The US Tamil Cinema Viewer
Updated June 23rd
Added a few more categories based on feedback from readers. Thanks to GP, Prabhu, Srivatsan and MyTurn for the inputs :-)
Having seen my share of Tamil movies in the theaters in the US, I have noticed that we moviegoers can be categorized into some well-defined and not always mutually exclusive groups. So here's a handy guide for the different kinds of people you will see at a Tamil movie theater in the US...
The Waiter - This moviegoer buys tickets for all his friends and ends up waiting for them to arrive.
- He will be standing in front of the theater clutching a few tickets in his hand
- He will be talking almost non-stop on his cellphone as he enquires about where exactly his friends are
- When it near the movie's start time, he will ask the guy at the ticket counter if there is a way to "hold these tickets for my friends".
The Comedian - The self-appointed humorist for the entire theater, this moviegoer's only aim during the movie is to make fun of the movie.
- He will be accompanied by a group of friends who laugh at his jokes, further bolstering his confidence in his own sense of humor.
- Though ostensibly telling jokes to his friends, he will utter his comments loud enough for the entire theater to hear.
- He will be strategically seated in the vicinity of a group of single girls whose laughter will give him jenma saabalyam.
- If he remembered to bring a laser pointer, he will point it on the screen inappropriately
The Critic - This moviegoer, also known as the moviegoer in denial, comes to all the Tamil movies but considers himself above them.
- He will make comments like "Why did you guys drag me to this movie?" or "I am just going to sleep. Wake me up when the movie is finished".
- He will call his other friends to complain that he is stuck watching a crappy movie
- He will criticize every scene in the film while wishing loudly that he were at home catching up on his sleep.
For the record, this is the guy I hate the most :-)
The Trivialist - The moviegoer with a large knowledge of tamil movie trivia
- He will be constantly talking, providing tidbits about every performer on screen
- He will have no idea what is going on in the movie and will keep asking his friends for the story
The Son - This moviegoer's parents are visiting from India and he has brought them along because 1) he feels guilty that they are home alone and bored the entire week and 2) he wants them to experience "watching a Tamil movie in a US theater".
- He will be fidgeting uncomfortably during any sexy or vulgar scenes in the movie.
- He will be sitting rather quietly during the entire movie
- He will look longingly at other groups that are clapping, whistling or commenting during the movie while mentioning that "they are spoiling the whole movie-going atmosphere for everybody".
The Newlyweds - This is a couple that just got married and the husband has brought the wife for her first movie in the US.
- The wife will usually be wearing a new dress and some jewellery
- The couple will be on their own and not with any friends.
- They will pick seats away from the obviously 'rowdy' groups
- They will watch the movie holding hands and the wife will lean on her husband's shoulder or whisper in his ear quite frequently.
- They will be among the first to leave the theater when the movie ends.
The Moviebuff - This moviegoer will be seen at most movies and will usually be on his own(sometimes he might be the only one in the entire theater!) since none of his friends shares avid interest in movies.
- He will be in his seat quite early since he wants to catch every line of dialog right from the first scene
- He will never visit the restroom during a song sequence.
- He will usually move to a different seat one or more times if he is in the vicinity of 'the Critic'.
The Fan - This moviegoer can be seen at all his idol's movies
- He will arrive very early and greet all his friends with his idol's latest dialog/gesture
- He will be hyperactive before the movie starts, talking loudly, laughing and hooting at random
- He will whistle, clap, cheer, dance when his idol comes on screen and for all the songs, punchlines and stylish gestures
- He will exit the theater saying "Super Padam"
The Parents - The moviegoers who bring their too-young kids to the theater
- Only one of the two parents will be in the seat watching the movie at any given time. The other will be with the child in the lobby
- They will regularly chide their children asking them to "Sit down", "Not run around", "Be quiet", etc.
The Disruptor - The moviegoes who spoils the moviegoing experience for everybody in the theater
- He will be doing some activity other than the one he is supposed to do i.e. watch the movie quietly. His activities could include arriving late, taking his time sitting down so that he blocks the screen, changing seats, talking on his cellphone and eating loudly
- He has no patience for sentiments, romance, etc. (however good they may be) and will laugh, boo, howl, etc. at totally inappropriate moments.
The Foreigner - A slight variant of the Critic, he will criticize the movie even if he enjoyed it.
- He will enjoy the movie inwardly while putting on a bored expression
- He will jump on to any scene that resembles a scene in a Hollywood film and will immediately tell his friends about it
- As soon as the movie ends, he will ask his friends to never call him to a Tamil movie again
So the next time you are at the movies, keep a lookout for all these viewers. And if you see anyone belonging to a new category, just lemme know. This is a work in progress :-)