Rakesh's movie talk
Everyone wants to be heard...

Home | Movie Reviews | Movie talk | Film Personalities | Misc Articles | Contact Me | Tamil Time

Everyone wants to be heard...but no one wants to listen...

I made that maxim/saying/philosophy crap up myself. Of course, there is no such thing as original (with exception to Original Recipe in KFC), so in case anyone knows any other authors who have similar quote please let me know. I am a journalists and it is a practise in journalism that you quote the correct person unless you are very sure that you’d be facing a one million buck suit.

Coming back to what I wanted to say. I have decided to quit talking too much. I am a writer, not an orator. Last few months I observed many quiet incidents. Quiet, because they are not earth shattering or inspiring enough to let Hollywood ditch its plan for sequels/remakes and do an original movie. No, just quiet little useless/useful incidents.

I saw many empty barrels that made loud noises. I saw backstabbers who thought they made great accomplishments when the stabbee (my patent, it's an original word) just went on quietly in his/her/its life. And I realise that I was one of them, the empty barrel I mean.

I had been talking too much for far too long and I realise this: "Everybody wants to be heard and nobody wants to listen."

And so I decided, that’s it. I’m gonna quit talking a lot. I shall talk, but in a limited way. It brought shock (though he didn’t show) to my colleague when one day I told him that. I said that I’d be going for lunch alone. No more empty talks. Sometimes we’d spend hours talking my favourite subject: movies. So what. I’ll write reviews and articles and if he is interested he can read them. My bet is he won’t. Because all the while I am not sure if he was listening.

Why talk? Because of it I had been given labels. Some I know and some I don’t. I’ve been called an intellect (yes, an intellect, can you believe what kind of world we are living in where I am referred to as an intellect?), antichrist (I love JC, I do, but I'm an agnostic) and rude (I can be dangerously frank, and truth hurts). Why? Because I talk.

Aside: I was working in Singapore for five years, before returning to Malaysia six years ago. During those years I’d usually lunch alone. You go wherever you want. You don’t have to listen to anyone. You don’t have to laugh at anyone’s joke with food still in your mouth. Cool. End of aside.

Talking through reviews

I used to say that my religion is movie. People’ll have good laugh and they’d go, "but seriously...".

It’s true. Movie is my religion. If I see myself as a liberal its because I picked up the attitude from movies. This and more. I read biographies and learn about other’s triumphs and mistakes. Most importantly I read reviews.

Yes. Movie reviews are the most important things that shaped my life. It inspired me to become a writer. It informed me of many behind the scenes thing. It inspired me to investigate the characters and one led to another.

For example, I became a Bond fan after reading a series of reviews on the movies (God bless the writer Daniel Chan, where are you man?). Then, Bond led me to other fictional characters like Sherlock Holmes and all those great American private eyes of the early part of last century. And I was reading voraciously.

My first published effort was a movie review. And I started reading more and more reviews. And one day I learned something. That I can be wrong.

Can you believe it? Most of us always think that we are right. Simple as that. Very few think "I can be wrong". Sure you have heard people saying, "I can be wrong". And it doesn’t stop there. They’d go, "I can be wrong, but…" Bloody ‘but’ showing that they are still right.

Movie reviews showed how tastes varied. One critic would agree with you and the other won’t. You always yearn for someone who agrees with you. You want an "audience". Remember, everybody wants to be heard. Of course, we can’t all go up on a stage and start orating…you’d find rotten tomatoes (how audiences get these stocks is beyond me), so next thing is to find someone to agree with you. You find company.

I used to me look for critics who agree with my own judgement on certain movies. I’d stick with this critic and one day, boom! He’d hate a movie that I actually loved. I’d be unhappy. What went wrong? The movie was good, I mean Eastwood really kicked butt did he?

Then, I’ll look for another critic (www.mrqe.com, the partner in crime) and some would like it and some wouldn’t. Eastwood himself, in a movie, says, "Opinions are like assholes, everybody got one." This will be my mantra for life.

Movie reviews have shown me that I can be wrong, that my taste can be bad, that reading them can be a good precaution of not stepping into a horror zone (I still do that mistake, a recent visit and hasty departure from Ultraviolet will leave me scarred for life).

So, I will continue to write reviews. As I said, I am not an orator, I am a writer. I shall stick to writing. I am participating in many movie related forums online so I can just write. I don’t have to talk. People don’t have to listen to me. They can jump the paragraph. They can skip the pages. The can just click the webpage off. Up to them.

Remember, everyone wants to be heard, but nobody wants to listen.

And thanks for listening…