had also become a sports-drama that worldwide viewers could emotionally relate with by the time his daughters became India’s first world-class female wrestlers.
Gurukant, a hyperactive youngster, disappoints his parents when he fails to satisfy his schoolteacher’s and father’s expectations. The much-lauded business tale ‘Guru,’ directed by Mani Ratnam, follows Gurukant, who embarks on a journey to Turkey in search of a fortune. In Turkey, he discovers not just work, but also a reality that would affect the lives of millions of people in the future. He returns to India with the intention of creating his own company. However, the country was beset by license restrictions and bureaucratic red tape. Furthermore, because he came from a poor family, the only way he could raise money for his business was to marry a wealthy girl. He’s done his homework and marries Sujata, the daughter of a wealthy businessman named Jignesh. Following his marriage, Gurukant embarks on an unstoppable drive to become one of India’s most powerful business enterprises.
Saroo Brierley’s path-breaking journey from a destitute neighborhood in the streets of Burhanpur, India to Australia as the adoptive son of an Australian couple is told in the real story ‘Lion.’ As an uprooted guy, his problem in the new environment is explored in the film. When ‘Lion’ chooses to return to India to discover his roots with the help of Google’s omnipresent eyes, the film becomes emotionally compelling. Garth Davis’s disturbing and poignant story, fueled by Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman’s outstanding performances, made the film a global success with six Academy Award nominations.
Pele: Birth of a Legend (2016)
Pele’s climb from the slums of Sao Paulo to the world cup final at the age of 17 is chronicled in ‘Pele: Birth of a Legend.’ Brazil’s first World Cup victory came as a result of his epic roller-coaster journey. Pele’s youth was marked by poverty and struggle, as depicted in the film. By barreling through the French defense in the final, the child defied Eurocentric conceptions of the game as a protege of extraordinary skill and drive. The film depicts a pivotal moment in Pele’s life and career, from which the legend of Pele spread around the world in the years that followed.
After a tragedy, Billy is stripped of everything he has, including a bright career, a gorgeous wife, a lovable kid, and a luxurious lifestyle. The film ‘Southpaw’ highlights the human sensitivity to circumstances. Billy was the reigning junior middleweight boxing champion when fate intervened and took him out of the picture. He had to start from scratch, and he found a helping hand in the form of a former fighter who teaches the city’s fiercest amateur boxers in the shadowy world of illicit boxing. ‘Southpaw’ is a touching narrative of a boxer’s perseverance and his fight to win the most difficult battle of his life, with salvation and the love and trust of his loved ones as the prize.
The Founder (2016)
We meet brothers Mac and Dick McDonald, who manage a burger joint in 1950s Southern California, when the film ‘The Founder’ begins. When Ray Kroc, an Illinois salesman, meets the burger brothers, he is captivated by their unusual technique for making and distributing burgers. Kroc proposes the concept of launching a franchise network across the United States, complete with a full-fledged assembly line that can prepare any order in seconds. The film depicts the McDonald brothers’ cautious entry into the franchise deal, with Kroc at the helm of the joint company. However, their disagreements quickly show, and Kroc splits with the brothers, claiming to be the originator of McDonald’s.
The Man Who Knew Infinity (2015)
‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ chronicles the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, India’s greatest mathematical genius. Ramanujan attended Cambridge University despite growing up in a very poor neighborhood in Chennai, India. With his ground-breaking theories, he etched his name into the annals of mathematics. G.H. was able to achieve his goal with the help of his professor. Ramanujan, like Hardy, struggled with his young wife’s love for India, his declining health, and prejudices held by British people on the cusp of World War 1.
‘Tyson’ is a documentary film that features a very emotional Mike Tyson discussing his difficult personal and professional life. The film methodically tells the life of the World Champion of Heavyweight Boxing from Tyson’s only point of view. Director James Toback weaves the story back and forth across the life of the Boxer using unique interviews, historical film, and images. Tyson recalls his childhood on the tough and deadly streets of Brooklyn. Growing up was a battle every minute, and when it came to dealing with incessant bullying and humiliation, fear and resolve were his best friends. He also recalls his first bout with boxing, which landed him in a jail camp. Important personalities, such as his mentor, Cus D’Amato, as well as bad experiences, like as a failed marriage, and the countless scandals around him, flash through Tyson’s mind.
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