What movies do you watch?

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WHEN my children were small we had a young maid to look after them. She had come from an orphanage and something she loved doing after her chores and often during them was watching TV. I was told this was the only form of entertainment the girls had in their orphanage.
One day Anjali informed us, she was getting married. My wife and I were astounded, we had not seen any suitor around. We asked where the man was and she replied to our astonishment that a man had met her at the market the day before and had proposed to her. “Now we are madly in love!” she told us.
I met the man and found out he was married with little kids. I also found he had no intention of getting married to Anjali. “He will leave his wife,” shouted Anjali defiantly, “that’s how it always happens in the movies!” Very gently we had to tell Anjali that real life was different from reel life! Today it is not just the Anjali’s of the world who are glued to the screen. All of us are and with movies now available on our phones the time has come for us to be careful.
According to Dr. Sathiaraj three tests should be conducted on the type of programmes we watch. The first is the reality test. Normally the stories on which the serials and movies are based are fictitious and not true. Is it really worth spending precious time on highly imaginary situations? I remember “The Bold and Beautiful, where fantasies of relationships between father and daughter- in- law, and mismatched and cross matched relationships intrigued the viewers. In reality would such situations bring happiness? The screen shows excitement, and like poor Anjali, let us not fall prey into believing that excitement brings happiness. Such excitement could lead to big trouble and split our homes.
The next test is the value test: Is what we are watching going to make us better human beings? We do need relaxation, but does that programme make us more productive and balanced people? Or is it draining our vitality and harming our creativity?
Thirdly, the morality test: All good art acknowledges the reality of evil, but we can portray evil without glamourising or sensationalizing it. Most of our movies glamourizes the villain to such an extent that sometimes I wonder who the hero is? Sexual intimacy is too precious to be prostituted by the media under the guise of realism or artistic freedom. Similarly screen violence desensitizes viewers, lowers their inhibitions and creates an appetite for more of the real thing.
The transition from reel to real is the next step. And with these three tests under our belt, let’s start viewing TV judiciously, that our families especially children will benefit yet not be swayed by the unreal reel..!