Realm of movie goer
I know the title of this article is kind of weird to you because you may be thinking, “Isn’t this what is already happening? I mean, if you watch a movie, nobody’s pointing a gun at your head, telling you to interpret it a certain way. Doesn’t it come with the territory when people watch or enjoy any kind of creative work that they are already entitled and empowered to come up with their interpretation?”
Well, what I’m actually getting at involves storyline decisions that originally were in the realm of movie goers. In other words, we watch a movie and there is a plot or story element that is open ended. The director does not spell it for us, instead, we are free to walk away from the movie, arguing amongst ourselves regarding that particular plot element.The issue is whether we’re entitled to that or should the producer or the director tell us what all plot elements mean.
This is not an empty or pointless movie geek issue. It actually cuts to the heart of movie interpretation and artistic value because this played out in the most spectacular way with the sci-fi cult classic, Blade Runner. You remember Blade Runner with Harrison Ford? It was released in the early 80’s. To this day, a lot of science fiction movie fans point to Blade Runner as one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.
Part of this was due to the open ended nature of the movie. I don’t want to dig too deep into it, but there was a long debate whether the main character was a robot or not. For the longest time, there were 2 schools of thought debating this issue and, of course, each side highlighted different elements of the movie to support their position. For the longest time, there was a little bit of equilibrium among those 2 forces because hey, let’s face it, it really boiled down to a matter of interpretation or so we thought.
Turned out that the director went on record fairly recently said that yes, the main character was a robot and this really turned off a lot of people because it impacted the issue of cinematic interpretation and who owns that right. Think about it, if directors and creators are just going to tell you what all plot elements mean, a lot is lost in translation. A lot is lost in this whole awesome relationship between the movie that you’re watching and your emotional interpretation and how you make sense of it.
That’s the whole issue here and I’m on the opinion that fans are entitled to their own cinematic interpretation. That there are certain plot lines that directors should just leave alone. They should just step off and allow it to flow. The Blade Runner case is really quite sad where the director felt he had to put an end to debate. Instead of Blade Runner continuing to be one of the brightest cult movies ever made, a lot of people now have a bad taste in their mouth regarding its ultimate value all thanks to the director’s decision to dictate its interpretation.