Today I read totally diverse reviews from two different friends, on the very same movie, on Facebook. This is nothing new. You see the same thing happening with books, places… even people. Years back I looked up in surprise when I heard someone describe a woman derisively as an ‘I-me-my story-teller’. True, she figured in most of her own stories, but they were narrated so hilariously that I could listen to her all day. It came as a surprise to me that day that there were those who thought differently.
But this post is not about opinions regarding people, but more about taste in books and particularly about the diverse opinions when it comes to movies. If you search the net you will find raving reviews about Chitra Divakaruni’s The Palace of Illusions (a personal favorite of mine) and also those tearing it apart. A friend had given five stars to Anand Neelakantan’s book Asura: Tale Of The Vanquished, but interesting premise of the story notwithstanding, I found it long drawn out and boring, and not worthy of even three stars. Tastes differ.
Some years back, I happened to hear my nephew describe a movie as ‘utterly boring’ and ‘a total waste of time’. Since I had heard raving reviews from some others about the very same movie, I was curious. Would I like the movie or not? I wondered. To find out, I asked him, “Tell me the name of some other movies you really liked.” He gave me the names of some of his favorites and I found we had some common ground.
This is something I often do, to try and get a picture of the other person’s likes and dislikes and see if it coincides with mine. If we seem to have more common likes, then I decide that I can take a chance on the person’s opinion and go for it. If not, well, then too I can take a chance if I want to. It is all up to me in the end either way. This is just an exercise in curiosity with no sinister motive whatsoever.
So imagine my surprise when I asked a simple, ‘What are some of your other favorite movies?’ to a person (on Facebook) who had expressed a liking for a particular one, and had them turn on me in annoyance. Friends and relatives immediately closed ranks around the person. Who did I think I was questioning the excellent taste of their beloved so-and-so? To say I was shocked by this unwarranted response is an understatement. My submission that it was just an idle curiosity, with no ulterior motive of undermining the person’s tastes found no takers. So that was that. Curiosity had actually killed that day, though what died was not a cat.
©Shail Mohan 2018
The cat wasnt killed, but now we can say that even our words, don’t sound like we think it would to another. Our words also get reviews, without our intending so.
Yes, it surprises me every time when opinions and likes differ so widely, even with people we know well. For example, I hadn’t expected you to like palace of illusions (although I don’t know you personally) — I didn’t; it was very lukewarm narration, IMO. That however, does not warrant judgment on another.
Social media is a dog. I have had a lot of my words killed in the past. I once wrote up a long-read about a lovely school reunion party…but for some reason I can’t understand even now, one of the recipients took umbrage to it, and set out on a tirade as “who do you think you are”. I am still fogged about what set that response. So, I get you totally.
I got out of all forms of social media because of this. Except blogging….
D K Powell said:
There’s nowt so queer as folk! As we used to say in the North of England! It’s true though, never any way of guessing how people will react to things…
I love the headline which is very creative. Hehe! Our FB discussion was an interesting one with people interpreting the film by throwing some very interesting arguments. I went with expectations looking at the director’s repertoire and my issue was with the script. I really liked the contrasting views that make for an interesting, lively discussion. I liked Palace of Illusion loads that made me fall in love with the Mahabharata and love how Chitra Divyakaruni depicting Karna.The best thing is that the film has stoked an interesting debate on social media.
Usha Pisharody said:
Hahaha! I’m there too, though I no longer bother to ask what the others like to see if there is a connect!
I watch/read if it intrigues 🙂 But I do read the reviews. Some of them are downright hilarious for the sanctimonious way the views are expressed 😛😂
Looks like it was Schroedinger’s cat😊