When it comes to film, there are libraries full to the brim with options. Whenever we open our TVs or even online streaming platforms, we get lost amid the endless movies that are available for us to watch. We scroll through all the lists and channels like it’s nothing… But do we ever realize, as we quickly dismiss some of the artworks available, that each and every one of them, have a story?
We hear news of ‘movies in the makings’ all the time. We see posters of upcoming films taking over the theatres, street ads and billboards. We’ve grown so accustomed to the fact that in this kind of industry, productions are fast and frequent. We often forget the magic of creating characters, dialogues, and even music notes from scratch.
Here’s to the cast and crew, who work tirelessly on their creation! Movies aren’t merely just a 2-hour entertainment show. It’s not about a slew of famous faces telling a story so they can later take a prize and some checks home!
A movie is a combination of experiences. The writers’, directors’, actors’, song composers’, singers’, set designers’ and production teams’! Individuals who perhaps, come from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs, but unite under the umbrella of art, in their quest of creating a masterpiece. This is how they see things, things we eventually see and interpret through their eyes.
The stories, the detailed expression of a character’s own feelings that people can relate to the core. They’re not conjured up from thin air. Nothing in a film is ever made haphazardly. You relating to a certain emotion or experience in a play is never a coincidence. Even the calm melancholic soundtrack that accompanies you throughout the scenes sets the right mood… it’s all with a purpose.
Let’s take a look at the famous 3an el 3eshq w el Hawa movie as a living example to case our point. We’re presented with about 8 stories of individuals that are all from different social classes, educational backgrounds and who happen to have quite different mindsets and perspectives towards life.
We witness the complexity of each of the characters as they become more and more entangled in their problems. We experience with them their emotional turmoil, whether it’s the lover that later becomes a husband for a woman he doesn’t love. Or an addict that struggles over the years to satisfy a woman whose heart is with someone else. Or siblings who mess up each other’s lives unintentionally then try to put the pieces back together. Upward social mobility, secret marriages and divorce were also some of the themes explored, amongst so many more.
Yet, with all the differences and varieties existing, you’ll find yourself relating to all of them in one way or another. May it be as trivial as relating to a look of one of the character’s disappointment, or their eagerness to achieve something or even a handshake that left you trembling. They may not be the same situations, and levels of severity may differ. But in the end, you have indeed related to them in a way, their scenes would have left you feeling something.
The movie was not the storytelling of 8 fictional characters, but thousands, if not millions of real-life characters that inspired these stories… and when you look at the stories being told from that perspective, you can never un-see it again. You can never un-see the magic, nor stop getting goosebumps knowing the situations we see on screens might have been actually true. True to the author, actor, or any other person in the craft. – But you’ll never know it.
A dialogue between two fictional characters was a real-life one that one of the creators’ still remembers word for word. A dialect that might have been stuck on repeat in their head, that they decided to fuel their work with their own grief and emotions. For them, it’s no passing scene, like it might be for some of the audience.
The wisely curated lyrics of a soundtrack, the lighting, the hand shivers and every little detail in between. It took every member of the crew, a hurricane of emotions and flashbacks of one’s own experiences, to be seen portrayed on screen. A movie is indeed a combination of experiences, a mirror if you will. A mirror of things that happened, or things they wished would’ve happened.
Because the arts are a safe space, where people can mourn their griefs and celebrate their happiness.. shamelessly. A movie can sometimes be some of the creator’s ways to pay homage to a loved one, a family member, or a passing stranger that left an imprint on their hearts. It’s a vehicle that allows people to verbalize what’s inside them.
TRANSLATION: “This is dedicated to Lana and Mariam, the twins of my soul. May God protect them.”
As an audience, we tend to sympathize with the characters, relate to their struggles and even shed tears over their sorrows. You never feel alienated, because it’s about true stories. Stories that might have been influenced by you even, but you’d never know.
Even for those films that can sometimes fail – according to the box office – they can still, be in the eyes of filmmakers, in-ground magic. It entrenched true conversations, and so many experiences intertwined…
That’s why creators take their time perfecting the film’s identity, with all their characters, musical notes, and intended dose of lighting. To be able to reflect true stories, never-ending quarrels that take place sometimes within a family, address difficult social issues and the happy moments that remain engraved within.
No wonder filmmaking is referred to as art, indeed it is. A large crew of people are using their own experiences to narrate the scenes of many people’s lives. Real stories, real feelings, real heart to heart talks, and so many more things we can refer to as being “real”, that keep being told forever. What’s more artistic and magical than that?