When Was The Last You Actually Saw A Movie At A Theater?

Couple Watching Ads in Movie theatre
Image used for representation only

We went to see ads at a movie theatre the other day. I think there was a movie at the end of the ads as well, but it’s hard to say for sure.

Every year, life gets a little worse in a thousand different ways. The traffic is just that little bit more chaotic with every passing year, political leaders a little more irritating than they were in the previous year, and there are every year (the unkindest cut of all) fewer restaurants serving hot and sour soup the way it used to be made in the 1990’s.

Along with all these tragedies goes the one that distresses me so in this column. Why do movie theatres today insist on showing a million ads before they screen the movie? All right, yes, a million is an exaggeration, but I assure you, not by much.

As I was saying: just the other day, the missus and I ran panting into a movie hall, barely in time for the start of the movie.

Just as we were high-fiving each other for having made it in time, the first ad came up on the screen. Ah good, we said to each other, as we settled in our seats. This will give us time to settle down and catch our breath.

Not bad, we said to ourselves, as the fifth ad came on the screen. We’re fully relaxed now, and there is a positive sense of anticipation for the movie to begin.

This positive sense of anticipation allowed us to smile indulgently at Amitabh Bachchan, as he exhorted us to delete all the apps on our phone but one.

By the time the father of the child was exhorted by his father to use a toothpaste as a way to relieve the ache in his gums, we were considering stepping out and getting popcorn and maybe a cup of coffee.

By the time Virat and Anushka got around to telling a couple to first get not married, and then were telling the hapless to couple to in fact go and get married, we were wondering whether it made sense to step out into a nearby pub, throw back a couple of pints and then come back.

And by the time Akshay Kumar was grinning into the camera and telling us about sanitary napkins and cigarettes, we’d given up the ghost.

Had you been around in the movie hall on that day, you would have seen a middle aged couple sitting in neighboring seats, snoring away gently, and dare I say it, in perfect cadence and synchronicity.

Now, the seats were perfectly comfortable, and the air-conditioning was spot-on. We didn’t mind the nap at all. But honestly, we could have taken the nap just as well at home. And so, dear movie hall conglomerate with the three letter brand name, a request: show ads, if you must. We get it, you have a business to run.

But could you also, you know – if you don’t mind, I mean – also show us the effin’ movie?

Thank you.


Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish Kulkarni

Ashish is a confirmed Punekar, which guarantees eternal undying love for the city, but also mandates an incurable sense of cynicism about it.

He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime
Ashish Kulkarni