Movies matter for the same reason all art matters – they embody and convey the values and beliefs of the culture within which and for which they are made. Moreover, according to the uses and gratification theory of media and communications, we look to satisfy various needs from the media like cognitive, affective, personal integrative, social integrative and tension-free needs. Movies help us fulfil all those needs at once as they speak to the most central of those values and beliefs. In a study, psychologists found that people had a much harder time “experience-taking” when they were reading books in front of a mirror; presumably, because they were constantly reminded of their own self-concept. Thus, “experience-taking” can only happen when an individual can suppress their own identity and lose themselves in the book or the films. So it’s not a new phenomenon; earlier people got lost in books, now it is movies.
And what a year it has been to get lost in the movie magic. 2018 has been a great year for entertainment with Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, Black Panther, A Quiet Place, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Ant-Man and The Wasp, Venom, Aquaman, Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2, and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald among so many others. But 2019 promises to be even better, because this year, a long wait comes to an end. So many highly anticipated films- not just Hollywood, but Bollywood too, are going to be released.
In January, we have Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi with Kangana Ranaut and Sonu Sood, Thackeray starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Amrita Rao, The Accidental Prime Minister with Anupam Kher and Akshaye Khanna, Glass– The third and final part of the Unbreakable trilogy starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Bruce Willis, and Samuel L. Jackson followed by Gully Boy. In February, the animated beauty of our screens would be captured along with Chris Pratt and Stephanie Beatriz’s The Lego Movie 2 and How To Train Your Dragon (3) : The Hidden World’ in March along with Eva Green, Michael Keaton, Colin Farell and Danny Devito’s Dumbo and Mental Hai Kya starring Rajkummar Rao and Kangana Ranaut after the inarguable hit of Queen, but most importantly, in March we finally get to witness Captain Marvel in all her ‘Marvel-ous’ action (yes, pun intended)!
And that is just the first quarter of the year. After the Saina Nehwal biopic’starring Shraddha Kapoor in April, May will have so much more in stock for us like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Hira Mandi based on Gangubai Kothewali, marking Priyanka Chopra’s return to Bollywood and Student Of The Year 2 amongst others. As for Hollywood, Avengers: The End Game will take the theatres by the storm followed by John Wick: Chapter 3, Disney’s Alladin, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, POKÉMON Detective Pikachu and the much-awaited finale of Game Of Thrones. If you have been able to keep calm so far, you are already doing much better than I am.
The 90’s kid in me is beaming with joy as in June there is going to be Men In Black: International starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Liam Neeson, hitting the screens along with Toy Story 4 with Tim Allen, Tom Hanks and Kristen Schaal and X-Men: Dark Phoenix starring Sophie Turner in the title role, along with Mardaanni 2 starring Rani Mukherjee in the lead, Dabangg 3 and Bharat for the masala movie lovers. This will be followed by Tom Holland’s Spider-Man 2, Annabelle 3 and The Lion King with Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala and Seth Rogen as Pumba in July.
In August, look out for Shahrukh Khan in Dhoom 4 and John Abraham with Abhishek Bachchan reprising their roles in Dostana 2. We also get to see Isabela Moner playing Dora in Dora the Explorer in addition to Peter Dinklage and Nicki Minaj in The Angry Birds Movie 2. It: Chapter 2 will be in theatres in September along with Simon Jones’ Downtown Abbey. October will bring Akshay Kumar’s Housefull 4, and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker. Waiting in the wings is also Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, and Gary Oldman starrer thriller The Woman in the Window marking the beginning of strong women leads. November will be full of girl power too, with Wonder Woman 2 getting released along with Frozen 2 starring Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Banks and Naomi Scott along with Terminator 6 and Don 3.
The year will end with a blast when Krrish 4, Boman Irani’s Dr Abdul Kalam, Panipat, ‘Rowdy Rathore 2, Kick 2 and Hera Pheri 3 will make Bollywood fans go crazy. Meanwhile, Star Wars: Episode IX will serve as the finale to the new trilogy, and the fans will get to see the true fate of Rey and Kylo Ren after the death of Luke Skywalker. Dwayne Johnson’s Jumanji 3 and the sterling cast of Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Jason Derulo and James Corden’s Cats will leave us all awestruck.
What a wonderful year 2019 is going to be ! Films can be an intensely-personal form of art and are capable of infusing the stories they tell with a greater sense of purpose. People do not just watch movies because they are fun anymore. Sure, one can call oneself a movie buff or a connoisseur, but if you google “why do we get attached to fictional characters?” , more than 2,800,000 results show up. Some of them ask questions about the psychology and philosophy of how we relate to our favourite characters and attempt to explain the attachment. The real reason, often is really simple. The emotional response we have towards fictional characters on screens are real even though they are directed at unreal objects. The boundaries of reality and fiction have been blurred by technology. The entertainment sector has something in store for all genres and audiences in 2019 be it action, adventure, animation, comedy, drama, fantasy, historical, horror, romance, musicals or sci-fi. In the end, we are all stories to tell and stories to experience, and the pantomath in me just cannot stay calm.
Picture Credits : editorial.rottentomatoes.com