Published By: Ahvana Paul

Films and shows UPSC Aspirants can watch for inspiration

Are you a UPSC aspirant, struggling day and night to take exams, but in dire need of some motivation? While breaks may make you think that you are wasting time, they are also important. One way you can use them productively is to also watch something which will garner your motivation for working towards the civil service examination. Here are some suggestions for movies and shows that you could unwind with!

12th Fail

Directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, this film traces the real story of an IPS officer, Manoj Kumar Sharma, who inspired by a local officer in his village, decides to restart his academic journey to crack the UPSC examination while avowing to maintain honesty. Faced with a robbery, complete poverty and all the problems that come with it, he struggles to achieve his goal. He also manages during this journey to meet the love of his life, Shraddha. The film therefore becomes an inspiring journey.  Moreover, it is also interspersed with some humour and satirical notions about the system, in the form of potentially good jokes. However, they aren’t properly scripted. Nevertheless, overall the film is a good one to watch, and also one which inspires when you need it! It gives lessons regarding honesty and the prospect of never giving up, moving forward despite all odds, and finally on friendship, love and hope!

Yes Minister

This classic age-old sitcom is one of the most popular British television hits that has entertained and inspired civil service aspirants for generations. The entire show traces the rise of a politician Jim Hacker (played by Paul Eddington) who believes that he can bring about some much-needed changes. However, what results is a constant clash between the minister, and the civil servant. Although the civil service has been shown as one who is intent on keeping the status quo and the circumstances as it is, what ensues is a hilarious interaction between the two, where the minister is manipulated by the civil servant, and compelled to agree to his demands. While sometimes the minister ends up getting the upper hand, this ability of the civil servants to manoeuvre resources successfully inspires people as they can see the strategies by which they can navigate the system. Though Humphrey’s motives are questionable, his strategies are ones every civil servant aspires for!  

Article 15 

Directed and produced by Anubhav Sinha, in 2019, and starring Ayushmann Khurana as a police detective- Ayan Ranjan, the film explores the mysterious disappearance of three girls from a small village. This film explores and reveals many social, economic, gender and political issues that are also a glimpse of reality. This film is about making changes, going into the nuances of rural India, the issues that persist and the fight for change, which is the motive for most members of the civil service. This film is, therefore, a must-watch and inspires some ideas in us.    

Pursuit of Happyness

 Although this film has little to do with any actual story related to UPSC or IAS aspirants, this is one of the most inspiring films of the century, and definitely should be on your list! When Chris Gardner (Will Smith) is evicted from his apartment, he and his son ( Jade Smith) find themselves alone with no place to go. The film traces their journey through this time and the hardships they overcome and endure. This film is a reminder about resilience, never giving up and also finding the courage to move on in life!