Monday, July 20, 2009

Why we like or dislike a movie?

I gave a very bad review to the Tamil movie "Achchamundu Achchamundu" and subsequently got spit on by 2 anonymous users of the internet who thought the movie was good. Their comments actually got me wondering as to why is it that sometimes we like a movie and sometimes we do not.

Many a times we find that a movie has received rave reviews and we rush to the theatres but we end up hating the movie. At other times we read dumb movie reviews and then find that the movie was really good.

In fact, the tamil movie which I mentioned in the below post - on hind sight - was not very bad. It is just that I was expecting a "thriller" - one which keeps me on the edge of my seat at all times - but the movie did not do that - and subsequently I failed to see some of the good aspects of the movie - such as , no thoppulla pambaram stuff, very naturally taken movie, atleast some concept which is not again and again based on puppy love, no "there has to be 5 song sequences and hence I am force fitting a dream song when the hero sees the heroine for the first time" nonsense etc. Movie was actually a matured, soft and easy on the brain one.

It was then that I realized that a movie gets a bad/good review based on the expectation you had from the movie before you saw it. If a lot of people say it is a "great" movie, then your expectation is already raised. So if the movie is not downright legendarily awesome, you think "Ah was ok". However, the moment someone gives a movie a bad review and then you watch it , your expectations are already lowered, and then you find that the movie was "ok", but then its all relative. From a bad -> ok, you tend to think that the movie was actually good.

This has happened to me many a times. I saw this movie "Thenkasipattanam" in tamizh. First time I saw it I laughed so hard, saliva came out of my nose. I recommended it strongly to all my family members, relatives etc. I gave such rave reviews which made them think it was the best movie ever. But after they saw the movie they literally scolded me. They were sorely disappointed :(...

I guess it is because I had raised their expectation so much - that the movie sucked.

I guess, in order to enjoy/appreciate a movie with the right spirit, one should go and watch the movie first and then read the reviews next and then compare and contrast. The moment we read some review, there is a chance we get biased.

That apart, another reason why we sometimes like or dislike a movie is because we might not be in the right mood to appreciate it. If you watch it after a tough day at office, or when you are really sad about something, or when you are busy thinking about something else, even a "Titanic" would seem worser than "Thali Katha Kali Amman". However, when you are in the right mood, and watching a movie with the right crowd, even a "Yarukku Yar Stepni" will seem like "Michael Madana Kama Rajan"...

So there it goes, ... the perception of a movie is largely dependant on
1) Expectation
2) Mood

That said -> in spite of the expectation/mood - a movie has to also be good :)...a director cannot simply get away with a movie like "Boom" or "Kambakht Ishq" hoping for all the audience to come with a bad expectation and great mood. :)...

Until the next post
yours truly

Sunday, July 05, 2009

A story that touched me

I had a visual treat on Friday evening when one of our office colleagues performed for us. He works in the HR Department of our company and he takes care of giving us our payslips. He is very calm and cheerful person and the last man you expect to possess the talent that he displayed to us.

He broke 10 bricks set on fire with his bare hands and he broke an ice slab with his head. When I went to congratulate him on what he did, he said that it was all childs play for him and that he wanted to give a much more grander performance. He has had a tempo traveller and a bus run over him and cause not even a scratch.

While he is a World Martial Arts member and 2nd Dan at Seisho Kai Shito , has some Guiness book of records to his name and has learnt pretty much all there is to martial arts, he is, unable to pursue his true passion. For reasons of familial pressure has stopped practicing his art. Meet our very own Sr. Executive Compensation and Benefits, K. Natarajan of Salem.

His family stands justified in that they want him to be safe (a couple of family members met with serious permanent damage while practicing this art). His family is concerned about his welfare while he is concerned about his passion.

I was truly moved by this mans story.

I humbly salute to his talent and I hope he is happy in the end no matter what the path he chooses.

I have seen it in the movies where the Hero does not get to do what he "really" wants to do and parents/in-laws put pressure on him to pursue something else (Arjun in Mudhalvan studies for joining a Government job because Manisha Koiralas dad wants him to have a stable job, when he is a TV reporter who could have had the Government itself in his hands).

I have not met too many such people in real life. This is one such man who had multiple offers in the area of martial arts, but had to finally settle for a life very different to the one he dreamed of.

When I think of this man I am reminded of the advertisement in where a cricketer uses his bat to wash clothes, and a dancer is showing signs to an aircraft etc.

I really do not know what I would do if I were in his place. When you have your family and passion conflicting with each other, it is a real tough choice to make! I hope things pan out well in the end for Natarajan and I wish him all the very best.

Your story really touched me.