You know I commented on an article for "Hunger Games: Mockingjay" and it got me thinking about those huge films that try to throw a lot of themes into them. While I love thematic films (Christopher Nolan being my favorite director in that matter), I come to find that sometimes a film fills itself with so much context that, at least for me, it loses a little bit of it's emotional impact because it's so busy focusing on the plain mapping out of the themes.
Don't get wrong. I actually liked the first "Hunger Games" story, but when it's two sequels came out I found myself sort of buried under the "Step-by-Step" theme of the revolutionary aspect of the story. Not because it was a bad idea, but because it became predictable and ruined the emotional aspect for me. I know some people out there think this series is like the bomb, but hear me out. Now me, I'm only 24. I went to college and all that, did pretty well I might add, but I grew up on the old school films. The 1970's "Day in the Life" films that didn't need to go big thematically to get my attention.
In fact, I find the films that had a few good themes with a lot of character development were the best. Point in case, "The Godfather" trilogy. Now ideas were spread throughout it. The concepts of corruption in society, the mafia lifestyle, and the mindset of people in that line of work (If you can call it that). In the end though, the film was about the Corleone family simply trying to stay alive in the cutthroat world of mafia dealings.
See though, there are only so many themes you can do before it becomes predictable where you're going in the story. So perhaps it's better to let the characters live and grow, allowing for a more spontaneous story...you know like how life is. ;)
Now me, I read A LOT of books. In the last couple years I've read all "The Hunger Games" books, "Millennium Trilogy" series, the "Enders" series, "Winter's Tale", "Casual Vacancy", and a wonderful little post-civil war story about Wall Street called "Jubilee Jim and the Wizard of Wall Street" (Highly recommend it).
The point is, maybe I just read so much and I could be biased because I like to delve too much into so many stories that it's all become a blur, but I suppose the point I'm making is that you can't rely too much on themes to make a movie. Sometimes, the best stories are just simply people dealing with everyday life. Not because people deserve less than intelligent ideas, but because they'll relate more to people living life normally. I mean people don't yammer on about revolution, the meaning of it all, or why we fight. I mean we do, but it's reserved for special occasions. The moments we drop our souls on the table and play Operation if you catch my drift, but it's not an everyday thing.
I suppose what I'm trying to get to here, and this is for writers and just audiences who like to enjoy the show, is that too many themes, at least to me, take out the pure relate-ability because everyone sounds like a self-help book. I mean it's fun to hear philosophies now and again, but what about every day living? Doesn't that deliver more useful themes to people? And don't we appreciate those more just because it offers us more than a "Step-by-Step" procedural of oppression, revolution, and democracy which then goes in a circle. I don't know. I guess it's just a thought.
Some people will attack this article and find me to be a little pretentious. I don't blame you. I suppose I'm passing on my own theme of breaking free from the "Step-by-step" motions of those kind of films. I guess everyone has an agenda in the end so maybe I'm wrong. I just find that having people speaking their philosophies all day to be obnoxious because regular people don't all go on rants for a living. Instead, we talk about life and, this is the fun part, we experience the themes of living in the subtext of what we're saying. And, as a viewer of a film that does this, we get to discover for ourselves what the themes are instead of everyone saying it. I mean I read "Mockingjay" and it was fine, but every action was explained in the next scene of the what the previous action meant.
Anyway, I hope this wasn't a confusing article. I wrote it in the moment. Maybe I'm still a little sour from hearing "Mockingjay" being broken into two parts when the book is barely 400 pages long. LOL Or maybe I just thought, let's write a fun article on the undertones of film and see what people think. Up to you guys. What adds more to a film? A film with people talking like zen masters or a film about everyday people talking about life and finding the zen themselves?