Now I have had friends and family look at me like a madman when I tell them that I watched a movie alone, either at home or in the theatre. For whatever reason it is almost like taboo to watch movies alone. I have always had serious reservations about this particular habit of ‘community movie watching’ that all of us practice, however, I thought that it was more of a personal trait until I came across this piece by Baradwaj Rangan (who else) in The Hindu. He talks about the same topic and it honestly is quite scary how similar him and me think, at least when it comes to watching movies alone. (BR, you could take this as a humble fan’s tribute to all your writing, and it gives me great pride to get an opportunity to say that I think the same as you do on a few things 🙂 )
I don’t really remember when it was that I watched a movie alone, but I guess it must have been sometime when I was in my high school back in the early 90s. Both my parents were working, and the standard routine during the Summer breaks in high school was to go to the nearest Video Cassette rental store, pick up a Hollywood Action flick and pop it into the VCR to enjoy the movie. While it has to be said that usually my neighborhood friends joined the movie sessions, I guess there were more than a few days when they had to be absent from these sessions as their mothers were usually at home and had some chores for them to perform. My guess is that somewhere around this time is when I actually started watching movies alone, and to date, I still find it the best way to watch movies. Let me tell you why.
When we watch movies in a group, we are forced to laugh at the comic scenes even if we dont’ find them funny to be part of the group’s fun. After all we don’t like to stick out like a sour puss in the middle of a well natured fun loving group, do we. And most of the time, when people watch movies as a group, they either opt for the Romantic Comedies, Action Flicks or the one movie which doesn’t involve any taxing of the brains to understand and enjoy. While I have nothing against such movies (and in fact, enjoy some of them once in a while), I guess I have reached a stage where I enjoy movies that pay a little more attention to the art and the craft of storytelling nowadays.
In any case, this post has pretty much spurred the movie lover in me back to action. Enough of the days of making lame excuses for not having caught up with my movies. Lots of movies (old and new) are waiting out there to be watched and reviewed (in my own amateur, subjective, opinionated way) and it is time that I heed to their cries to be watched and reviewed. Movies, here I come !!!
Baradwaj Rangan – In the dark, and all alone