I watched a Hindi movie recently, one that I’ve been meaning to watch for quite some time. It’s an older movie (made about five years ago), but since I’m not really reviewing it now, I’m going to keep from mentioning its name here.
It’s one of the more meaningful movies made by a woman director who’s known to make people think through her movies.
So, come Saturday night, I got ready with a box of tissues, (the premise of the movie warranted that, and yeah, I’m not ashamed to admit that I cry very easily during movies. Heck, I even sob openly for characters in a good book), dimmed the lights in the room, and sat down determined to have a good movie-watching experience.
The movie was close to two hours in length and the locales that were chosen were earthy and beautiful. They were showcased in a way which went straight to your heart, and the subject sure was powerful. But that was it. I kept waiting to unwrap the plastic casing of the brand new box of tissues, but never got the chance to do it.
Reason? I was too deeply involved with analyzing how the director dealt with the plotline, how she shaped the characters, how she told the back story, and how she used the setting to “show”.
Ack! Now, when did movie-watching become a study in writing? I don’t know exactly when, but it sure did.
The movie was definitely among the better-made ones that were to come out of Bollywood in the recent past, no doubt about that (notwithstanding the fact that for some reason which I cannot fathom, the director has chosen two lead actors – both models-turned-actors – who definitely looked good in all angles, but could not emote for their lives).
So, here’s my point: if I’d watched this same movie a few years ago, I still would have been left with an unfulfilled feeling. And I’d probably have gone to the length of coming to the obvious conclusion that the main characters were not developed well enough to evoke any emotions in the audience. And I would’ve left it at that.
I find that now I cannot do just that.
I analyzed the movie afterwards, in my mind, to the smallest junctures at which I felt that the director had let down the main characters in their development, and hence the viewer.
I also kept thinking about certain changes to sequence of happenings that would raise the stakes and hence make the movie more palatable. Then I went on to sketching a slightly different plotline and ending that would have made the whole experience a little more rewarding and satisfactory to the viewer.
It was at this point that I caught myself. What was I doing?
I was essentially revising the movie. Argh! Is this how it’s going to be from now on? Is there going to be no innocent enjoyment at the movies anymore?
But then I realized that I’d actually enjoyed studying the movie from the different angles of a writing perspective!
Have you had this happen to you?