OH MY GOSH! YOU KNOW WHAT WOULD MAKE THIS SCENE SO MUCH COOLER!? Dancing in the fucking rain, bitches!
I watch a lot of movies. Mind you, I do not watch as many movies as I would like. I mean, I’m a Communication Studies Major with an emphasis in film (and comics when I force it). On top of that, I volunteer at and independent cinema as well as a film festival. So, out of all of those times that I get to view things, I get really fucking pissed off when there’s a scene outside and for some goddamn reason it happens to be pouring.
Now, this type of rain can only be seen in torrential downpours in the Amazon RAINforest. This is the type of rain that the stunt team turns on and within a minute there is two inches of water on the ground.
The strange thing is: this technique of distinct “movie rain” is seen in a multitude of films. Sure, it happens in Dramas/Romantic Comedies a lot when a person comes at the last moment to confess their love to someone before they go on some trip. Or fun-fucking-funerals… I am so tired of seeing rain during funerals. Nevertheless, it is not relegated to one genre.
Sure, the actor (pop sensation) Rain plays a ninja... in the rain!
Now, I completely understand the use of movie rain when rain is needed for a scene. For one, it’s really controllable. All you need are some steel sprinkler systems that you hang overhead that release water at a controlled pace over a set duration. Secondly, movie rain is useful as a visual, stylistic element. When there’s a scene with movie rain, there are distinct vertical or angular lines flickering through the frame. It looks cool, but I contend that it looks quite fucking fake.
In that sense, I believe that most viewing audiences are so accustomed to seeing movie rain that they don’t actually consider the implications of this abnormal set of rain happenings. When I see it, I think “holy shit, how can they stand that much wetness!?” I mean, it’s the type of water barrage typical of a hurricane. The actors are soaked within seconds as they stand in the movie rain attempting not to shiver (unless the scene calls for it).
YOU ARE SO BADASS
I think that there’s a balance between coolness and practicality. In the above example of 300, the obvious implication is that the rain is merely for effect to look super fucking cool. I don’t find this excusable, I just find that, on a film based purely out of visual masturbation, there’s a bit more leeway. Now, on some drama where there’s a teary reunion which just happens to take place in the rain, I expect more from my movie. I like when you can barely see the rain but you see the actors lightly wet. I like the realism. I don’t like FUCKING BUCKETS of water pouring from the top of a roof onto someone.
Now, admittedly, I am from the Pacific Northwest. Like Eskimos, we have probably at least 30 (as opposed to some ridiculous amount) different names/types of rain. We see that drenching, but it’s on such rare occasions that it shouldn’t be so goddamn prevalent in films. There’s a reason why films from the Pacific Northwest are sprinkled with wetness (ooooooh yeah!) but not drenched. Unless, of course, the filmmaker isn’t a native… then our representations are completely fucked.
So, all in all, I would like filmmakers to emphasize realism (I know, such a hard thing to ask) of the natural conditions over style… or, in the very least, balance out visual effect with practicality in a more fair way. Please, just gain my respect… somehow.