One thing I hate most about watching a movie in theater houses is the inconsiderate people I happen to share the public place with. It has happened a lot of times. I try my best to be there on time, I patiently waited in line to buy my tickets looking forward that for a little while I can enjoy and relax from the stresses of the daily grind. Most of the time, I go home disappointed because some inconsiderate people completely ruined my supposed movie viewing pleasure.
Save for great films whose messages are significantly inspiring, I regret that I ever made an effort to watch at a public theater.
One fine day I decided to watch The Chorus, I would like to narrate what has happened. A lady a couple of rows down loudly converses with her companion the whole while. Movie trailers, advertisements, opening credits, and the feature presentation after, and she seems not even halfway done through her story.
Moreover, a group of teenagers seated beside me keeps on expressing their comments about anything and everything that is being flashed on the big screen.
Seated along the row not so distant from where I am was a couple who came with their baby whose loud cry is clearly heard inside the enclosed movie theater. The baby’s brother, himself a toddler bounces on his seat, oblivious to what is being flashed on the big screen. The children’s parents stare blankly on the screen devoid of any reaction for the behavior of the child companions.
Unlike in the United States where a movie is regarded as a form of entertainment and its success is gauged on the amount of money it has garnered, in the French Republic, a movie is intended to serve as the director’s means of conveying a certain message to be pondered upon by the viewing public. The success of a French movie is gauged upon the number of people who have gone to watch it on screen.
Past the chaos generated inside the theater by inconsiderate movie-goers reverberates the sound message conveyed by the movie entitled The Chorus or Les Choristes (The Chorus, 2009). The story was set in the year 1948. It is about Clement Mathieu, a music professor played by actor Gerard Jugnot, who becomes a supervisor at a boarding school for the rehabilitation of troubled youths (The Chorus, 2009). He became disconcerted upon his discovery that the present situation they were in is oppressive. Mr. Mathieu counts on the power of song in his attempt to generate a positive change upon his students.
The Chorus is a story of a person who made a remarkable difference in a seemingly hopeless situation. It is melancholic yet realistic. The film is a reflective and touching celebration of resilience and optimism without appearing to be irrational or controlling.
With regards to sentimentality, the French film makers never fail to deliver a touch of elegance to a rather saccharine portrayal. The film could simply turned out to be just one of those dull tribute to a fine man trying to bring humanity to an academic institution administered an oppressor that it moves past the ordinary can be attributed to an excellent cast of characters, a brilliant director, and a script that can do without the necessary happy ending.
The opening scene shows a triumphant maestro who is taken back to recall his early days and remember the man who has changed his life by teaching him to believe in himself, to value his own person, and to create an enduring passion. The story then traces back to post-War France, where a humble music teacher is starting to embark on his new job at a boarding school meeting the orphans and abandoned youth for the first time.
He begins to transform an offensive and abusive administration by forming a choir out of the group of boys in his class. In the process, his students learned to discipline and value themselves more than ever. This also allowed them to stage an underground revolt in opposition to the school’s headmaster. Such process also allowed Mr. Mathieu to rediscover of his passion for music as well as to revive his dedication to a reforming and not manipulating profession of teaching.
The film also presents universal themes such as the value of childhood, the importance of education as a tool for discovering the world, as well as the value of the learning process as a liberating and not a limiting experience. Still, the main theme of The Chorus is justice. It was not the any of the boy’s fault that they find themselves in that school. It was not their choice to become rejected, unwanted, or orphaned in a world where their only desire is to be loved. Behind a young boy whose behavior goes out of control is a child who suffering from injustice.
Director Christophe Barratier did a fantastic job (The Chorus, 2009). He was able to combine distinct personalities who appear and mingle with one another as the story gently unfolds in harmony with the music that dominates the rest of the movie. The cast of characters played totally convincing portrayals. The storyline has the right combination of conflict and humor which kept the audience entertained.
The Chorus is also about the longstanding gap between the younger and the older generations. Although Mr. Mathieu is the central character in the story, similar to his students, he also underwent a process of restoration and redefinition of character as the plot unfolds. They work together in an attempt to find their own identity and their place in the greater scheme of things. Together, they found the strength to resist the forces of oppression that have been ruling over them for the longest time. .
Certainly, The Chorus is one of the few movies inspiring enough to move a person towards positive change. One can start by improving his or her behavior inside a movie theater. It is in those places where the value of courtesy is of utmost importance.
The movie-going public must bear in mind that they happen to be in a public place and thus it is but proper to behave properly at all times. They must never treat a movie theater as if it was their own property, their home for instance. In the event that one happens to sit directly in front of another person, the former must learn to be courteous enough to sit low and ask whether or not they obstruct the view of the person seated behind them. It is also helpful to keep in mind that a person who steps on the aisle blocks someone else’s view of the screen until such time that the former finally founds a place to sit in.
The moment a picture appears on the big screen, be it a trailer of another movie or the opening credits of the featured presentation, it is a signal that the time has come for the audience to remain silent. Conversation must be reserved until later. The people inside the movie theater have all left their homes for a while, patiently waited in line, and paid their hard-earned money to watch a film and not listen to someone else’s irrelevant opinion. Parents should realize that it is better not to bring their children with them to the movie theaters until the latter is old enough to appreciate the experience and behave properly. When the time comes that a child reaches the appropriate age to enter the movie theaters, their parents must guide them carefully selecting which movie to watch. Parents should take into consideration a film’s plot and ratings and by all means avoid those with violent and inappropriate content which are not suited for minor audiences.
Watching a movie in theaters is in essence, a communal experience. The theater serves as a venue where the movie-going public can share the enjoyment, the break, the emotion with one another. The experience provides a sense of unity and at the same time enhances the public’s viewing pleasure. Still, inside movie theaters, the most essential thing that each and every individual must learn to share with one another is the basic yet notable value of courtesy. It is something that is rarely exhibited by most people. To remain optimistic, it is still possible to bring back the days when going to the theaters to catch a much anticipated film is something that is special. Hopefully, a movie theater experience where people behave accordingly is certainly not a thing of the past.
Perrin, J. (Producer), & Barratier, C. (Director). (2009). The Chorus. [Motion Picture]. New
York: Miramax Films.
Cite this Cinema Observation
Cinema Observation. (2016, Aug 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/cinema-observation/