So, I finally watched Interstellar yesterday; after days of, literally, closing ears and eyes on every mention and reference of this word. It is difficult, not to know anything you usually want to know first-hand about. No one else to blame though; I should not leave the decision of ruining a movie or a book to others. That call should stay only with me after experiencing it. This post is about my experience of watching the movie I waited so long for.
Experience, yes. About the movie, no. There are too many intelligent posts already written about it. Reviewing it, explaining it. The plot, the science, everything. This is not a post where I intend to do any of that. This is post where I intend to jot down my thoughts of going through an extravagant experience like Interstellar in India. I want to do this especially given I was watching a movie after a break of more than a year & half. I wanted to see how technical advances have improved, if so, the overall movie going experience.
So here it goes.
Experience of booking a movie has improved since I last did it. Apps have improved a lot. I was pleasantly surprised when the app supported adding the movie ticket to Passbook as an event entry pass. Nice effect and effort of customizing the app to the platform it runs on. Surprisingly, and sadly, not many try to do that.
But using the said pass at the movie theatres is still not possible. I searched for the machine or the person to whom I could flash the pass and enter without a physical ticket. Not possible yet, at least not at all the movie theatres. You still have to collect a physical ticket, show it to a person who tears a part of it & hands over what remains as a proof of your approved presence. They do have a machine to collect the tickets though. However anyone, with the booking id, can print the ticket without any validation. He, then, can flash it further as a valid entry pass. Plus it’s heading read ”Booked by Internet”. Sigh.
Multiplexes continue to ruin the theatre experience in India. The aim to maximize the earnings out of the small retail spaces is punishing the viewers. Each “Screen” has a maximum of 8-10 rows, with each sitting 15-20 folks. That limited is a Screen. In such small spaces, we have 3 tiers of convenience, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Like a regular middle class person, I selected the middle-tier. Surprisingly, the distribution is as any corporate evaluates its employees’ performance. 10% are awesome. 10% suck. All others are regular blokes who are just okiesh. Same was the case here; 1 row of platinum folks and 1 row of silver. In between the 8 rows of fools. Platinum folks sat with their necks held high, not because they paid more. But because they could hardly see what rolled on the screen without doing so. Then I do clearly recall a “silver” person turning around and laughing at the “golden” dummy sitting behind; pointing at his silliness to have paid more. Sigh.
Because “Screen”, the hall, is so small, the actual screen itself is made small. And so very close to the eyes. To be frank, except for the darkness and the silver bloke pointing & laughing at the dummy goldie, this was not that much a different experience than sitting a foot from my LED television at home. Interstellar deserved better. Multiplex are to know that. Sigh.
Every movie is to have an intermission. After all , we believe in giving businesses to many. If there’s no intermission, how are the samosa, pop-corn walas to get their earnings? So a movie is abruptly stopped. Usually I feel every Hollywood movie-maker is aware of this fact; so I could find a logical break being put in every movie. But I think the person who is handed this responsibility uses it to break when he has to pee the most. Be it, then, at the most inopportune place, in middle of some secret revealing dialog. Who cares; he has pee to handle.
People still chatter during the movie. That is after they have settled into their chairs after arriving late. Especially when in a group during a Hollywood flick. More so if the said group is all guys surrounded by another group of girls. Some smarty has to show off his knowledge or crack a foolish, unrelated joke. Happens.Every.Single.Time. I literally watched half the movie with my left ear closed to avoid one such Einstein explaining every single scene that unfolded on the screen.
And then the ‘usualities’. National anthem is still played, with half standing in respect and others poking there noses around. Head-shadows of late comers are still seen. Mobiles are still not on silent mode. Samosas and pop-corns are still money-wise costly and taste-wise cheap. Torch-bearers still enlighten the lost and side-tracked, searching for the seats. Sigh!
Anyway, Interstellar was a great movie; it deserves a better treatment than is accorded. Wish I had chosen a single screen theatre, booked a balcony ticket after standing hours in queue and experienced this marvel on a huge screen listening only to the whistle, and not chatter. Or else simply stayed home, catching it on my LED television. A foot away. Sigh!