Netflix or Movie Theatre? what to choose?
There’s nothing in the world that connects people across boundaries more than Music, Sports, and Cinema. There is a soul in each one of the three, that embraces the capability to bind people together. There’s magic in each of them, that keeps them fascinated every second. All three induce the same feeling, be it watching a cricket match live in a stadium, attending a live music concert, or witnessing a movie unfold around you surrounded by 200 people, inside a large hall, where everyone feels the same emotions as you.
But with the burgeoning of technology, the idea of enjoying all three also evolved. Streaming services brought in the luxury where one could easily enjoy all three without moving an inch away from their comfort zone, and that is exactly where the problem began. At a time when movie piracy began erupting like a volcano, Netflix became the world’s first online DVD rental store, operating from California. The streaming giant expanded its wings pretty fast and took over the world by a storm.
The thought of going up to a movie theatre and spending 200 bucks started fainting away from the cine goer’s minds when they could actually sit in the comfort of their couch, bed, or pod and enjoy the same movie, a few months later maybe, but in a digitally enhanced version from a streaming site that boasts of having 36,000 different titles. With enhanced analytics and algorithms in place, Netflix recommends titles that suit your mood. So why would anyone bother going up to a movie theatre then?
If you know the answer to that, you would know why this debate arises in the first place. Just like a painting, cinema is also a piece of art, that has the ability to teleport you. You don’t watch a movie, you witness it, and seeing it with a group of people around you, who are going through the same feeling as you as the story unfolds, is an event that one shouldn’t miss out on.
Over the years, film making has evolved heavily. Coming a long way from using a roll-film camera (which is why the cinema is also called a “film”), movie-makers have started making use of digital cameras, just because it is a lot easier to handle and store. And most of the Netflix Originals are made digitally, which almost all senior filmmakers despise since it limits the experience of watching a picture in better formats, i.e. 35mm or 70mm. Directors prefer to shoot with such lenses because they provide a wide-angle and help the viewers to get completely immersed in the story while watching, which is the primary goal of every director. This is also the reason why these lenses are considered the gold standard, and if they’re shot with an IMAX camera, then that serves as a cherry on the top.
On the other hand, the movies that are created digitally seem bland and bleak, taking you out of the experience almost immediately. The main reason why people use digital cameras in the first place because they can be easily stored, whereas roll-film gets damaged and exposed if not maintained properly.
Since the past couple of years, Netflix has been affecting the movie-going experience, because of the Netflix Originals domain, which produces unique shows and movies and some of them even garnering rave reviews from both critics and audiences, receiving more awards than some TV shows and feature films, for instance, Roma and Stranger Things, with the former receiving almost 11 awards last year.
That being said, Netflix is one medium that has a very wide outreach, people have started watching and appreciating good cinema that is available on Netflix.
Another reason for them choosing Netflix as a platform to outsource their content is the lack of censorship. Netflix has minimal censorship and provides an artist with all the liberties they need. This helps them to portray things as they like without having to compromise.
So then, in the end, everything boils down to your preference: Whether you choose to sit amongst a crowd, gulping down a tub of popcorn and cheering and laughing with others or watch it in the coziness of your bedroom with the medium chilled AC just as you like it, and a half-empty scoop of ice cream sitting on your lap as you hit the play button on your laptop.