Controversial movies challenge perspectives


♦ Staff Editorial ♦

You’re set. The soda is stashed in your tote bag, and your candy rustles in the pocket of your cargo shorts. After buying the $10 ticket to get in, you are determined not to spend another dime. As you walk into the movie theater, you are prepared to enjoy this expensive night out.

After the last of the popcorn has been devoured and your soda drained to ice, you are left with a decision. Was it worth your $10?

Often times, controversy is the cornerstone of a good movie. Everyone’s talking about it, and you finally get to join the conversation. But this conversation has come with a price. If you rose from your seat grumbling, perhaps you’ll think twice the next time you spend a Hamilton at the local theater.

However, you’re not at a complete loss. Your dissatisfaction or admiration of the film could lead to thoughtful introspection and intriguing conversations. The movie may have expanded your point of view, as well as those of others. This makes your $10 worth it. This is why we need controversial movies to challenge us.

This year, the Oscars features a controversial line-up. The Academy recognizes “American Sniper,” “Birdman” and others as the best films of this year. But these movies all share a common thread. Moviegoers leave the theaters either ranting or raving.

And there’s no denying it, these conversations can get toxic. But despite the extremist opinions that may be brought to light, these movies should not be ignored nor banned.

“American Sniper,” for instance, has triggered a barrage of disputes, heated debates and altercations over social media. People have voiced increasingly different perspectives on the movie’s intentions, some of which are highly critical.

Due to this criticism, some believe that perhaps the movie should not be rewarded for its flaws. Others believe it was worth every penny. But if you don’t agree with its message, is it worth your bucks?

A similar, yet more outlandish, dilemma arises with the release of the infamous “50 Shades of Grey.” According to Moviepilot, the film has been banned in various places such Kenya, Malaysia and Indonesia. Along with this form of censorship, some question whether the movie and its ideals are worth paying royalties to through a ticket stub.

Yet, according to Box Office data, “American Sniper” has made over $300 million since its release in December. And “50 Shades of Grey” has made over a whopping $85 million in only a week.

Because ultimately, it’s intrigue that drives us. And usually, this intrigue isn’t bad. We must remember to never shy away from a movie because of its controversy. Don’t censor yourself. Join the conversation. Form an opinion. The price you pay may be worth the insight you gain. But while doing so, retain an open mind and have respect. Perhaps you’ll be inspired in the process.