Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Note: this is a series of posts through my movie-normal to movie-philic to movie-phobic journey. This journey hasn't ended but I've been meaning to write them on my blog and finally found some time to give you guys a heads up on what's happening!

As you all know, I love books! But I also made a resolution this January that I would watch as many movies as possible. I've never been an avid movie goer simply due to the choices my family took when I was a kid. My parents would happily spend thousands on books for us to read but would frown on movies. It was my mom's strong belief that kids' imaginations would develop better if they had to imagine the characters and bring the words of a book to life. In a movie, everything is already laid out to you and all you have to do is enjoy it. I'm not saying movie watching is incredibly easy (as I found out recently) as I've seen friends watch movies with as much pleasure I get from reading a good book.

As a result, the number of movies I've seen in the past twenty odd years (not counting the one in Neverland) has barely crossed 300 (and yeah! I counted - thanks to IMDB). Since I have a number of friends in Neverland who are avid movie watchers, most of the conversation revolved around movies, old and new. But it remained a mystery to me as to how people can watch and watch and watch some more. So, this January, I decided to watch all the movies whose review I liked/recommended by friends. It would be in English, Tamil, Hindi (thanks to my roommates) and Telugu.

As a first step, I made sure I was watching atleast two movies a week (that's eight movies a month - which is A LOT for me - I can happily live without watching movies for months). This was an easy one since we (friends and I) would go for a movie atleast once in three weeks or a month. And my roommates watched atleast a movie over the weekend (usually Hindi). All I had to do was to be a part of both groups and I had crossed off two movies from the required list. Then I attacked the Top 250 list in IMDB. I started with the goal to watch all the movies from top to the end in that list. How hard can it turn out? All I had to do was watch the movie! But it turned out to be harder than I expected.

The first one, The Shawshank Redemption, was such a slow movie that I eventually fell asleep on that one! And it was the number one movie ranked by people all over the world. Imagine my surprise! If the majority of the world liked something, how bad can my chances of liking the same one be? But I found out that I can't stand slow movies (from my experience of watching No Country for Old Men with J) and decided that movie-by-movie strategy is not going to work out at all! Now what was I to do?

I didn't have any favorite actor/director to start the movie list with. And, I definitely didn't want to just watch any movie. Even if I was ready to do so, how would I ever search for the movies? I don't know the names nor the actors nor the directors nor the genres.... wait a minute! I could decide the genre and watch movies from it. But there was a problem with this too. I wanted to watch a variety of movies and was open to movies of different genres. After all, I was into this for different experiences and sticking to a known genre ALL THE TIME would take the fun out of it. But the genre idea was a better one than anything else. So, I made a list: comedy, romance, action-but-with-a-meaningful-story and non-philosophical movies were to be the first. I'll sample all movies that I come across: the ones that my friends recommend, talk about, new movies that come up (any genre) to keep the variety in picture. Now I was all set to take up the movie-resolution-challenge.

When would I stop? When I hit 10-12 movies/month (averaging 3 movies/week - something that most of my friends have been doing) or when I figure out if I liked this one or not (I've not really tried movie watching as something to do consciously (Before this, I've always watched a movie if I heard really rave reviews about it AND liked the cast AND had the time to go for the movie AND didn't have anything better to do AND wanted a break from whatever I was doing! Phew! that is a long list of conditions to satisfy)  - so I don't know if I like it or not - I want to give it a fair shot before I decide eitherways) or when I find out what interests people in movies.

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