Any movie lovers in the house? Let’s gather here right now. There is virtually no one on the planet that has not seen a movie. Even the 2-year old children already have access to television, YouTube, or other forms of entertainment media. When it comes to watching movies, you are not a novice, in short, you are the boss but what if I say you are watching movies the absolutely wrong way?
Screenwriters curate movie scripts with these goals in mind:
To pass a lesson
To paint a future possibility
To imagine what an arbitrary idea would be
To educate or enlighten, etc
And for most of the time, screenwriters target more of these goals in a single movie. Thus, to get the best out of the movie, you need to develop some ways of paying attention and understanding what the intent of the script-writer was.
Well! Some movies are a naturally boring, big-time plotted mess. Thanks to the producers who may probably have missed out on some ways to make it interesting. These ways may include proper lighting, sound balance, actionable scenes, and so on.
A couple of times, you may have also noticed that it might not be the fault of the producer. Someone else watches a movie and really enjoys every bit of it but when you try to do the same, you find yourself in slumber dreaming.
Let’s get to the point here.
How can you watch an interesting movie (the producers did perfectly well, as generally acclaimed) and keep your interests at it and also get the best from it?
It is important that you watch any movie more critically by thinking like the director or attempting to do so. That way you understand better what the plot is, you understand the humor, the suspense, the flow, and so on. This doesn’t only make you enjoy the movie and get the best from it, it also allows you to know what the screenwriter and producer didn’t seem to get right.
Now, just before you hop onto Pirate Bay for your next movie, look out these ways to get the best out of any movie.
Just like any other form of entertainment, distractions can come at any time. A single look away from a movie scene can make you miss out a lot about the storyline or plot.
A movie can last over two hours or more and to say that you need to keep your attention undivided throughout this period is almost unrealistic. Your phone has got to ring at some point, someone would need to call you midway, you may want to check out the name of an interesting soundtrack in the movie, or check out other movie roles by your favorite actor in the current movie. These are the normal distractions, aren’t they?
Just as I consider it almost impossible to sustain undivided attention through the entire movie, someone else might be able to say they have been able to watch a movie without being distracted throughout the movie.
However, to help every one of us get the best out of a movie, the filmmakers often highlight plots with incidental music to get your attention to the important points or repeat a character’s name when they think that you might have missed it. To get the best out of this move, try to follow these musical and vocal cues as much as possible.
2. Critically Consider The Theme Being Explored
The first thing you should seek to find out is the theme of the movie. The theme can be about love, jealousy, oppression, war, racism, advancements in technology, every movie has a theme. This is usually what you mean when you ask, “what is this movie about”?
The director often has a way of merging the theme and the plot and you should carefully try to understand this from the start. That way, you not only understand the goals of the movie, you can also critique the movie to see what could have been done better.
Notable, most movie themes are given a twist to make them new, original, or bring out the significance of something. The unexpectedness is one way filmmakers intrigue you and make you derive the most satisfaction from any movie. Being able to critically look at the theme and the twists can help you know if the movie has drawn inspiration from other source materials, if it brings new life to a story, or if it is a total rip-off or a stolen idea.
3. Critically Analyze Sound, Lighting, And Production
The aim of this article is to help you get the best of any movie you are interested in watching and also to be able to critique the performance of the film producers. These two go hand in hand. That’s pretty obvious, right?
Many people watching a film are only interested in how the actors perform and what next they are up to but a critical viewer would be more interested in what the entire team is up to. The team is comprised of everyone, the actors and even those backstage. How is the lighting, how are the sound levels, do they use incidental music to fade out dialogue or not, or did the theme soar in at the wrong time?
Most of the time, we do this subconsciously. Poor lighting and sound naturally make the movie less interesting to us even if the actors are doing a fairly great job. If the lighting is poor, you might end up squinting at the screen. By the way, that’s if you kept on watching.
By paying attention to those small details in lighting, sound, production elements like costumes, characters, settings, and so on, you are able to spot critical differences between naturally interesting movies and uninteresting ones. In order words, you become a good critique who can analytically criticize any movie you have seen in a way that even the producer knows you are exactly right.
4. Watch Movie Until You Can Repeat Word-for-Word
Haha… For lazy viewers like me, this might be almost impossible. Many people do not have the patience to see a movie the second time. However, the day you meet the movie of your life, that favorite film that makes you want to keep watching over and over again, no one would tell you otherwise.
Everyone has a favorite film, and it is easy to repeat word for word and know what the characters are saying, even on mute.
When you watch a movie multiple times, try to look at other perspectives by using a different technique each time. First, you can discover the theme and how they arrived at it. Next view, you can look at the major transitions from one storyline to another and back. You should even try to mute the audio sometimes to critically look at the camera angles, how the camera focuses on the main character or when the view is widened. Each time you try a different technique, you understand more about the movie and learn something new every time.
Observe the minor characters and how natural they make them seem. What are they doing when the main character(s) is/are speaking. You should also rewind to watch various scenes multiple times if you can’t always go over from the beginning. In the end, the goal is that you understand more about the movie to the point you know each and every detail in it. Sometimes, you can discover hidden details that the producer didn’t intentionally put there.
5. Think About Why You Did or Did Not Enjoy The Movie
At the end of watching a movie, there are usually two outcomes. It’s either you are satisfied or you are not. Getting the best out of a movie entails that even if you did not enjoy the movie, there are other things you have learned from it. You should always be seen trying to get something out of it no matter what the filmmakers did or did not do right.
This involves you being critical at every step of the way. Think about why you enjoyed the movie or why you did not. Analyze every aspect from the theme, to directing, to acting, and so on. Sometimes, you find out that the script was good but the acting wasn’t that strong enough. How well did the theme resonate with you? Did the settings and cinematography appeal to your eyes? Were the actions compelling? What did you or did not particularly like?
Is There a Place For Personal Preference?
Everyone has preferences when it comes to watching movies. Some prefer love/romantic themes to magic or adventures to the point you can outrightly decide if you are going to watch a movie or not simply by looking at the title.
No matter how great a movie is, if you do not like the theme from the start, it can put your off from watching it further. Personal preferences affect how much we get from a particular movie. However, if you are going to get the best out of a movie, you are going to have to place the bias outside and look at it critically.
There are no hard and fast rules to movie production. There are many ways the movie can be produced. So, as you are trying to find out a better way the producer could have directed the movie, don’t forget that their method might also be very valid too.
To be able to get the most of every movie you watch, you need to think like the producer and a viewer simultaneously. This will enable you to understand every single plot, the theme or themes, and the directing conditions (lighting and sound). This also equips you with the information required to comment critically if you were asked to judge the movie.
You may say, you are not interested in critiquing or judging the movie. You just want to watch and forget that you ever did but I just presented to you how to maximally benefit from every movie you watch from this point on.
I am a seasoned writer, not because I am some genius but thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I curate the most content on this website; all geared towards making you a better and happier audience.