Movie watching is an art. For some, it’s just entertainment. While for others, movies are means of reflections about culture.
For me, movies are fascinating. In fact, it can be educational. I find biographies better than boring lectures. That’s why I love documentaries.
What’s behind the attraction? Is it cinematic excellence or artistic expressions? Popular actors and big budgets?
I believe the power of stories makes movies ever-popular. Mind you, flicks won’t go away.
Think of movies as remnants of ancient storytelling. It can be good or bad, depending on how equipped you are for taking most out of it. Yes, you can overcome the mindlessness of watching telenovela, series, and episodes.
There’s a saying “the more you watch, the less you think.” You can be socially engineered by news and advertisements. However, you can reverse this.
In order to get the most out of every movie you watch, here are seven items with guide questions you need to ask.
- Who made this film? Is there an agenda?
- What’s their underlying philosophy of this movie?
- What’s the theme all about? Is there truth in it?
- How does it differ to my view of the world and humanity?
- Who’s the hero of this story? How about his/her strengths and weaknesses?
- Who are the hero’s helper or team?
- How about the anti-hero or enemy, what’s his/her role in the story?
- What’s the challenge to the hero? How did he/she respond to it?
- What would happen if the hero didn’t answer the call? What would they lose?
- Are there positive values in the movie?
- What morals I value more from the story?
- How can I apply these ideals in my life or work?
- How is the hero prepared or trained to face the challenge?
- How did the hero face defeat?
- Is there tragedy of death? Is so, how did the hero rise again?
- How was the battle won and the hero rewarded for the victory?
- What life awaits for the hero after all the challenges?
In every movie, there is an underlying belief implied or explicitly demonstrated. You may ask: How is God portrayed in the story? What’s the divine theme embedded in this screenplay?
You might have started to observe. The plots of most movies have similarities with Jesus’ life story. In fact, movies are usually about the hero’s journey and in real life it is also your journey, your story.
You can be confident that in this life you have a purpose to fulfill, a journey to take. While watching even the worst tragedies, there’s still a glimpse of hope, just like in life. That goodness will triumph against evil is there.
So the next time you watch movies, engage. Actively use your mind and heart.
And by the way, you can teach your kids how to think through what they watch and see. Don’t just let them watch unguided. Simplify the questions above. Guide them properly. You won’t regret it.
Glenn Plastina © 2017