is nostalgia making a come-back in cinema?

hey tribe!

We hope your weekend is going well. Has it ever happened that a piece of music, lyrics, smell, or sight has taken you on a trip down memory lane? All of us are nostalgic for something in our lives. It stems from a need for a place of comfort, a space in time and memory where you feel safe and secure, and it could mean different things for different people.


Going into the third year of the pandemic, one thing that is certain is that all of us are looking for spaces to feel safe and more in control. This has also led to people re-watching old shows, snuggling in bed looking at old pictures, and reconnecting with old friends.

Cinema is a reflection of society and the crisis it is dealing with at that very moment, and it seems like nostalgia has become a common theme in the world of cinema as well. Let’s look at some examples where the element of nostalgia has been used for the better or for the worse.

spiderman no way home

One of the most anticipated movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe hit the theatres, starring Tom Holland as the ever-charismatic Peter Parker, who is trying to deal with the consequences of the previous movie. What ensues is one of the most nostalgia-fueled experiences that anyone might have experienced in a long time. We get to meet the OG Spiderman (Toby McGuire) and the beloved Andrew Garfield from the Amazing Spiderman, coming together to tackle the big bad.

Their interactions are some of the most endearing moments in the movie, giving us something familiar and new at the same time. It’s something that everyone wanted but no one ever imagined could happen, and everyone loved it. What Spiderman: No Way Home achieved is a testament to the magic of seeing a familiar face, someone we came to love as a child or even as an adult. shout out to Matt Murdoch’s cameo!

Cast reunions

Recently, the reunion of the cast of Harry Potter had us in tears. For the fans of the show who grew up with the magic of Harry Potter, it was a treat to have them come back and talk about their experiences. It was like we were being let into the family and it was just amazing. Whether it is friends, ghostbusters, or the nostalgic reunion of the cast of Zoya Akhtar’s Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, fans love to see their favourite characters come back, even if it is behind-the-scenes.

the dangers of nostalgia 

While some movies and reboots hit the mark and transport the audience to a familiar and safe place, there are many who make it worse for the fans of the franchise. Hollywood has seen an explosion of TV and movie reboots that have not put much thought into how to revive a fan-favourite franchise. One of the mistakes such endeavours make is that audiences will be satisfied just because they were in love with the original universe and the characters. This leads to unnecessary and continuous references to the original movies without any new or exciting characters that could do justice to the legacy. One example is the TV reboot of the cult classic show "Gossip Girl," which failed to create anything remotely resembling its iconic predecessor.

We cannot deny that nostalgia is a good way to create a sense of belonging, but it is not enough because we also want a justified reason to revive the stories of our favourite characters and franchises. If there isn’t one, then the producers should steer clear of reviving a project for a quick profit.

Do you think that there has been a recent resurgence of nostalgia in cinema? Write to us and tell us about your worst or best moment with nostalgia in cinema @liveaastey on Instagram. 

until next time, enjoy your weekend and live aastey.