I used to think my grandmother’s bag was Doraemon’s pocket – the way she could pull out anything and everything we ever needed at any point in time. ( Scissors? Check. Nail clipper? Check. Goldfish in a bag? Check. Okay maybe not)
Then I started going to the movies more often and realized that superpowers exist in Singapore when it comes to Singaporeans smuggling food in.
Ever seen someone smuggle an entire box of pizza? I have.
These are the gifted people. They’ll walk in with these tiny ass backpacks or handbags, settle down in the seat next to you, and before you know it, they’re pulling out chips, sodas, MacDonald’s, Subway sandwiches, Nasi Lemak takeaway, an entire durian with the shell…
Someone please teach me.
2. The Avid Phone User (APU)
The previews start and half the audience’s concentrated on the screen with the occasional ‘I have to watch that’ while the other half is occupied texting or scrolling through their social media feeds.
Then the actual movie begins and everyone’s supposed to put his or her phone away, right? No.
Here, we have the level 1s of the APUs - people who get uncomfortable if they’re not on their phones every 10 minutes. Bonus points if we’re seated behind them because our eyes inadvertently dart towards their screen. (Only because it’s distracting, and not because we’re nosy little pricks. Maybe) They’re texting during the entire interval of the show, scrolling through their Instagram feeds and checking out Facebook.
Then we have the level 2s of the APUs – those who pick up a call during the movie, in the cinema. They whisper and talk in hushed voices till someone in the audience goes ‘shh!’, before returning to the level 1 of texting rather than talking.
But the masters – the level 3s of the APUs- are the one who mix business with pleasure. They’re the ones checking the stock market, sending out work emails and firing people, all while watching the movie.
3. The Partially Night Blind
These are the ones who walk in with their hands outstretched, reaching for anything within their grasp so as to guide their way to their seats. They take cautious steps down the stairs so that they don’t trip. They use the flashlight on their phones so that they can check the seat numbers properly.
They’re also the ones who might step on everyone’s feet trying to squeeze their way into the middle of the row. They’re the ones who probably end up walking into the wall at the end of the side rows.
These are the ones that need our care. And a pair of night vision goggles.
4. The Opportunist
If you think for a second that Singaporeans are a bunch of unintelligent twats that pass up on opportunities, you’ve never caught a movie with us.
The opportunists lie in wait in their pre-assigned seats, waiting for the lights to dim and the movie to start. When the cinema goes dark and everyone’s focused on the screen, they move.
To better, empty seats. Prime example? The booked seats with no-shows. Trust that the opportunists are on it, well in it.
5. The Hormonals
The Hormonals are the handsy couples that take movie time as sexy time.
The level 1s of the Hormonals – These are the couples that cannot take their hands off each other. They seem like a sweet couple until you look over mid-show and get a shock. Is that a couple or an octopus? 8 limbs entwined and you can’t tell which leg belongs to whom.
The level 2s of the Hormonals – These are the couples that fork out $10 each to make out for 2 hours in the comfort of a dark, air-conditioned room with the bodily presence of 100 other Singaporeans. Romantic ah.
The level 3s of the Hormonals – These are the ones that need to be cuffed and sent to a psychologist because some parts of him shouldn’t be in some parts of her in some places like these.
6. Preview Schmeview
Here, Singaporeans are divided into two.
The ones who stroll into the cinema 10 minutes after the stated movie time because they don’t care for the previews, and the ones who arrive right on time because the previews are everything.
Which one are you?
7. The Realist
The Realists are the ones who roll their eyes and go ‘that’s not possible’ more times than can be tolerated during a movie.
‘No one can jump so far. That’s not possible.’
‘You can’t survive a bomb blast like that. That’s not possible.’
‘The Hulk can’t NOT die. That’s not possible.’
If you listen carefully, you might hear the fervent prayers of their friends as they ask for patience not to murder these realists.
8. The Film student
These are the ones that have practiced the art of not blinking for two hours, because who knows when you might miss a shot with discontinuity if you just happen to blink.
The Film Student has been trained to be on the constant look out for jump cuts, poor audio mix, flash frames, and out-of-sync audio. You can find them huddled in a circle after the movie, discussing the violations, sometimes in an unsaid competition to see who spotted more errors.
These are the ones that can also appreciate a movie more when they notice a particularly long continuous sequence, a one shot film, and brilliant editing skills.
They’re the ones furiously nodding their heads in awe in the middle of a scene, the ones who feel an immense rush of joy after a sequence.
9. The Confused
Favourite line – What just happened?
The level 1s of the Confused – These are the ones who aren’t huge fans of a particular series or storyline. Maybe they haven’t watched the prequel, which explains why some scenes in the sequel would be confusing. Maybe they haven’t watched the other films involved in a large fictional universe (cough, Marvel), so they don’t get the significance of some scenes or the history of some characters.
The level 2s of the Confused – These are the ones who take a toilet or phone break during an intense moment. They return at the end of the scene and ask to be caught up to speed, so we spend the next minute summarizing the past 5 minutes while missing out the current action.
The level 3s of the Confused – These are the perpetually confused. They don’t get anything and everything. Every 2 minutes, you hear them turning to their friends to ask ‘What just happened?’ and every time they do so, you get one step closer to Googling the entire synopsis for them.
10. The Psychic
The Psychics are the ones that try to predict that inevitable twist in the storyline.
‘She’s going to die.’
‘He’s Luke’s father.’
‘He’s going to lose Nemo, but don’t worry, he’ll find Nemo.’
These are the ones that spoil the movie experience because when the plot twist does happen, you were already expecting it.
Damn it, why’d you have to tell me Nemo would be taken away.
These are the ones you should be buying popcorn for, because if they’re busy chewing, they can’t be talking, right?