A friend of mine just saw the movie mother! and made an interesting statement about it on social media. She didn’t like the film at all, and she went on to say that anyone who said it was “brilliant,” was just jumping on some artsy-fartsy bandwagon.
She’s not alone in this opinion. I’ve watched the mother! debate rage all around me, and even took part in a few of them. Not because I loved the movie. I didn’t. In fact, I’m still not sure how I feel about it, even after reading countless explanations and a dissection from director Darren Aronofsky himself (find that HERE, and see if it makes any sense to you). I debate in favor of mother! because I recognize it has artistic merits and that it spoke to many people in a way that it didn’t speak to me. That’s an important and sometimes difficult lesson to learn when you’re a critic of anything:
Your opinion DOES NOT EQUAL reality.
I might think that a movie is good, while other people consider it a complete waste of time. I liked that stupid Adam Sandler movie, Pixels, while every other critic in the world torched it like a dumpster. I also hated the new Alien: Covenant, and stood in abject horror as the critics around me screamed “Brilliant! Instant Classic!!!”
See, my opinion DOES NOT EQUAL reality and I’m reminded of this every week when I talk to one radio show in particular. I love this radio host, but he has terrible taste in movies. Every time we talk, he says to me, “Julie, I saw the best movie this weekend! Have you ever seen ????”
It’s always a movie I hated. ALWAYS. I could bet money on it. I don’t even tell him the truth anymore because he’ll probably think I’m being an opinionated jerk. I promise I’m not, just as I don’t think he’s singing the praises of awful (I mean, seriously BAD) movies just to annoy me. No, he has an opinion, that’s as real to him as my opinions are to me.
This idea goes far beyond movies, of course. We, as in the human race, have conflicting opinions about everything, from politics to history to whether or not that dress was blue or white. You might feel so strongly about something that you want to scream and shake me by the shoulders until I admit I’m wrong. I never will though, because my opinion IS my reality.
We tell each other a great deal about ourselves through our opinions. If we don’t listen to each other though, we’ll never see the world through other people’s eyes. We’ll never understand how someone’s reality could be so far from our own. Telling someone that their opinions are wrong doesn’t change their reality. It just closes the door to further understanding them or finding things that you DO agree on.
My opinion does not equal reality, and neither does yours. We can learn far more about each other though, if we accept and respect that. Unless you’re talking about that Alien: Covenant movie because seriously, it was a piece of garbage.