The Usual Suspects. Se7en. Shutter Island. What’s the link – other than all three of them being superb pieces of cinema..? They all have a mind-blowing twist at the end! Now, for those of you who haven’t seen any of these movies (shame on you by the way!) don’t worry, I won’t go into further detail as to what their respective bombshells are, but suffice to say they are examples of motion pictures released before the days of social media and blogging, back when the production companies managed to keep a lot of the plot secret until the release.
I understand that the movie industry is big business and is currently undergoing somewhat of a ‘Golden Age’ and in a world where we are closer to Hollywood than ever before – thanks to the likes of Twitter and YouTube channels dedicated to all things Tinsel Town – it is almost inevitable that we are exposed to leaked set photos, casting rumours and other snippets of information that give way to a world-wide open discussion as to the possible outcome of a movie. The new Star Wars is a prime example of this. One of the most anticipated releases this year (and rightly so after the much-maligned prequels) has been a hot topic for anyone from casual movie-goer to Jedi wannabe ever since it was first announced. Now, you would have had to be living under a rock on the forest moon of Endor if you didn’t know that Harrison Ford was returning with his trusty Millennium Falcon for Episode VII. Images of the iconic ship were blasted all over social media as soon as production was under way, so what could potentially have been a huge surprise for the franchise is already common knowledge two years before its release. If we hadn’t been privy to this information before the leaked trailer went viral, Twitter would have exploded in a more spectacular fashion than the Death Star!
I know that isn’t so much of a plot-twist as it is a surprise cameo but you see the point that I am trying to make. Modern media is doing such a good job of reporting on the movie industry that we are able to follow a films creation from start to finish, therefore losing the potential for experience-altering moments produced by the movie itself. Would the ending of The Sixth Sense been so popcorn-droppingly surprising had we known what was coming?
To make matters worse, more recent films such as Jurassic World and Terminator Genesis… Genysis… Genesys? (whatever) have fallen foul to the crime of revealing the big surprise during the actual trailer!
Part of the reason I fell in love with cinema was the feeling of sitting down and having a couple of hours where I didn’t know what was going to happen. Actor’s publicly signing multi-movie contracts pretty much rules out any likelihood that they might not make it to the end credits.
Humans are a naturally curious species so it’s inevitable that we are going to be tempted to have a quick glimpse at one of the many pictures of Jared Leto in his new Joker costume racing through downtown Toronto… but what can be done to protect a once precious element of cinema? A higher sense of responsibility and security from studios, possibly? Social media blackout, maybe? Hey, we’re not North Korea! Or are we heading for a time where the plot twists are as well known as the actors on screen?
I am fully aware of the irony of reporting on websites revealing too much about movies on an actual movie review website so don’t come at me with your flaming torches and pitchforks! All I ask of you is to think back to the last time you were genuinely caught off-guard by a plot twist and just consider maybe not opening that click-bait link on the internet. There are plenty of websites about funny cats online. Look at them instead…
Composed by Kye McCarthy (@KyeMcCarthy) for Ramblin Entertainment
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