Idiots Guide to an Indian Cinema Hall

Before you enter a movie theater in India you need to be aware of a few realities, lest it might hit you where you least expect.

First up,making a movie in India is largely an “earning a livelihood exercise” from the point of view of the film makers, and less of an artistic expression.So the result is often a mass pleasing dish – which has a fair mix of comedy,tragedy,action, drama and romance, not in that particular order or frequency.

Secondly,from an audience standpoint, they are primarily looking at a movie to  “escape from reality”. the typical Indian middle class is less likely to be subtle or patient and hence their movie watching experience has to be in line.The common sentiment being, “who wants to think so much, just go out there and enjoy” – which in itself is not such a bad thing to do, until you hear someone behind you laughing when the protagonist is laughing in pain.

The equipment,sound system,chairs should all be fairly good, but that’s not the fun part. The fun part starts the moment the couple sitting beside you starts to be a scene ahead of the movie.

So keeping the above in mind, here are a few tips for you to watch out for :

  • At the start:
    • People walking in constantly, and standing bang in front of you.
    • Looking for friends at the other end of the row and calling them over.
    • People repeating the Title credits while they are being shown.
    • Loud munching of popcorn and other eatables.
    • All smartphones light up when the lights switch off.
    • Expect a variety of ringtones and Text message alerts to go off.
    • Expect wailing kids at all times, in all movies.
  • In the middle :
    • Expect kids screaming when the most sensitive moment of the movie is in progress.
    • Expect side clarifications or chuckles,when the scene is not understood.
    • Another round of snacks and loud munching.
    • A short urgent conversation on the mobile which can be heard by 2 other rows.
    • Smart alecs with a sarcastic comment and some of the audience laughs along.
  • In the end :
    • Expert commentary on how the scenes and acting was below par.
    • Continue on phone conversation.
    • The people turn around and argue,if you ask them to shut up.
    • Three loud popcorns,a wailing child,still sit inside and disturb all.
    • People stand up to leave by the end scene….but they wait blocking the exit door.

So, if youre going to watch a no-brainer blockbuster, chances are it will be the best movie watching experience for you.However if you are going to watch a serious movie then be ware, you cannot keep the enthusiastic Indian away for long.





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