Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Reviewer's Eye

I haven't written for a while now, so I am going to give you an extra long post in return for that. Brace yourselves!
About a week ago I was watching a movie. Now, that in itself isn't worth a story, but something happened that is worth that story. Something changed inside of me. Suddenly something clicked and I was watching from a completely diffferent perspective. One that I found really interesting.
Have you ever read a review of a movie - or an episode of a series, or whatever - in which the writer seems to be ignoring the merit of the story itself, and very mechanically talking about the quality of the special effects and other minutiae?
I have. And it annoyed me. A lot. At least, it used to annoy me. It might still annoy me, I haven't read another one of those since this event. Nevertheless, I think I understand it now.
Basically, I was watching the movie and suddenly I was thinking about the origin of the movie. I realized that though this was all very much about rural england, but it was still a very hollywood show.
That meant that I knew that the main character was going to be the hero. There wasn't a doubt about it that he was going to end up on top. At the time it seemed like he was going insane, but that was no longer an option in my mind. The suspense was gone.
All of a sudden, I wasn't so much watching an interesting movie with interesting characters, I was watching a sequence of plot twists, action sequences and the inevitable thrust towards the good conclusion.
It was then that they had a plot twist that was sooner than I had expected. That was interesting for a second or two. After that, it was annoying how contrived that plot twist was. Small details that were unlikely started bothering me and I was not wondering whether the second most important character was going to join the main character, but when and how it was going to happen - in a very mechanical way.
I could ramble on about how it makes little sense that with barely any evidence, a whole group of people just takes up arms against people they have known all their lives (and follow someone they have known less than a year), but that's not what this is about.
I am not here to write such a review as I was talking about before (or write any review at all). I am here to tell the story how I now understand how such reviews come into existence.
I think I used to think that it was all about rationalizing. And I don't doubt that there are cases in which that is what happens in a review. However, I have experienced a new thing - actually being annoyed by things like that during the movie. I don't know whether it was a change in how I look at movies (I haven't watched any since) or that it was just the moment or that it was this particular movie, but I wasn't enjoying the movie for the movie itself, I was actually paying attention to the details and as such, I was annoyed by them.
Glad to see you stayed here to read my entire ramble! (And yeah, I realize it didn't get as long as I though it would when I started typing. Still, I don't feel like removing that message at the top.)

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