Why Some People In a Movie Hall Just Can’t Shut Up

Tangy Tuesday Picks – 8 March, 2016


Okay, picture this. You have booked top notch seats in the over prized multiplex (wait, they are all overpriced – redundant adjective). You are all geared up to see this movie with widespread acclaim. And then it begins. But not only on the screen. Oh you denizen of utopia, not only on the screen.

Lately, I just can’t seem to watch a movie without being surrounded by people who talk as if its their living room, kids who cry as if their umbilical cord has just been cut, and mobile phones that constantly sing obnoxious ring-tones that their owners are too obnoxious to turn down. It is a cacophonous Rohit Shetty film and you don’t even have a helmet. So, I decided to try and enlist the various reasons behind this curious phenomenon.

Reason #1: Like they say in the sacred books, first look for the fault in yourself. It is my poor sense of enjoyment and film appreciation that interferes with my experience and not the audience’s rowdy behaviour. Films are a community experience and meant to be talked over and about, notwithstanding the genre. If a candle-light procession in “No One Killed Jessica” doesn’t bring to my mind a candle-light dinner, I am unromantic. If I didn’t find Shabana Azmi’s monologue towards the end of Neerja remotely funny, I have a bad sense of humour. I am “old-school” and boring and have no sense of fun at all!

Reason #2: They have little children. Kids who are mature enough to understand sensitive content like a plane hijack but not grown up enough to control a potty or susu impulse every fifteen minutes. These parents don’t have a caregiver at home so obviously they think it’s fine to jeopardize my viewing experience. Whoever heard of Home DVDs or torrent anyway?

Reason #3: They have a vast expanse of knowledge that would go unnoticed if not shown off in a theatre. After all, there’s nothing quite like talking into the darkness, telling yourself that anonymous, hidden faces are nodding in fervent approval. Dim lighting makes a Ted Talk speaker out of everyone.

Reason #4: The world would end if their calls and messages go unanswered. It is of prime importance to update your Facebook status, change your WhatsApp profile picture, and Instagram a few no-filter selfies – all during the film. And for other things, it is not worthwhile going out to speak. How can my money, time and experience be of any value to you?

Reason #5: Big film critics do this. You need to discuss the movie minute by minute and talk about the spoilers loud enough for everyone to hear. This is important for highly intelligent films like Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo, which a recent acquaintance of mine claimed he had to see twice to understand and truly cherish. It is even more important for films with an actual story like Neerja, or “slow” films like Room. In case you didn’t know, good films should be laugh-a-minute, with a car flying or goons fighting or a sexual innuendo thrown around at least every quarter of an hour.

Reason #6: And finally, they live in a democracy. I mean, I do too, but they probably take too much to heart their freedom of expression and speech. Of course it’s okay to talk whenever they want, however much they want. This is why they get enraged when people don’t stand up for the national anthem before a movie. But they conveniently forget that they can’t encroach on someone else’s right to enjoy peaceful value for their ticket money. I mean, how dare you ask them to be quiet? Freedom of speech! Call the media!

A professor from college once told me about a European film festival where, the moment you talked or your phone beeped, an attendant would come escort you out. That is an uplifting thought. Dear know-it-all, talkative, inexcusable parasite on the rest of the audience’s time at the theatre, may I suggest Europe to you?

In the meantime, I only have this to say to these unceasing talkers – Shushhh!

*Picture Credit: Giphy


17 thoughts on “Why Some People In a Movie Hall Just Can’t Shut Up

  1. Pingback: The Dominion of the Mobile Phones | Of Paneer, Pulao and Pune

  2. Being an avid movie watcher, I can fully relate with this post. Seems some people think they have come to watch a dialogueless movie or what characters are saying are of no importance to them (and to others as well as per their assumption) 🙂

  3. ah ha .. Reminds me when for the only time I have used my powers to ask someone to Get out of the hall, because this idiot’s phone would keep beeping and I was engrossed into this lovely sooper movie 🙂 dont laugh DONTTTTTTTTTT “Singh is BLing” and especially when the song choon chain choon chain was coming on .. COME ON.. they cant have it ..

    I blew my top and asked him to put the phone on silent and he being a idiot probably showing off in front of the two girls he was with .. asked me to mind my own business Now lawlfully i cant do anything but then he got up and used the “F” word thats it .. 🙂 I had a cause and out he went and then the girls with him were apologising..

    I mean everyone has paid the same amount of money they all have the right to see a movie in peace and enjoy it ..

    • Hahahha Bikram 😀 Now that is one inspiring story. We really need to put our foot down against this nonsense of beeping phones and chattering people, all during a movie everyone has paid to watch! I am glad you managed to send him off. 😀

      By the way, that song is one of my husband’s favourites (also a potent way to irritate me)! 😛

  4. Think of it as an exercise in patience and strategy. The strategy is to accept the fact they you cannot change other peoples’ behavior and plan accordingly (watch the movie at home). The patience is simply in the waiting for the movie to be available on TV or DVD!
    The reality is that many people will talk “over” a movie. They have every right to bring their children as long as they are within the movie rating and, as for courtesy towards others? It, like life, is all a matter of perspective.
    I totally agree with your sentiments and cannot remember the last time I went to movie house/cinema and, as an aside, I am put off live concerts by the continual distractions of cellphone etc screens as the owner tries to record the event! Should we have to put up with it? Certainly not, but one should always pick ones battles. This one shows little promise of ever winning! 🙂

    • As always Colin, you have successfully managed to calm my frantic nerves and make me feel better about the whole situation. Thank you for this. 🙂 I especially loved your advice on picking one’s battles, and yes, this doesn’t seem like one we can ever win. The best course of action is to a) try and come to terms with it, and b) skip going to the theatre altogether.

      I still wish, however, that some people could learn to be a bit more considerate toward others. 😦

      • I wish that also. I wish people would not drink and drive. I wish people would really appreciate the diversity of our species. I wish people would respect their dogs, cats and other pets. I wish abattoirs would kill humanely. I wish everybody was honest…. and so the list goes on. We can always wish …… but it is likely to be more rewarding to just accept the failings of our species and adapt accordingly. When all else fails though….. keep smiling! You’ll feel better, and it will really confuse a lot of people 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Haha, yes, I agree with the bit about confusing people. Maybe the joy of seeing those confused people, who for the life of them can’t figure out why you are happy even after they have irritated the hell out of you, will make up for a lot of things. 😉

  5. hey Debo!! It’s my pet peeve to see those self claimed movie critics, laughing at an important scene or the mobile flashing every now and then as if they lost something very precious!! I like the idea of being escorted out of the theater. Some people are plain stupid and as far those complaining of the gory scene, it’s simple don’t bring your children and why the fuck you blaming the film makers.

    • Couldn’t agree more, Vishal. Why blame the film-makers after you’ve knowingly brought your kids into an A-rated movie? As parents, shouldn’t they do some research before making a decision? I may come from a different era, but my parents took me only to a very select set of movies. They missed out on many themselves when they couldn’t find anyone to look after me. And I am sure the audience was thankful.

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