Yes, I went to see a movie by myself yesterday. In the midst of other people, it sometimes feels good to be isolated in my own experience. I like to buy my own bag of popcorn, and I like to savor my own opinions and feelings. I like to do this in the energy soup of others, hearing their collective gasps, chuckles and sighs as part of “surround sound”.
Movies on the big screen are designed to make us feel. Think of the money, time and talent that are focused on evoking emotion. Just in case the book, the acting, and the camera work are not enough to engage us visually and verbally, there are sound effects and swells of music to sweep us into reaction. The previews alone are an emotional smorgasbord, as violence, beauty, poverty, lust, and humor pepper our senses.
It's not worth revealing the specific movie I saw. It will hardly become a classic, although the actors were so effective that I forgot they were playing roles. It ruins everything when I’m aware that it's Johnny Depp in the role of a pirate, or Meryl Streep playing Maggie Thatcher. I want to be lost in the fantasy. That's why I go to the movies. I identify with the lead character's plight, laugh and cry and celebrate with him or her, and dance in my seat when there's a pulsing beat to the music.
Going to the movies is like selecting your choice of dreams. If you aren't pleased, you awaken to a fantasy going bad, rouse yourself, and exit. But when you’re fully engrossed, every nuance of the fantasy is captivating. When the film is over and the lights go on, the post-movie analysis begins.
Each of us enjoys films differently. When I've been fully engaged, I'm not ready to let go of the experience quickly. I want time to notice if it illuminates any aspect of my own life. As I leave the theater, I like to savor the emotional impact, and appreciate the skills it took to create a compelling spectacle, thriller, comedy, mystery, Western, animated film, or romcom. I'm curious about the motivation, meaning and symbolism of everything: the characters, location, photography, dialogue, sound effects, and action. It's all part of the movie afterglow.
I don't go to movies alone very often, but it's always an option. And, of course, your good company is always welcome. Let's enter, choose a seat, relax, and enjoy. Isn't that what fantasies are all about?
Let’s go to the movies!