The entertained public is a puzzlement to me at times. Routinely, the confusion stems from the unexplainable success of indescribably awful trash. Other times, I find myself amazed as to why some pre-packaged piece of trash, which all indicators and marketing experts predict hit status for, fail so miserably. Don't get me wrong, this pleases me. But I don't get it. If you liked the last turd, what made you suddenly develop aesthetics?
There are also times when the entertained public rewards something stellar. Inception is one of those times. After seeing it, part of me is thrilled that a complicated story could continue to do well at the box office. Nolan has intriguing way of telling a story that's very literary in nature, but translates wonderfully to film. It's nice to see people interested in it...even if most of them are only interested in seeing cities fold in half or people walking on walls. Which brings me to the point of this post:
I'm amazed at the overwhelming inability of many people to grasp a layered story.
In every article I've read and most online reviews, there is this prevailing theme of having to see the movie more than once to get everything that is going on. The majority opinion is that the movie is 'soooo confusing'. Huh? It was? I mean, it was complex and layered, but it wasn't confusing. If you paid attention, it wasn't hard to keep track of the plot. You had to think, but they were constantly reminding you visually or directly of where you were and what was happening. It wasn't Finnagens Wake for crying out loud!
So while the movie's success is pleasing, the revelation concerning the public's lack of comprehension skills, ability to think on multiple levels or understand inventive storytelling is very upsetting. I see this all of the time in book reviews too, where people only read the action on the surface and not any of the under layers. As someone who obsesses about the under layers, the extended metaphors, and importance of the moments in between action, this trend disturbs me.
Am I expecting everyone to see that the pace of Pure Sunshine mirrors the peaks the valleys of an acid trip? Not really. Do I think readers will pick up on the fact that the ever diverging interpretations of the same moments by Henry and Catherine in The Heights are symbolic of how fate is pulling them apart? I hope so. Did I expect people to pick up on the metaphor of the appeal of fascism in Zombie Blondes? I did and I expected too much of too many people apparently.
So while I hope that Inception's success will spawn more complex movies with the budget for visuals currently reserved mostly for garbage, I won't hold my breath. Because let's be honest, most people just wanted to see cities fold in half and people walk on walls. I will just have to take comfort in knowing that those people probably suck at checkers.