I Wouldn’t Understand Movies Without A Synopsis
It’s not that I’m stupid — I’ve got ample brainage. In fact, I used to be super smart in high school and I’d wager that I’m only marginally less intellectually capable than I was back then.
Though, full disclosure — I’ve always been very generous with myself. At least mentally.
The first time I had this thought was when I went with some friends to see one of the “Bourne Identity” movies in theaters a few years back. As the credits rolled and my eyes un-crossed, I sat in befuddlement. If asked, I wouldn’t have been able to provide one single plot line, story arc, or even character (beyond Jason Bourne) involved.
Had I been asked to write a synopsis on the spot, I imagine it might have gone something like this:
“Matt Damon ran really fast. The patron sitting beside me smelled bad. I have to pee.”
Minutes later I wondered aloud what the “big road” that we were driving home on was. Full disclosure — some light drug use may have played a part in all this.
Regardless, it got me thinking as to whether or not most audience members would understand major plot points and intent if not for movie previews and synopses to guide them. Let’s take a look at some infamously complex films and compare the blurb provided with a cold one I may have had to come up with on my own unaffected.
Real Synopsis: A man juggles searching for his wife’s murderer and keeping his short-term memory loss from being an obstacle.
My Synopsis: Man who is fan of girl from “The Matrix” enjoys crafting + body art.
Real Synopsis: A thief, who steals corporate secrets through use of dream-sharing technology, is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.
My Synopsis: Juno is a lesbian now? I dropped my Raisinettes.
Real Synopsis: A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre visit.
My Synopsis: I wish this was Brokeback Mountain.
I’ve actually never seen Brokeback Mountain! But based on the synopsis, I’m not sure I’d understand it at all.
And if eyeballs could wink themselves out of their sockets, mine would currently be rolling on the floor in hysterics.
Maybe I’m underestimating the masses. Perhaps I’ve overestimated my intelligence level. And it’s entirely possible that I alone am the only human(ish) being on earth who depends on a professional explanation to direct my movie watching experience.
But for myself and other like minded simpletons, let us never forget to thank our lucky stars that there are scholars out there with interpretive acumen willing to do our thinking for us. Lord knows that between chronic social media updates and hourly trips to the restroom, my days are booked solid. I gladly leave the information processing to you.
Also, don’t do drugs too much.
Sidebar: I watched the movie “Split” last weekend and I’m pretty sure I actually understood it! James McAvoy played Mel Gibson.
A spot on performance, I might add!