An Average Moviegoer's Guide to Enjoying a Film

by Karina Thyra 2 years ago in how to

Watching movies and anything bright, beautiful, and smart gives me the greatest aesthetic pleasure

An Average Moviegoer's Guide to Enjoying a Film

Watching movies and anything bright, beautiful, and smart TV programs (that doesn't talk down) while growing up, gives me the greatest aesthetic pleasure that I can literally watch TV all day, regardless of what other people might say.

In the town where I live, we had no movie theaters, and I can literally count the number of times I've seen a movie at a real cinema--three (Mano Po 6, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age Of Ultron). Unlike most who are privileged to live in a quiet area WITH MOVIE THEATERS, ours was dismantled when VCDs became it, so I grew up watching tapes, HBO, Cinemax, Star Movies and the likes. I don't really get to watch a movie on its opening week. Fortunately, Fox Movies Premium airs new movies three to five months after its theatrical run. So when I finally see a movie in the huge screen of a cinema, I make sure beforehand that I don't want to ruin it for moi. It's always important for me to pick out the genre first because not all that we see in theaters could be worth our money, much more our time...

BUT! If you're not thinking too much into it, you can actually enjoy the movies like you did as a child (no matter who picked it out for you).

We frequently outright watch a movie based on suggestion- even if it's not what we really wanted to watch. Or we just wanted to see what the commotion was about, even if we know we didn't really want to see it at that moment. I live by the rule that we shouldn't just go ahead and jump at the newest movie bandwagon. Watch the movie you feel oddly attracted to first, so when you do watch the movie everybody else is buzzing about, you get to enjoy it as it is with all the smug sense of satisfaction.


I've always been shady and finicky when I watch my favorite show or film. If I see this actor/actress whom I've seen somewhere terrible before, I wouldn't give the film a chance. Why should I, anyway? It won't work and he/she's going to ruin the movie for the rest of the cast. WRONG! I've realized that even though a terrible actor is cast, there is still so much potential for him to be awesome in a film. If somehow we began seeing films based on their cast, our OCDs will tick. We'll start nitpicking their performances and compare it to the other roles they've played. Despite how terrible or great a cast ensemble is on our respective opinions, it's not their individual performances that will highlight how good or bad the film will be- it's the how they work together as a group to make a significant impact to the audiences.

In other words, chemistry. It's always important. You may have the perfect cast, but if they have very little to work with, the movie could flop. Your film will then just explode right into your face.

Go watch a movie and expect nothing and never judge it while watching it. Empty your mind of any criticisms you've heard prior to watching it for yourself. Just enjoy the feel of the moment and don't overthink. For me, watching a movie is like dining - the first half-quarter is the entrée, just savor it up for the moment in anticipation for the main course and the dessert (i.e. the most wonderful part of the meal). The most important aspect of watching and criticizing a movie for me is to see it for the first time and note how it feels. Watch it for the second time and notice how your views have differed since the first. Watch it for the last time, and then give your verdict.

The most effective way to enjoy this art is to do it on different occasions and hint at the subtle differences and points you might have missed on the first watch. Also, the perfect times to do the second is when there is less distracting hype going on in the place where you'll see it!

Only Watch What You Feel Like Watching

Like I said previously, you don't have to go right ahead to what everyone else is watching if you do not feel like it yet, it won't make you any less cool than they are. Suppose that you've already resigned yourself to watching what the majority will watch even if you don't want to (yet), there's a high chance you'll give a negative review (unless of course you enjoyed it despite your earlier self-arguments) because if you're a temperamental person like me, it's likely that you're not going to enjoy the movie on the first day of its opening week! It would be quite disheartening if you're going to review the film you would have liked had the circumstances been different.

And most importantly...

Watch what you think will fulfill your soul first.

And that's how an all-time favorite movie is born. I'm pretty sure all of us have that favorite movie per genre, and if possible we're going to go to the theaters everyday just to see the new releases that fit our criteria so that we could eventually add it into our growing collections. I dare say every genre is my favorite although, I seldom watch the other types . But generally, I find all of them pleasurable. It's important to balance them out.

We watch drama because performances make us feel emotions that can make us burst into tears- and we all need a good cry once in a while.

We crave for action, because it gives us that adrenaline pump or the need to scream and shout and get frustrated at something.

We terrify ourselves by watching horror and thriller because the sense of relief after experiencing terror, albeit unreal, is rejuvenating and it gives us the odd sense of being thankful that we have something to live for.. aaand now I begin to understand how horror fans can stomach it all.

And the in-betweens or the genre mash-ups are the ones that'll give us balance like reconnecting with our old friends. Despite being surrounded by movies that made us feel indifference, there will always be that hybrid of genre both you and your pal adore, and these when combined together will give us that comic relief.

As an AVERAGE movie enthusiast, this is how I find value in each film that I enjoyed watching. With each film, we honor creative minds who have spent hours, blood, sweat and tears in the making. It certainly make wonders for me to put it that way to enjoy the art of filmmakers, and I hope it would work for you too. At the end of the day, we should all feel that we didn't waste time watching a well-crafted story unfold to give us that aesthetic and genuine satisfaction.

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Karina Thyra

Fangirl of sorts.

Twitter: @karinathyra 

See all posts by Karina Thyra