Things I hate Most about Movies
Unfaithfulness: A few years ago, I went to watch Jackie Chan version of Around the World in Eighty Days. I should have known better than to watch a movie where a Chinese man is cast as immortal Passepatout. But none of the movie adaptations of Jules Verne’s classic novel was faithful to the book—not even Oscar winning and proverbially ludicrous David Niven version in 1956. If the director and screenwriters know the final version will be that different from the book, why did they even bother naming the movie after the book? Just to entice bibliophiles into two hours of movie hell. That is not cricket.
Redundancy: Hollywood’s and writers’ creative abilities have dramatically fallen short in recent years. Sequels, prequels and remakes maybe magic words to dupe the movie goers into seeing a movie they have already seen, but they just don’t entertain. What is the point in going to a James Bond movie when you can imagine the protagonist defies all odds to save the world from some misanthrope in your mind? What is the point in seeing that green ogre and terrible talking donkey three, four or five times? Once is novelty, twenty-first time is redundant.
Tenacity: It is sheer vanity and tenacity in the part of the actors to insist on their roles again and again. Twenty years from now, we will probably be seeing a Mission Impossible film, with septuagenarian Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt. That is exactly what they did with Indiana Jones, Rambo, Rocky and The Terminator. No matter what the hardcore fans say, combination of age and redundancy of the genre makes the film a sure box office bomb. It maybe just me, but I can’t imagine my grandfather as a secret agent—at least not with his receding hairline and prodigious belly.
Absurdity: That is of dialogue. The plots of all movies (by the commandments of viewers) are usually bizarre, absurd and laughable but some just go over the top. The plot of Notting Hill depends solely on a super-actress falling in love with a book-salesman. That’s it. What are the chances? It is particularly in “feel good” movies that we see the greatest absurdities. The popular movie Parent Trap (popular in the way that a remake followed later) is based on a twin’s efforts to reunite their parents who divorced “for the reasons they can’t remember.” Not only it is absorb, it is a slap in the face to everyone coming from the broken homes and everyone who took the course of divorce because of irreconcilable differences.
Cheapness: You know what is hilarious? Chaplin mocking Hitler in The Great Dictator. You know what isn’t? Powdering two black guys into facial whiteness and transforming them into girls (White Chicks). It is also racist and sexist. I am not talking here about a comedy of Shakespearean proportions. (I just hope Hollywood doesn’t try such comedy anymore either. Their last attempt, She’s the Man, totally ruined my reading of The Twelfth Night.) I am voicing my concern at movies that beguilingly has the title “Movie” at its end: Scary Movie, Epic Movie, Disaster Movie, Superhero Movie, etc. (and god forbid, their sequels). In old days, we would have been calling these cheap movies “vaudeville”, but it may not do justice even to the great vaudevilles.
Special Effects: Just compare the first trilogy of Stars Wars and the prequel trilogy. Spectacularly ‘awesome’ aspects of space battles distract the attention from the plot. Actors were acting in the green and blue rooms, talking to pillows or markers that can either be Jar Jar Binks or my middle-age aunt in Timbuktu. Their faces are digitally modified to resemble more ‘human’. But when a CG-Tom Hanks (The Polar Express) or CG-Angelina Jolie (Beowulf) is more human than the real counterparts, it is time for Hollywood to reconsider its priorities.