The Profound Movie Critic

“Most of us do not consciously look at movies.”
Roger Ebert

The Profound Movie Critic

The idea of Profound Living has many facets. One is that the more known about an event, the greater the opportunity for a deeper experience. Cooks appreciate food on more levels than we mere consumers; and so on.

Y’know, I have been involved in the Theater almost all of my adult life. I have a college degree in Theater. I have taken many classes on script analysis and plays and writing and directing. And I have worked in the professional world of Theater for a long time.

Of all of those experiences, I only heard this single question once. It was from my teacher who was a director and script-doctor and very old school. He called reviews “notices”. It was astounding and incredibly simple.

Whose play is it?

This is the Director’s first question. At some point in a play or movie, a character is going to be asked to change. If they decide to change then it is a comedy. If they decide not to change then it is a tragedy.

We as viewers can get an appreciation of a movie by knowing this. Watching with interest in each scene to all of the moments that impact the character up to that decision becomes the fun of in-depth viewing.

To illustrate, let us pick a movie that is familiar: Pretty Woman directed by Garry Marshall. When we ask the question “whose movie is it”, the answer is Richard Gere. He is the one who changes in this movie. The Julia Roberts character is a great role but she never changes. We can watch with interest as each scene with Richard Gere that will ultimately lead him to his decision to change, making it a comedy.

Watching Directors and Actors work at their craft is a pleasure. Watching a movie with this single question in mind will give you, the viewer, more from the experience. Watching movies that we’ve seen before can be even more rich because we know the answer to that one simple question.

And it is a great topic over coffee and cookies after the film!

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