5 Factors That Have Totally Ruined Our Movie Watching Experience In Theatres
Going to the movies for an average Indian viewer is a time he’d like to place in the ‘having fun’ category. The mood is mostly excited, you try and make the most of what you’ve got as company and settle in hoping for entertainment. A couple of movie trailers and there you have the big screen bonanza trying to soak you in with the Dolby sound in a dark theater right away. That’s how most of us have grown up watching movies for the longest time.
However, that experience has largely translated into something else these days. The excitement feels dimmed and we don’t get the feeling of similar sort of reception like we used to before. While we keep talking about how cinematic content is hitting low these days, it’s time we talk about something else that is playing a major dampener in our movie watching experiences.
It’s a fiddly subject to bring up but it’s time we address it. So here are 5 factors that we feel have really ruined our movie watching experiences in theaters:
The sound of our National Anthem is a solid enough catalyst to give us goosebumps anywhere it plays. But truth be told, National Anthem belongs everywhere but the movies! Think of it like this- Everybody who comes to watch a movie is building up a good enough time for himself and the company he or she is with. Just as we settle in on our seats hoping for the film to start, a message on the screen commands us to stand up for the National Anthem. Movies in a theatre are meant to provide cozy enough atmosphere for couples to embrace each other’s company, families to bond over and friends to have a blast. Not only does it take the focus away from the beginning, it sneaks in a sense of discomfort and we feel it’s completely unnecessary.
Mind you, different movies have different moods but the Anthem only has one. It can never gel with the mood of the movie you’ve come to watch.
Tobacco Awareness Ads
You’re sitting holding a tub of butter popcorn along with a large glass of coke to go with it. Just as you’re trying to enjoy the taste of it, there comes a rather distressing, depressing & unpleasant tobacco awareness ad to make you want to throw up already. The government finds its prerogative to educate people at forums such as movies without realizing it’s dampening the whole point of cinematic entertainment. That advertisement plays twice over and repeats in the interval like it were an important sequence in the movie. No one who’s come to watch a movie to free his/her mind would want a displeasing visual playing a downer.
Long Theatre Advertisements
So while the government gets the best for itself from this cinematic soft target, the theatre also has to make money. They mint money by displaying product advertisements extending to as long as 15 minutes or even more. A 10:15 show cannot start before 10:35 as countless advertisements are waiting to greet us. The number of ads have gone up so dramatically that it eats up good initial segment before the movie starts. A viewer that has his mind running around how the movie is going to turn out gets his patience tested repeatedly with so many ads which eventually make him lose concentration. Ads have proved to be major spoilers during cinema entertainment and theatre chains have to realize it too.
While all Hollywood releases in India are tampered with forced intervals, even Indian movies have to pay the price of uneven intervals in the movies. The projection room depending on their schedule fix the duration of the interval. While they would at times, won’t start the movie in time to make people order food and beverages, they would on some occasions resume play it in less than five minutes to catch up on their late schedules. It severely breaks the momentum of a movie as the film has to start over to build our attention. While long intervals make us lose our focus and track of things, short ones mostly make us miss the beginning of second half.
Statutory Smoking Warnings
These have been in existence for a long-long time now and despite hard enough attempts by the likes of Anurag Kashyap, smoking warnings during a smoking scene have continued to spoil the party. A warning at the bottom of the screen is a major distraction from the movie narrative and takes us right out of the experience. A filmmaker has to work really hard on smallest of details to build attention and a smoking warning takes all of it away. To prevent this, filmmakers have purposefully started doing away with filming smoking scenes. It might fulfill government’s agenda of campaigning for hypocrisy, but it does take away a lot from the art.
Filmmaking is an art that only few would understand and most would enjoy. However, if everything depended on actors and directors to make a movie work, theatres all-round the globe wouldn’t have existed in the first place. Did you wonder why watching a movie on your large TV with the lights off feel much better these days? Because we are killing our own cinematic experience!
We are being served patriotism, education, advertisements, moral policing and a fair bit of torture in the price of a ticket that interestingly taxes on ENTERTAINMENT! Lovely