An open letter to Popcorn after watching Gravity
I’m writing to you to let you know that I’ve had enough.
For years I’ve been trying to be tolerant. Knowing how badly the theatres are depending on the income from the snack sales, I’ve patiently endured the effects of your presence:
- I’ve told myself that the rustling is discrete, barely noticeable if you compare it to nachos or bacon crisps. Most movies these days have enough of explosions or drums in the soundtrack to cover for it.
- I’ve tried to think of your smell as a part of the movie going experience that actually helps you to get into the mood.
- I’ve shrugged at the popcorn litter all over the floor. It could be worse. At least it isn’t sticky like chewing gum or soda.
You have to believe me; I’ve really done my best to be accepting to you and to the theatre visitors who choose to bring you to the screenings. After all: watching a film is a social experience. If you can’t tolerate any evidence of the presence of other human beings in the room, you should probably rather watch movies at home in solitude.
But this time you’ve gone too far. All I say is: Gravity.
Don’t pretend to be innocent. We both know what happened.
You were there. You knew what a special movie it is; you know how it opens in dead silence. And yet you went to see it. Perhaps that’s what drew you there in the first place? Maybe this was your intention all this time: to get maximal attention from everyone in the audience.
This was your chance to finally take control of an audience consisting of three hundred people, each one listening intensely at every rustle, every bite, every shake-about.
And how successful weren’t you? I’ve been going to the theatre for decades, but this was the first time that I encountered a Popcorn performance on this level. You owned it from the start, turning the salon into the next object of a swarm of mutant termites, devouring everything that crossed their path. For the first ten minutes I was convinced that the munching insects would become visible any minute and we’d have to flee for our lives as the building crumbled.
You almost had me there.
Hadn’t it been for the splendour of this film, you would have succeeded ruining it for me.
As it was, I became too involved to even care about you. I wasn’t in the room anymore; I was far out in space, for the first time ever experiencing 3D that added to the immersion rather than taking away anything from it. I was there with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, fighting for my own survival and at the same time soaking my soul in the beauty and majesty of the infinite void. So vulnerable, so much alive, so distant and yet so close. The sound of Popcorn became the least of my problems. My mind was elsewhere.
Agains all odds, your attempt to spoil this movie failed.
But the fact remains: I hate you. And I hate the staff at the theatre that didn’t have the insight and courage to stop you at the door, saving this special theatre experience from your evil attacks. Couldn’t they have made an exception, just this one time, offering marshmallows to people with an eating disorder that requires them to eat constantly?
My days as a popcorn apologist are over. From now on I’ll show no mercy with popcorn in theatres.
The war is on.
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, US 2013) My rating: 5/5