I went to see Marvel’s Shazam yesterday. It was a compelling movie of course, but what was the highlight of the day was that a 5-year-old in the background said, Wow this is better than Batman Vs. Superman. And that had me thinking, why do people like Marvel better than DC?
Why do we go to cinemas? Why in Pakistan?
We are tormented by our realities. Even if you little brother mocks you 24/7 and you do not gel well with your classmates, when people go to movies, their issues disappear. Yes, that’s important.
Cinemas suck the audience in, all at once, take them to a journey, try to keep a lot of people at the same page, and eventually show people turmoil of life chances, decisions, and humor. This is cathartic, period.
In Pakistan, it becomes thicker. Cinema is our 1/3 best choices for entertainment. The variety of cinemas around us means we can head to a place, it will be safe, well maintained, clean and comfortable. We can watch a movie with some munchies and it is highly likely that the experience is good if not great.
Cinema here is more than an escape. Our localized and sometimes head banging problems, nuances and stories keep our nerves tied up, cinema and the movie with its unique universe really unknot those ties and help us unwind. Sometimes we learn random and completely vague lessons that somehow apply to us, mainly because we are so alert and astound to what’s happening in the immersive cinema experience.
The MARVEL Recipe:
Marvel makes exemplary movies. They are dark, they are bitter, sometimes all the optimism is obliterated by decades of loss and torment, the character development is what carries all of these movies. The character arcs develop over movies and within the movie.
So I looked it up, what is the recipe for Marvel movies, and I figured ultimately what and how are the movies so overwhelmingly believable and lifelike, aka effectively made.
- A simple narrative, the character was denied something, or the character wants something
- Heartbreak, so human
- Fire or passion that keeps the character going
- Pain or attempt to win, we can all try after all
- Chances of Failure, what are the odds of us making out alive anyway, right?
- But Persevering, and that is all the hope we need.
Marvel adds the love and life complications like in Captain America, they add patriotism like in the same trilogy, in Shazam, first twenty minutes of the movie only try to establish the background, childhood and the moments that build up the protagonist and antagonist, ie. the dark failed villain and the humanized, foster child, juvenile kid, who turns out to be the childish but functional superhero.
Characters are supposed to be human. Inconsistency with human-ness is not welcomed. We see perfect body-types, struggling and then winning despite their humanness and this is why we need cinema.
Avenger’s infinity has been one of the highest grossing movies internationally and the shows in Pakistan remained filled for longer than any Indian or Pakistani movies’. The nation needs movies that are close to reality but they do not contain the finer detail, the gore, and the sheer permanent pessimism that we stir into each other and transmit through ridiculous news and talk shows.