Movies and their Effect on how People Perceive the World

Movies shape our perception of the world. They tell us how people of a certain age, gender, race etc act, what is considered normal or abnormal. Movies can tell us what it was like to go through a certain situation, such as what it was like to be a Jew in Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, a lot of what the movies portray is not really real. It’s what the movie producers, script writers and others in the movie industry think will get the audiences’ attention and generate the most revenue.

The main objective of a movie is to generate revenue for those producing it. The movie makers want to draw you in with a storyline, action or romance so that you will go see their movie and tell all your friends about it so they will go see it too. For the most part, movie makers are not concerned with whether what they are portraying on the screen is accurate or even is acceptable behavior to be promoting. They are focused on making money and they will put on the screen what sells the tickets at the movie counter.

Moviegoers, however, often allow movies to influence their thinking, taking what they see on the screen to be fact. Many boys and girls and even men and women model their behavior after what they see on the screen. They find a character in a movie that they like, that they can relate to and then try and imitate that character. They may not even be conscious of what they are doing. I don’t think many people set out to act just like a character in the movie, but instead they take aspects of that character and try and apply them to their life. If a female character is able to win the guy, a girl watching the movie that can relate to being in the same situation as the female character was, may attempt to behave or do some of the same things that she sees that character in the movie doing. Again, not on purpose but we absorb what we see in movies and without even realizing it apply it to our lives.

Scenes depicted in movies are often an exaggeration of what really occurs in life or may have snippets of fact but the rest is fictionalized or sensationalized to make it more gripping or appealing to moviegoers. Many moviegoers take what the see on screen as fact. This can be dangerous.

Movies can send so many messages at us; they can tell us what we should be striving for in life, how we should get a man or woman, how our relationships should be, how people live etc. There is a danger in this because it can cause unrealistic expectations. For example, not everyone is not going to have the type of romance often portrayed in movies, yet many women especially buy in to the idea that their love lives need to mirror what they see in movies. They need to have a ton of drama and passion or it’s just not good enough. Many small subtleties of a relationship are overlooked in movies and only the big dramatic stuff is shown, because that’s what gets people out to see a movie.

Movies can show us a version of reality and many people buy into this reality, but often it is quite skewed and can create unrealistic expectations for our lives or wrong assumptions about how certain people behave or what they believe.