The Emotional Impact of Movies


Movies tell a story. All good stories need to engage the human emotions and the success, or otherwise, of a tale depends on this. Well constructed movies offer the visual as well as the words to take the story forward and the viewer can become involved in the action.

When people relate to a story it echoes something in their own lives which they can recognize as a truth because they have experienced it. This is where many powerful films are successful.

Most people enjoy romantic stories because this is something, whether it is acknowledged or not, that most humans want. The film ‘Love Actually’ caused the audiences to leave the cinemas smiling and chatting to each other, the excitement of a successful series of romances caught something in each person. On the other hand, the film ‘Brief Encounter’ is frustrating because nothing happens. A lot of emotion is expressed and then the couple go their separate ways. Perhaps that sort of short emotional exchange is more common than realized.

Films like ‘The Descendants’ offer a glimpse into the lives of a group of relatives, with one man having to make a decision for all of them. The average person can watch with interest and curiosity because this is a serious issue which they are not likely to have to consider. Understanding how someone else makes decisions and what those decisions are satisfies human curiosity about others. Everyone always wants to know how others deal with difficulties in their lives.

War films seem to be popular for a number of reasons. Those depicting real events offer insights for those who were not there. These films test the courage of the viewer because there is always the question of whether they would have done the same thing, or had the courage to take a different route. There are the frissons of fear which are created when the view knows they are safe. It leaves the viewer wondering how they would have coped with the awful events being depicted. Tied in with this is the knowledge that real war is so horrendous that it can never be truly shown.

Then there are the fantasy films like ‘Star Wars’, ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’. These fictional heros and heroines are thrown into adventures which are impossible but when they are well portrayed the audience can throw away belief becoming thoroughly engrossed in the events.

Films draw on the emotions if they are to be successful because humans live in a world of emotions. Sometimes they get in the way, sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes they just happen.

Source by Rosemary Redfern

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