When you’re watching a movie, do you ever notice what’s happening with the weather? Have you ever noticed how it is always raining whenever there is a break-up scene in a movie? And usually, the couple is standing in the rain, getting soaked? Or in suspenseful dramatic movie, or horror film, there is always wind and thunder, the sky is dark, no matter what time of day it is…
Or maybe, like this scene in The Notebook, the rain makes you feel like the love and emotion is so much more raw… so much more needed, intense, desirable… Would you feel differently about what’s happening in this picture if the sun was shining, if they were dry and their hair was all perfectly in place?
I don’t really remember what this technique is called (I know there’s a name for it, I learned about it once) but I know it is done on purpose. Otherwise, how can you elicit any meaningful type of empathy or emotion in the audience? Can you really feel bad for a couple who are fighting and breaking off their amazing, intense romance when they are on some beautiful Bahamian beach with waves crashing and palm trees gently swaying in the background. I know I wouldn’t… I’d think: “they should be happy to be there!”
This morning as I walked to the hospital, I was thinking about how I’m feeling. I am almost halfway through my final exams, I am deflated and exhausted, I have no sense of humor, and I just want a vacation from my life. On this short walk, I started looking around. It’s very cold outside and I can see my breath. Everything is frozen in its place, the snow is crispy crunchy beneath my feet. It is 8:30 in the morning and the sun is barely up… its probably going to be dark and dismal all day. It got me thinking about how perfectly the outside weather matches my inside attitude. So much like what happens in the movies.
I thought, how perfect… I’m dead and frozen inside. Nothing is moving, there is no hope, just hope to pass my exams that I don’t really care that much about anyway. It’s dead and frozen outside too. No one wants to be out here… I sure as hell don’t! There is no better time to be depressed and stressed and without hope, except in the dead middle of winter!
But then I stopped. I stopped walking and I stopped thinking. I just stopped and stared. And then I took a picture. In this cold and frozen abyss, there is actually some beauty. Everything is frozen, but it’s frozen in beauty. The trees are missing their leaves, but they stand naked and strong and beautiful. The snow is piled high, but it’s white. And pure. And beautiful.
At this moment I thought again about the movies; how the outsides are made to match the insides. I thought about how, just a moment before ,I was lamenting the weather and thinking of how it perfectly characterized my mood and my emotions. And then I realized the beauty around me… the beauty I was just lamenting.
I figured that if the outsides match the insides, and the outside is this beautiful despite the cold and dismal weather, my insides must be just as breathtaking, even now.