Thursday, May 10, 2012

Channeling my inner Bruce Banner

I am not much of a movie buff but on the occasions that I have been to the cinema here in India it has always been enjoyable. In fact more enjoyable than home. And this is why…
  • It's way cheaper… We saw Slumdog Millionaire for $1 when it came out. On average a ticket is about $5. which is a lot cheaper than the $17 tickets back home
  • The seats are better… They all recline quite substantially
  • They have intermission… I don't mind a mid movie break
  • If you go to an English moving on a weekday morning you may have the whole cinema to yourself, or at the most 5 other people in there with you
  • Sometimes the ushers come around and offer to make purchases from the candy bar for you
But today I saw the bad side of Indian cinemas...

I had a free ticket to see The Avengers. Not something I was particularly interested in seeing but hey, it's free and it's air-conditioned.
So I rock up to the ticket booth with my voucher and it is packed! What is going on? It's 10:40am on a Wednesday morning, why aren't these people at work. So I line up and as per usual there are people feeling that it is their right to march up to the front of the line and get served first… blood is starting to fizz ever so slightly but I am up for a relaxing morning so I let it go.

I get my ticket and get thoroughly searched for cameras and weapons… Is there any point trying to pirate a 3D movie?

The cinema is 70% full… a little unusual for a weekday morning. I get to my seat, all is good in the world.
A few advertisements.
A few previews.
Pre-movie 'switch off your phone and don't talk during the show' announcement is made.
Movie starts, talking does not stop.
Phones start ringing, people start answering… in their loud talking on a mobile phone voice.
What the!
The two guys in front of me are having a discussion. One of them makes a call… Who makes a call in a cinema! He has his conversation, hangs up and then turns back to the guy next to him with the details of his call. I begin to wonder if I am in a cinema with 200 people playing hooky from work? My blood starts to boil… I am identifying with Bruce Banner trying to contain my rage. 
My switch was about to flip, I was so so close to grabbing the guys phone and chucking it down the isle while screaming obscenities at him.
Intermission came and went with many cranky texts to Ray about why my morning sucked.
It was no better during the second half of the movie. I concluded I could not single out the annoying people in front of me with my rage as half the cinema was on their phone or chatting with people around them. I was not happy, lucky I wasn't paying for the experience.

So this whole thing got me thinking… Do people here think the rules apply to everyone else but them? Or, do they disregard the rules because there is so little recourse for breaking them? Or, perhaps it's a case of 'if you can't beat them, join them'

Sometimes I don't think this place is good for me… it just makes me mad.

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