I don’t watch movies that often. Mostly because I feel like two hours is a lot of time for me to just hand over to digest something once, get to know somebody, care about what’s going on, and then it’s over and I don’t get to see them do anything new again – ever. It’d be like having a boyfriend that only has 8 different scenarios built in, and that’s all you get.
I much prefer miniseries (Lost, Walking Dead, Castle, Game of Thrones, Sherlock) or epics like The Lord of the Rings where I get 12 hours of a relationship instead of just the average 2 to 3. But every now and then there’s a movie that I have to see for one reason or another. I recently watched Life of Pi because I had read the book and was intensely curious to see exactly how the hell they were going to pull that off.
So it begins – the boyfriend and I are settled in with popcorn and the whole gambit, looking to totally exploit the new TV I bought for myself (it’s the first time I’ve owned a TV that is a rectangle, not a square) and we’ve both been completely sucked into the film. Yes, it’s visually stunning. Yes, it’s an amazing story. And yes, there’s a flipping tiger in it.
So we’re at the scene that I’ll refer to as The Unveiling of Richard Parker. The zebra is kicking around, all miserable with his broken leg, the hyena is being a hyena and is about to go ballistic on Pi, who is precariously balanced on the end of the boat covered with a tarp when –
Well… the tiger comes leaping out from under the tarp and rather unceremoniously dispatches of the hyena. Except, see, the way it’s shot the tiger LEAPS RIGHT AT YOUR FACE and suddenly you’re a gladiator in an arena armed with nothing but popcorn and a remote.
So I jumped.
And I screamed.
And I attached myself to my boyfriend like an octopus.
The rather long suffering boyfriend paused the show, helped me pick up all the popcorn I had tossed everywhere and said,
b/f: “Seriously, Mindy, how did you not know the tiger was under there? He couldn’t be anywhere else.”
Me: “Not only did I know he was there, but I’ve READ THE DAMN BOOK and I KNEW EXACTLY WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN IN THAT SCENE.”
And I still jumped.
And I still screamed.
And I still attached myself to my boyfriend like an octopus.
Which leads me to my point- we know that all the stories have already been told, we’re just finding new ways to tell them. And while some people might find this depressing, I think it’s awesome. How much more of a testament to Ang Lee is it that I KNEW exactly what was going to happen and I still reacted like that?
We can tell a story that’s already been told, even do the millionth take on the boy-meets-girl scene — and if we do it well, we can still make people throw their popcorn.
And attach themselves to their significant others like an octopus.