Sunday 28 March 2010

Sucked into the willing suspension of disbelief

I love Coleridge for the expression "willing suspension of disbelief!" Whenever I watch a movie and get engrossed with it, I turn into the characters. Especially when the character is an individual who fascinates me, I become her/him for a few minutes of film-viewing. Now this is getting a bit complex. Let me explain. I don't behave or try to act like them in my everyday-life; rather I put myself in their place. I wonder what I would have done if  . . .

Sometimes when serious decisions are to be taken by the character, I start my journey. What would I have done when situations like walking away or remaining behind confront me. Watching The Three Colours Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieślowski, I associated myself with all the women characters in the three films!!! According to my personality I arrive at a certain decision AND if the character takes the same decision as me, I allow myself to extend my imagination: Perhaps the director knew someone like me. Maybe his love interest had certain traits like that of me. Hmmmm.

The saner part of me sometimes fails to keep an aesthetic distance from the film that I am watching. Certain characters are etched in such a way by the directors that the individual is a bundle of contradictions. Such characters interest me as I try to mentally speak to the character and try analysing their problems with them.

Another way in which I tend to get into the film is when certain minutes seem like a deja vu.Pieces of my life always find places in the films I watch and think about later. The thinking and analysing sometimes goes on for days together.

It's a shade of my personality to allow myself to be sucked into the willing suspension of disbelief!!!  Maybe  the movies I see are ones which fall into the 'realism' mode  which reflects on the existential meanderings of life and individuals.

Image courtesy: Internet


  1. Hahaha loved the way your imagination flies.
    When ever we like a character seriously and when we are watching the movie with full concentration, we tend to turn into characters. It also happens if the character resembles us. More often than not it happens to every one of us or at the least I do believe so.
    BTW new template??? :)

  2. But of course, dear friend...

    We are everyone of those and even more. Am many women... remember?
    As when you read a book you are the main character, you identify yourself with her or him in your own way and according to your own experiences in life... While me, reading the same book or watching the same movie I identify myself with the very same person but from my own experience and viewpoint...

  3. It's a testament to the filmmakers who with their keen ability of storytelling and character-building draw you in. I've only experienced this with a handful of movies ... most times I find movies to be so fictional (with sprinkles of reality) that it's hard for me to relate or go under the skin of a character. I guess I'm watching the wrong kinds of movies ;)
    Love how you can let yourself go on this journey.

  4. Oh my god! when I read this I thought I cud have written this too - yes, I am also one of those who cannot aesthetically distance myself from fictional characters - this happens even when I read books - and movies ofcourse are visually more involving....and thank you for reminding me of Coleridge...:)

  5. I often judge the quality of a movie the way I can identify with either the plot, or the characters. Thus, the movies I once loved might say nothing to em today and vice versa; some movies I saw as a young girl, I failed to understand due to immaturity, seems absolutely incredible to me.
    I also need to have the right characters playing the right roles; therefore magic happens when all of these things fall into place.;))

    Susan, thank you for your always kind words at my place, i so love when you visit.;)


  6. Hmm.. I am not much of a movie buff.. but at times I pick up good things from some movies.. that is if I like how a tough situation is managed.. or a simple good gesture.. I will modify it according to my life and adopt it..but relating to a character.. Naah! Wonder what this movie is about..?

  7. Like getting into a clothe store and trying for size
    we tend to pick up characters and fantasize
    and oh boy doesn't it feel wonderful and so very nice
    to be able to pick up a situation and to theorize.

    I think most of us are the same as in
    trying to get into someone else's skin
    for there is a whole lot of us within
    all clamouring to come out and win.

  8. Asif:

    Post hopping ah. My imagination is a bit flighty most of the times. You cannot even imagine how it meanders. Well, not everyone gets sucked like we do. We are people who are . . .
    Sometimes I think it is just too much to think so much like that.


    I don't much do that with book as movies. Yeah! New template for a change.

  9. Mansi:

    A fine testament indeed! Gosh Mansi, I do it all the time and now I think that I am overdoing it. You are watching the right movies in the right spirit. Sometimes existential meandering take a toll, you know. Don't envy me! Not quite worth it.


    Ms. Black Berry, why nice to see a comment from you. Of course anyone could have written this one. A simple journey of every thinking individual. Ah, you are welcome. BTW are you a literature student??

  10. Zuzana:

    You are a keen movie viewer aren't you? That's nice.

    Thank you for your kind words dear Zuzana. They always sprinkle sunshine.


    Sameera, you have done the right thing by maintaining an aesthetic distance. Good for you.

    Have a lovely remainder of the week :)

  11. Govind:

    Theorise: I do that so so much that I get despaired in the end. I start imaginary conversations.

    I will not much agree to the clamouring part. Maybe you wrote that because it rhymes! Wink.

    Joy always.

    P.S: How much time do you take to compose a comment?

  12. Hehehe Even today I remember those days of taking the tests on F.I.B.
    Do you know what it is? Fill in the blanks with appropriate word/phrase :D
    We are people who are ...?

  13. Well, Susan. We all somehow find a little bit of ourselves in what we watch and read. I think we are all so similar in many ways. It's the level of experience or emotion that makes a difference, not the experience or emotion itself. Amazing that this is a reality, though we rarely think about it. Just think... We watch a movie, see a scene, and some small speck of a scene sends rains of memories down on us. It happens, all too often, and it is a rain I always welcome, even if some of the memories are not so fantastic.


  14. Asif:

    Fill it with whatever you fancy. The blanks are all yours!


    I loved the way you've remarked: "and some small speck of a scene sends rains of memories down on us. It happens, all too often, and it is a rain I always welcome, even if some of the memories are not so fantastic."

    Quite true! I think the way art transforms even the most unpleasant of things, memory also does the same. The not-so-fantastic instances give us a chance to think how we have overcome them and come this far.

    It's a joy to read your comments and ponder, Nevine. As I always say, your comments are a lovely value-addition to my posts! Thanks for stopping by every time I meander. Bear hugs and kisses :)

  15. Susan, I didn't write that just to rhyme, I think it is a fact. There is a hero, a villian, a comedian all inside of us waiting for the right opportune moment to make their appearance.Anyways you are entitled to your opinion. After all it is your blog :).

    I take about 5-30 minutes for commenting. The core point jumps at me while I am reading the blog and I might need some time to develop it from there.
    Like for this post there were 2 points one getting into someone's skin and the other fantasizing. I didn't know which to choose and so chose both.

    I should thank you for the regularity with which you post for it gives me the chance to jog my brain cells.

  16. Oh yes. So true. My ability to identify with the character on the screen or in the book is what will determine how I enjoy the movie or the book.
    Yet the more globalized we become, the more alike we tend to be, outwardly at least.

  17. Govind:

    Thanks for the comment on the comment. Writing is a pleasure. These days I find myself doing it with more verve. It's readers like you whose comments get me going. I must thank you for the time and patience.

    P.S: Would like to read the continuation of the last post.

    Joy always.

  18. Angie:

    We are all similar yet different. I guess the similarities are more often biological and cultural and the differences are more conscious.

    Joy always.



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