{24/02/2013}   Watching films that make you feel miserable

I bought three £3 DVDs the other day to compensate for not having been to the cinema for ages.  I have watched two of them, Black Swan and Bucket List.  The former I was expecting to be dark, the latter I was expecting to be light hearted and fun, despite it being about two characters with terminal illnesses.  One made me feel truly wretched and the other had me crying dreadfully.  I have concluded, at least temporarily, I am in the mood for cheery films so I’m hoping my third film, which I fully expect to be dreadful, The Tourist, will at least not leave me feeling miserable.

One of the many things I’ve always loved about films is that they are escapism and I get drawn into the world the film creates.  This is why I don’t watch horror films and rarely watch thrillers and anything remotely scary – like I will ever watch Blair Witch Project for example!  Sometimes, a film like Black Swan slips through the net as I have reason to believe it’s a good film.  However, brilliant and convincing though Natalie Portman was, it was not a happy time I spent watching that.  I watched it with Chris, who got bored and said it was very cliched.  My overriding feeling was that it was just too disturbing, though I was distracted from that by my eventual conclusion, like Chris, that it was a bit cliched.

I don’t like watching dark films before bed, it always leads to either dark dreams or waking up knowing you’ve had a disturbing night, the latter which I felt the next day.  It is a fairly good film but I’m afraid it was lost on me as I wasn’t that interested to know what happened and I don’t like watching films where reality is so mixed with, in this case, what’s going on in the disturbed head of the lead character.  A lot of ankle snapping and blood, most of which didn’t really happen.  Yes, I get that it’s kind of “clever” and develops a character, whose character development, indeed the whole story pretty much, is based around her mental health, I just don’t find it easy or enjoyable to watch.

As for Bucket List, I had thought it would be quite an uplifting film, despite being about two men diagnosed with up to a year to live.  But it was a bit slow and I wasn’t rolling about in my seat with the comedy of it all, which is what I’d been promised.  It all just seemed a bit unbelievable, which was a shame because I like Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  I ended up crying my way through the last quarter or so, probably dwelling too much on the concept of living life to the full, ideally while you’re still young and healthy.  I suppose my main issue with that film was that I hadn’t expected it to make me feel a bit miserable, I really had believed that it would be funny.  I also hoped and expected the script and concept would be better but it was all too Hollywood cheesy and “easy”.

I guess different genres suit different moods and I haven’t been in the mood for being made to feel miserable of late.  So fingers crossed for The Tourist.  At least I’m expecting it to be dreadful and I have no reason to believe it will make me feel miserable!


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