Did you understand the last movie/ series you watched?

There’s this fairly recent movie series that surprisingly got me bad (as in good!). This is a kind and fantastic remark as I’m far from being your friendly neighborhood movie critic. To put it lightly, I’m a fussy movie audience. One of those finicky kinds that can be particular about details and sequence in movie plots so petty, you would want to yell “bomb” assuming you were in an airplane with me. Just so that you could get arrested as a suspected terrorist, tortured, and thrown into a prison cell. Anything to get far away from my movie paranoia.

So I’m quite certain that this movie series that captured me, will trigger the same positive response from, say 70% of young adults too. Irrespective of the varied film preferences around. Infact I may just have to bet my next month’s salary on this because, (I believe) sometimes it doesn’t take a lot of work to spot a likable object.

Related: The truth about being likable

If I would speculate, I’d say that, if you liked the series Glee back then, you would also like the series Suits, no kidding. Although there’s no correlation or similarity between both, if you gave either a bit of your time (and chance), you’d warm up to each episode as they come.

They’re a little at extremes apart, seriously (Incase you’ve seen neither, or you’ve seen only one out of the two). While one has a gripping plot (Suits), the other is largely absorbing (Glee). Not to even mention that one is a musical and the other isn’t. Still, you’ll like one if you like the other. (Please let me know if you entirely/ partly disagree, lol).

This post is really about what to look out for in a movie

I was enjoying this movie series that I claimed got me, episode through episode until the very last of the first and only season. And then it hit me. As often as we love to watch blockbuster movies listed in the box office, or the most talked-about movie series (cue GOT, Power, Orange is the new black), and holler about how legendary it is, or riveting or second-rated or distasteful or incredibly disappointing it is, I believe it’s good also to look out for the deeper essence in plots.

Screenplays usually have them, this “deep essence”, or just simply essence without the deep. Only we get too caught up in the cinematography that we oversee. Plus, I’m quite certain very few movie producers are in the game of dishing out films for the sole purpose of entertaining the audience. Comedy Central and Kevin Hart would make them have a run for their movie even.

This deep essence here doesn’t have to do with a positive impact, or wise nuggets and stuff, not necessarily. It’s just about the movie beyond the dazzling A/B list cast and special effects and wardrobe choices or the fast scenes. It’s kind of like asking, “Was there a message in all of it?” “Was the plot clearly understood?”

Especially these days that sex scenes seem thrown in because of this idea that audiences expect and demand it, you wonder if it could lend something to plot and character development (Shocker alert: most likely it wouldn’t). And then you wonder if there was something you needed to squint your eyes to and understand beyond the role plays…

Related: What happened at the movie theatre last weekend

Would you be able to relay the story of a film to someone who asks or would you go, “At some point, I didn’t know what was happening there. The special effects in the film was just outrageous to be honest” even though you sat through all 105 minutes of the entire movie.

Not as though you should search to be educated and enlightened by every filmmaker out there. Sometimes all that’s needed is a lightly-humored, low budget, no brain tasking storyline for a movie/series to ease our tensed muscles at the end of a day.

But if you have to spend 30 – 100minutes of your time on your screen, I believe you should aim for clarity while you sit back to gobble up the actions and drama scene by scene. Clarity – not knowledge, not brilliance. Those could be asking for too much sometimes. Just clarity, to be carried along in the magic of the storyline of the series. That’s the least the movie directors owe the viewers for having to settle for their screenplays amongst many others.

Most often when the idea behind a screenplay is poorly understood, people tend to be less specific on the areas of interest or disinterest. They could talk a lot about how they like or detest a movie, but if you listen attentively, they would only be sharing how they like or detest “a scene” or two.

The premise, the body and their conclusion about the overall performance of the movie would be built on one or two characters, or one or two scenes. Their bitterness will be spiced with a lot of adjectives from the English language so much so you would be blinded to the fact that you did not get any real information about the movie!

Could you describe a series you have just seen (and still seeing) without the use of adjectives if you wanted to tell the story of the movie series? This is not what I mean.

“It’s an intensely shot, action-filled drama with plenty of humor and affection, but lacks originality. The acting was dreadful throughout the film and none of the actors were convincing. Like I said, plenty of humor, but most of the jokes were juvenile and seemed to be aimed at 8-year-olds rather than adults. The actor could have died after he gave the bullet out, not before.”

An overview that didn’t give any idea on what the movie was about. But this is what I mean.

Gridlock is a comic drama in which a businessman stuck in traffic (gridlock) decides to call his wife on his new mobile phone. However, he is told by his little girl that mummy is in the bedroom with ‘Uncle Wim’. On hearing this news, our hero gives his little girl a set of instructions, which she will carry out with amusing and tragic consequences. Now to be fair, it was a refreshingly honest, and charming drama.”

Find the message in the action/drama, then work your mind around the scenes to validate whether the script was poorly executed. You should be able to tell this, about 45mins into a movie, or after the 3rd episode of a movie series. And then judge away!

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