What’s with tragedy and critical appreciation? They have a weird, twisted affair. I’m sure of that. I have always been confounded by the fact that some of the much-appreciated works of literature are tales so tragic, that I get depressed by the very thought of it. Consider the following works – Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Anthony and Cleopatra, Anna Karenina, Wuthering Heights, The Great Gatsby, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Les Misérables. The list of contemporary tragedies is equally long – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, The Diary of a Young Girl, The Book Thief, If I Stay, The Divergent Series, Lolita, Sophie’s Choice, A Walk to Remember. Need I go on? I hope I haven’t already bored you to death with that list. If you’re still reading, thank you for your patience! So, you get the point, right? Great tragedies, apparently seem to be a typical winning recipe for “Classic Literature” lists. (At least, the ones that I’ve come across.)
And it’s not just limited to literature. The movies aren’t any better! Schindler’s List, Titanic, Million Dollar Baby, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and of course, the movie adaptations of some of the aforementioned books! Major tearjerkers, and some of the top-rated movies of our times. I’m not a huge fan of tragedies. I don’t care how much the critics love the movie, and how “classic” it is! This stuff is guaranteed to reduce me to a blubbering mess, leaving me, to frantically wipe my red eyes and puffy noise, and go through wads of tissue over the course of a couple of hours. (Stuff, that otherwise would have lasted for weeks!) To make matters worse, my tolerance limit before the floodgates burst wide open is pretty low.
More often than not, the movies that portray heart-wrenching subjects, perform exceptionally well on the awards circuit. If you take a good look at IMDb, you’ll see that almost all movies with a rating of 8.5 and above are tragic, woebegone tales. I’m not saying that tragedies are overrated, but the I’ve often felt that the feel-good stuff is direly underrated.
It’s not that I’ve anything against tragedies. I’ve read and watched (cried my way through) my fair share of tragedies. Granted, tragedies can be exceptional, moving and portray powerful messages but, it is also a genre I prefer to watch alone, for the sake of preserving my dignity. 😛
So naturally, it bothers me that most of my favorite films don’t get the credit, which I think is due to them! (Which, come to think of it, is also the reason why I’ll never be a film critic!!) Clearly, you better not insult romantic comedies when I’m around! 😛
Have you ever felt the same? Feel free to share your thoughts on this subject 🙂
© 2016 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.
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