I LOVE the movies.
I love the whole experience. You know, there are different kinds of people. There are people who think a movie theater is the perfect place to have a long, drawn out conversation, or to make out, or to check texts, and just generally not watch the movie. There is another tribe of people who don’t even go to the movies, because they prefer to watch it at home, illegally online, or on DVD – or worse, wait till it premieres on television. And let’s not even talk about the last kind of people – the ones who don’t even like watching movies. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.
Me? I’m in for the whole haul. My best friend and I enter the theater with a whole game plan in mind. This is how it goes:
Are we hungry? Have we just eaten?
If we have not eaten, and we are hungry – then we buy the food right before the movie, not during the interval. A big tub of popcorn, with exactly the right amount of butter (read:LOTS, because we like to keep it healthy), additionally, a sandwich for her and a brownie for me if we’re really hungry, and two mandatory cold coffees. My friend then carefully chooses the toppings we want for our butter popcorn – usually we put barbecue or cheese – and then mixes it in artfully so as to coat every little piece of popcorn with this flavour.
Then we somehow manage to hold all of this loot between the two of us and trudge into the movie hall.
But- if we have eaten before, and we’re not hungry yet, we skip this step and head right in.
Next come our basic rules to be followed while watching a movie.
Keep our phones on SILENT. Not vibrate, SILENT. I don’t want anything pulling me out of the movie I paid good money to watch.
The next basic rule – more like common sense – is not to keep asking stupid questions about the movie.
Then comes the interval. If we haven’t got our food yet, my friend and I are out of our seats the minute the screen reads ‘Intermission’. We waste no time. We’re like ninjas. Because nobody wants to wait at the end of a really long queue and then miss a bit of the second half of the movie. No. And so we make sure at least one of us is at the counter ASAP. And then we proceed to place our order, collect our food, flavour the popcorn, etc.
Now if you’re watching a movie in Chennai – you might experience different sorts of crowds depending on the movie you’re watching. If it’s a Rajnikanth movie, or a movie of some such big star, expect lots of screaming, cat calling, clapping, hooting, whistling, and jumping from a very large section of the audience. If you aren’t the fussy kind, this will grow on you, and like me, you’ll tend to enjoy this as part and parcel of watching a regional, masala blockbuster movie. (Or even something like Avengers).
I’m very particular about the theaters I go to. Most theaters in Bangalore, at least the ones I’ve been to, weren’t quite satisfactory (except for PVR maybe) – especially considering the exorbitant prices they charge. Chennai however has some great movie theaters – even the old ones are good.
The whole experience – the lights, the amazing surround sound that I can feel right in my heart, the atmosphere that’s pregnant with expectation and suspense, the thrill of a huge 70 MM screen flickering to life- I just love it all. I soak it all in. And my favourite, favourite part is right at the beginning, when the production houses play their clips. Like the Universal Studios globe. Or Twentieth Century Fox’s simple yet unforgettable tune. Or the magical Disney castle. Or even the boy on the crescent moon for DreamWorks. And closer to home, call me cheesy, but the background music for the Yash Raj Films introduction clip gives me goosebumps.
There’s something really amazing about the movies – it brings people together. It makes us forget about our troubles just for awhile, and allows us to dream, and watch other people dream. It tells us a story, and it shows us the world and beyond. It inspires. And according to me, anything that has the power to inspire another human being, is a truly great and powerful thing indeed.