It’s sometimes okay to not have an opinion

Published On: October 18, 2019 09:23 AM NPT By: Anweiti Upadhyay

It’s a world of opinions and comments. And that’s never more evident to me than when my friends finish watching a movie or series or reading a book. They have lots of comments about the script, cinematography, editing, and every other aspect there is to analyze and mull over. I feel we sometimes make so much noise about unnecessary things that the most important aspect usually goes unnoticed. 

You might think there is nothing really wrong with these discussions but, for me, a movie, series, or a book is all about how it made you feel. I don’t like to get caught up in other details and miss out on that point. Frankly speaking, I really couldn’t care less about what camera angle would have made a fight scene look more appealing and enthralling. If it puts me on the edge, rooting for the protagonist, like it should, that will do for me. 

I’m not really a movie person. I believe two hours isn’t enough to do any story any justice. I stay away from movies unless they are Harry Potter related or animated. So I realize I’m probably not the right person to talk about movie techniques and comment on them or criticize why people get so wrapped up in it. But I just don’t think you should pay so much attention to details that you forget to realize how it makes you feel. 

Most of the time, I think of books, movies and other similar forms of entertainment as just that – forms of entertainment. They will relieve you of your duties and temporarily take you to another place, away from your hectic and chaotic life. So if I feel good after finishing a particular show or while reading a book, I think that show or book is great and would recommend it to other people as well.

I also think this is where I don’t see eye-to-eye with people (who aren’t professional critics) who analyze these things I consider to be forms of entertainment. Because if you’re watching a movie about, say, a war to either learn from it or because you are very interested in that topic (and know a lot about it) and want to see how many facts the movie actually gets correct and what the movie chooses to focus on, you’ll definitely have things to say or critique about it. Whereas for me, if the story was entertaining or captivating enough, I’ll enjoy it and not really care that this one important figure who was super important during the actual war but was relegated to the side in the movie. That story wasn’t his. There will be another. 

The definition of what’s entertaining is a personal thing that varies from one person to another. For me, stories are generally entertaining. If anything – be it a music video, song lyrics, a write up, movie, novel or dance performance – has a compelling story to tell, then there’s a high chance that I will really like it. If I have to narrow this down even more, I enjoy stories I can relate to. It could be about being a teenager, overcoming your insecurities or having a silly crush, as long as I can connect to the story being told in some way, I think the time I spent watching/reading it is justified. 

A lot of times, the books, movies, songs and shows I like tackle very simple topics that are universally relatable. I can’t stand over dramatic plots that revolve around, for example, an heir to a conglomerate who is hated by his stepmother who wants to kill him or a dystopian story about this mutant with a major emphasis on fighting and violence. 

But give me a silly show about a high school cheerleader who aces all her exams and has accidentally turned into a superhero (without any superpowers), constantly saving the world from an evil scientist who has turned blue because of a failed experiment, and I’ll finish all four seasons of the show within two days. I can’t relate to this character saving the world every week, but I can definitely relate to her smaller problems – about not having enough money to buy a new pair of cargo pants or getting intentionally embarrassed by her brothers. (If you couldn’t tell, the show I’m talking about here is Kim Possible.)

When I voice these thoughts out to people, a lot of them – some subtly, some very blatantly – imply that I’m stupid for only taking books, movies, songs and shows superficially, and not having intense discussion about how that character wearing that yellow suit in that specific scene signifies that they have gotten over the death of their partner and are looking forward to a new phase in life. 

I don’t deny that I do take a lot of things superficially and avoid delving too deep into them. But if I had the time or the patience to pick apart these little details about something, I’d do that about things in my own life.

For me, TV shows, novels, songs and movies will always mostly remain forms of entertainment and I’ll turn to them whenever I have to zone out from my busy and tiring schedule. I’m generally fine with other people discussing the meaning and analyzing various aspects of these things in great detail as long as they don’t try to get me involved. It’s when you are forced to give an opinion and you not having one isn’t acceptable that I get annoyed by this need to discuss and overthink things. 

I think it’s perfectly justifiable to watch that one episode of your favorite series over and over again even if you think it’s ridiculous but it makes you laugh till your belly hurts. The thing is it makes you happy and isn’t that the whole point of entertainment? Should you only have to care about profound messages and great technicalities and sideline how it makes you feel?

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