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Lets go watch a Movie!

Its amazing what an impact visual media has on us. In the olden days people flocked to travelling plays when they could not afford theatre, and when not even that, there were puppet shows. Today, people go to the movies. Not just TV, the Cinema has a special appeal for everyone. No one can deny the effect and drama produced by images of people larger than real life, of sound booming from unknown corners of a large auditorium, and like it or not, sharing the experience with other people - known and unknown.
People pay big bucks (and small) to go and spend 2 hours or so in a dark (usually) air conditioned place cramped into a seat with strangers all around. Some pay even bigger bucks to reduce the last two factors.But overall, it pretty much remains the same. And watching the movie on rental at home (even if you have the best sound system and a 52inch plasma screen) is just not the same. Everyone likes to go watch a film. (How often is a different point.)

When people are ready to pay so much (money, time, etc) their expectations are also difficult to cater to. Everyone wants to watch a nice film.What is 'nice', however varies on so many things. You may read a review, listen to trustworthy sources, anything. The movie will be an experience unto itself when you watch it.

The net is full of reviews, the papers have dedicated critics talking about all aspects of a movie pre to post release. But still, the viewer might not like it. An action movie well critiqued may still be a dumb amateurish action drama for an action movie freak. Same goes for Romance, Comedy etc. And not all of it depends on who is starring in the movie or the storyline. (How many times have you been put off by the lead? How many times have you cared what exactly the Bond movie's plot is?)

In my opinion, no matter what, you can only draw out a basic premise about a film before going to watch it, by reviews. Even if the reviews are like this. Actually, knowing very little or nothing abuot the plots is one of the best ways to enjoy a movie - you have no expectations whatsoever, so chances of disappointment are low. In fact, some of the best movies I have seen are those about which I knew nothing, and have moved on to being big hits later. English/ Hindi.

Here are some points I feel which contribute to a person liking or disliking a feature film. Im sure I can come up with many more, but the following few would be some of the primary:

Who you spend that hour or two within an enclosed environment makes a lot of difference. Freinds who poke fun at the same points as you can make even the sloppiest, stupidest movie fun and entertaining, while sitting with your Mom for Eyes Wide Shut would not, I suspect, make you appreciate the fine direction of Kubrick.

Its a late night show, and all you can think about is your cozy bed. Ah. the film was nice. Of course it was. As long as you say Gnite and go, and fast.

Sometimes, being in a bad mood is the only thing you need to ruin a film. If you are angry, everything has a flaw.

The Cast
OK. Lets not try to walk around this one. Its true. No one likes being in company they dont like. Wouldnt you avoid the irritating man from work at a social function? Why then wouldnt it be true about spending a few hours watching a many-times larger than normal size image of that person with speech hammered into your brain through all your senses? Of course you will hate it. Personal likes and dislikes cannot get more personal than this.
A film with Aishwarya Rai (or whatever she calls herself now) will grate on my nerves, no matter how pretty she looks. A film with Bipasha will do the same for Sash. And one with Shah Rukh the reverse for M. Its personal. One cannot bear to listen and watch another human being when there is a lack of minimum basic liking. Rather go to a film with a neutral cast than that with one of the leads being a person you would rather avoid. I guess the reason so many hit films have till-then unknown cast.

Keeping low expectations can do wonders for a film. Raise the bar to lure the people, but that will rarely make them come watch it again (if they have any semblance of brains) if the movie is a dud. People might go to an Oscar-winner, but they might not enjoy it as much as they would have, till it did not win the Oscars. Simply because once its a winner, its expected to be exceptional. Earlier, it was just another movie. So many books have been converted to movies and failed - because with a book the expectations are raised. The director has to live upto or exceed them. That is not easy. Whereas, lesser known books have made wonderful movies. No one expected LOTR to be as good as it was. It was a hit. I did not know what so many films Ive seen were about. Its awesome to watch a story unfold in front of you sans preconcieved ideas. Imagine watching Cinderella Man without knowing its about a boxer. Its difficult not to like it. Sometimes, less knowledge is good. Or the Chares is about Ray Charles. Or that A Beautiful Mind was about John Nash.
It is the one chance where you have the option of pleasing yourself by setting the bar low to begin with. Know less till you watch it. Most cases, you might like it. (This said, you need to stay away from movies like Chocolate! Ugh! I still havent forgiven the frnd who took me to it. In this case I would have LOVED to know a lot before going.)

On a general basis, people have preferences of genre, but dont necessarily stick to one type all the time. In the right company and mood, with the correct casting, even an only-action-movie watcher would enjoy a chick flick.

Afterall, Clueless was a hit in my campus. Its a chick flick, but has Alicia Silverstone, and hey! we were just some students out to have fun.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
23rd Apr, 2008 11:34 (UTC)
i remember watching titanic on our big screen tv(earlier one, not the one u saw)
there were close to 45 people in the house, including cousins, their noisy kids their dads, grandpas etc..my own parents.. And we were together watching this movie, with pop corn lined up and piping hot vadas etc, when voila, we are confronted with Kate winslet's top less appearance. Everybody in the room froze, there was pin drop silence, and i couldnt even find the remote. We all held our collective breaths, looking at ms winslet, trying hard not to look at each other, when suddenly a kid piped up, mommy why are we watching nanga panga movie? Everyone suddenly burst out laughing, and in that one second we bonded as one, young and old, whatever the sensibilities and taboo barriers were broken. We watched the rest of the movie with renewed interest, the guys hoping for an encore, and the parents hoping there wasnt one.. :D. In hindsight it was a stupid movie, but back in 1997 it was the cat's whiskers.

As for the post, i agree with it entirely, except i dont detest bipasha, but dont like her much either. and i dont like to disturbed much when its a serious movie, last thing i want is wisecracks and stupid questions in a good movie..

23rd Apr, 2008 11:50 (UTC)
Re: naice!
Awesome! LOL. And if I remember correctly, it was quite a long drawn out scene at that.

And that reminds me watching that nerve racker - Aks - with 22 odd ppl in my hostel room, just after having watched it in a theatre. The movie was still dabba, but it was fun with so many of us cramped in.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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