Some truths of life, though present in one’s subconscious, still have the power to shock when one is confronted with them up close. For instance, I’m constantly surprised by the reminder that there are people – in fact the vast majority of people – who don’t really think much about the movies they watch. I’m not talking critic-style overanalysis but even just taking a moment or so to mull over a recently seen film, maybe form an opinion or two? But that seems beyond most people. It takes me back to school days and the common refrain when we were making a plan to see a film: "Who cares what movie it is, dude? We’re going mainly for the outing." Well, I cared.
Now I know there’s no reason why everyone should be expected to be a film buff to even half the extent I am (or most of my current friends are). I know many intelligent people who just aren’t that much into movies, and fair enough. But the people I’m talking about are the large throngs who classify as frequent movie-watchers, queue up regularly at the PVR ticket windows and say things like "No yaar, not Million Dollar Baby, it is a boxing film". Or listen to Johnny Depp’s accent in Finding Neverland and go, "Hee hee, he sounds like a Chinese." These are true stories.
(Having said which, how fair is it to blame PVR throngers when even a leading "film critic" doesn’t think about what she wants to say before writing a review but merely vomits out a sequence of words that means nothing?)
But the point is that the scatterbrained approach of these people to movie-watching is indicative of a larger malaise - the inability to think deeply about anything at all. They drift through life, these zombies, with no real clue about anything that’s going on around them.
I don’t know how relevant this example is, but I was at the PVR ticket-window listening to many comments in the same league as the Million Dollar Baby one, and the people in front of me had just bought two tickets.
Boy, gaping fearfully at the tickets as if they’re going to paper-cut him to death, turns to girl, says "It is the 15:10 show."
Girl goes "Ummm, 15:10 is what?" and – oh yes – starts writing "12, 13, 14, 15" in sequence on a little piece of paper she has with her.
Now you tell me there’s no correlation between the 15:10 cluelessness and the comments these people are going to make about the movie they’ll watch. They are, therefore they don’t think?