People often don’t pay much attention to movies, preferring to play on their cell phones while the movie runs in the background.
(After all, if you miss an important scene, you’ll can always rewind and watch it again.)
This lack of dedication to the cinematic arts is a phenomenon that movie directors surely despise!
What if directors could punish the insufficiently-dedicated movie fans by making their movies unwatchable (or at least incredibly confusing) to the cell-phone-game-playing-while-watching-a-movie audience?
In order to sabotage the enjoyment of those who don’t put enough dedication into the movie-watching experience, the following system is devised:
- The movie plays normally, at first.
- If you rewind the movie, it cuts to a different, specially-filmed scene that does not belong in the narrative. This scene is crafted by the director to make the rest of the movie as confusing as possible.
The director could film several of these intentionally-confusing “deleted scenes,” to be shown in various points of the movie. Below, and in Figure 1, are a few suggestions:
- The Godfather: if you rewind, a scene is shown where Michael plots to kill his own father so that he can take over the family business.
- The Empire Strikes Back: Darth Vader uses The Force to inform Luke that Obi-Wan Kenobi was actually his father.
- Rocky: a scene shows Rocky putting heavy metal objects in his boxing gloves to allow him to cheat his way to victory.
- The Matrix: Morpheus talks with Agent Smith, who is complimenting him for being a double-agent.
- The Lion King: Mufasa falls into a canyon and hits a rock, splitting in the middle and revealing that he was actually not a lion after all, but instead a warthog and a meerkat operating a two-“person” lion costume.
- Game of Thrones: a bizarre extended scene is added in which a king is sent on a commando raid and/or suicide mission.
- Westworld Season 2: unaltered, as it is impossible to confuse the viewer any further.
- Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi: unaltered, as it is impossible to punish the viewer any further.
A malicious director could also reveal a real plot twist early, or put in an incredibly annoying jump scare.
Almost any movie can be made totally misleading with minimal effort by adding a scene in which a protagonist is (falsely) shown to be colluding with the enemy.
PROS: Directors will be able to torment any insufficiently-dedicated fans of cinema who dare to watch their films.
CONS: Sometimes, an intentionally-misleading twist might actually improve a movie.