Day of Hope: Exploring different types of hope in media

The world celebrates the Day of Hope every April to give light and encouragement to the hopelessness of ordinary people, mainly children who suffer from different types of abuse.

To hope is more than to wish for something to happen. It is also to embrace optimism and will to manifest thought into existence through mind and action.

Amid darkness and desperation, hope can move mountains, and it has proven to be an effective vehicle to drive change in people’s lives.

Every day, each of us wants different things. In that sense, we acknowledge that hope and the pursuit of wanting something come in different forms. With that being said, in honor of today’s celebration, CDN explores different manifestations of hope as portrayed in 21st-century films.


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Hidden Figures (2016): Hope to Achieve Dreams

Most of us hope to achieve something much like Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan, who hoped to make it big in their respective careers at NASA at a critical time during the space race in the 60s.

This revolutionary and career-defining biopic of these three black women depicted how wanting to do great things, along with the will to nurture one’s talent, will catapult you into achieving your dreams.

Through hoping, Mary became NASA’s first black female engineer, while Katherine became an important backbone that led to the success of the first man-driven moon landing in 1969.

Palm Springs (2020): Hope to Escape

In some cases, people hope to get out of being trapped in unwanted mental or physical spaces. This 2020 rom-com sci-fi film creatively depicted such a case as two quirky characters find themselves stuck in a time loop in a beautiful place in Palm Springs.

With one wanting to stay and the other wanting to escape, the movie takes us on an emotional journey to understand why people hope to escape in what others deem paradise.

27 Dresses (2008): Hope for True Love

People hope for different things, and this mostly depends on what we prioritize. In 27 Dresses, Jane Nichols hopes to have her own dream wedding after serving as a bridesmaid in 27 weddings.

Interestingly, she kept all those 27 bridesmaid dresses, which became a centerpiece of her interactions with a male journalist. After several misunderstandings and wedding fiascos, Jane saw herself finding true love for herself through the journalist, finally getting the wedding she had long hoped for.

Legally Blonde (2001): Newfound Hope

Sometimes, what we hope for changes as we mature. Fresh off graduating college with a degree in fashion merchandising and a 4.0 GPA, Elle Woods applied to Harvard Law School, hoping her ex-boyfriend would get back together after seeing her become a serious law student.

Realizing that she would never be enough for him, she reframed her life and started seeking to establish a career in law, not for her ex-boyfriend but for herself. The film’s second half focuses on her working for such acclaim, culminating in her first case win representing a sorority sister while wearing a pink suit ensemble during her first year in law school.

Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013): Hope for Better Days

While most of us do not talk about it, we live our lives mostly out of boring days and steady routines. On some days, people hope to make their days more exciting. This inspirational film follows Walter Mitty, a magazine photographer who dreams of something exciting to happen in his stagnant life.

He often dreams of surreal situations where he finds himself riding sharks or seeing dragons, depicting his need for excitement. For some reason, he did find what he dreamed of as he decided to step out of his comfort zone. It was where things changed for him. It was his choice to take risks that transcended his hope into reality.

Hope is a strong feeling that can launch us into greatness and drive us to escape mazes. It also is a complex emotion that manifests differently across different people. Today, we celebrate our hope in whatever way we choose to express it.

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