Since I started writing reviews on this blog, I always try to balance myself by watching both newly released films and old films. It's simply because I believe that you will know movies better if you watch more. Thanks to many friendly blogger fellows and communities, I’m introduced with a bunch of films considered as great. You know, from lists like “IMDb Top 250” or “Academy Awards Best Picture Winners” or “AFI Greatest Films” or else, I get informed about films many people considered as diamonds—films that many people refer as something you must see before you die. Of course these lists raise my curiosity, so I start looking for those “great” films and watching them one by one. And, yes, I also start building my own opinion about them.
I believe that watching movies is a personal experience. I mean, when a viewer said that film X is good, I know that I cannot simply agree that that film is also good for me. We have a totally different viewpoints and tastes, and of course chances are we will have different opinions too about one movie. I always try to be confident with my own opinion, so when I feel like a film does not work for me, I gather proofs that support my contradicting opinion and then I write them down.
|Without Hannibal Lecter and Clarice Starling, I think "Silence of the Lambs" is not as great.|
But let us put it this way. If two people watch one movie and however different their tastes are they end up agreeing that that movie is a good movie, although when you watch that movie you do not agree that it is a good movie, will you change your mind? How if three people agree with that opinion, will it affect your opinion? How if hundreds or even thousands of people? Or, the more extreme case, how if hundreds of people who call themselves movie-critics agree that this film is great; will you change your contradicting opinion about it?
Wouldn’t you question yourself, “Did I just miss something? Did I lose something that many people love from that movie?” Or would you just stand still with your own opinion without being bothered by opinions from other people—even professionals?
This happens many times to me. “Silence of the Lambs” is a thriller many people put in their all-time favorite film list, but personally I don’t think that that film is really that good (but I agree that Hannibal Lecter is one of the greatest characters ever made in a film). I wrote a review about it here and I also pointed out what works and what does not work for me from “Silence of the Lambs”. But the case does not just stop there. When I realize that it is not as great as I imagined, I always come up with a question to myself:
“Did I miss something?”
“Should I watch it again?”
“Was I in a perfect mood when I watched it?”
“Did something distract me from appreciating it the way many people appreciate it?”
Usually this strange case happens when I watch classic films (you know, most great films are classic). I watched “Rashomon”—which is currently on the Top 50 Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time—and the film was a black-and-white film with a story that i think was a bit odd at the first look. In a review I wrote here, I am trying to gather information about why “Rashomon” is categorized as a great film by many professional (and it turns out that the film pioneers the use of multiple storyline since the year it was made). I learned a bit about it just to convince myself that however strange the film actually is, history said that it really made a breakthrough—which is worth appreciating.
|"Citizen Kane" is a great portrayal of a bold character, but really, I didn't enjoy it that much.|
And so on. I can’t see films like “Citizen Kane”, or “One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest”, or “The Shining”, or even the latest films like “The Artist” or “Amour” are as memorable and astonishing as how critics and most viewers describe them. Of course, not all great films don’t work for me. I still find films like “Psycho” or “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Taxi Driver” or “12 Angry Men” are really as great as how people describe them. I just can’t find a real reason behind this strange case. But, still, I always believe with my own opinion even if it is so far contradicting to many people’s opinion—but then I had a task to dig more information about that film, even to rewatch it, just to make sure I didn’t miss something important that turns that film into a great one.
I also believe you have similar experiences.
What do you usually do when you fail appreciating a film that many people or critic consider as a great one?
Did you question yourself just like I did, or did you just simply shout “Screw the critics!” and wholeheartedly be confident with your own opinion?
You can share your experience in the comment box!