Dear John was a war movie

I just finished watching Dear John and as crappy a show it was, it made me think and it made me cry. War movies always do that to me.

Every single time someone gets killed, even if it’s the bad guy, I put my hand over my mouth and let out a silent gasp and think to myself what a horrible scene I am watching.

Well not just being killed, but being abused, tortured, mistreated in any way.

Senseless murders, poverty, domestic violence, or killing in the name of “serving your country”… The list of films goes on.

No matter how many times I see people being “sacrificed” like that in movies, I can’t seem to be able to get comfortable with the idea of sitting inside a cinema and knowingly watching violence and cruelty taking place in front of my eyes.

I know that it’s for show… And that the person in the movie was not actually hurt. But to casually regard it as a form of entertainment is something I find hard to swallow and maybe that’s why one of my favourite movies is Harry Potter.

Violence based on fictional stories and real life situations are two very different genres of movies.

What really gets to me about violent films is the fact that most people don’t realize not everything in the movie is just for show. The audience will simply shrug it off and think that it is made up for their entertainment.. But the truth is, sometimes, the violence and devastating tragedies we see in movies are actually taking place and happening in this world.

Perhaps it does not exist in your world because it is something you will never experience and it takes place very, very far away from home but it exists within the same world that we all live in together as human beings and it is a fact we should acknowledge.

Afghanistan is but a plane flight away.

I find it sickening that instead of doing my part to make this world a better place, I am sitting in front of a screen watching devastating real situations being scripted and acted out, absorbing everything as a form of entertainment.

Whenever I watch a show like that (when I am forced to / can bring myself to), I ask myself, “Is this really all that entertaining?”

I hardly ever watch shows with a lot of violence, and when I do, I usually don’t want to but I sit through an entire 2 hours of it anyway because I try to convince myself not to be a sentimental freak and just accept the fact that it’s a god damn show.

When I go out with friends and even family, violent movies always seem to be a popular choice and I can’t turn them down and tell them everything I’ve said in this post so far. Is anybody even going to understand how I feel?

If you’re wondering why I watched Dear John, the movie is based on a best-selling book written by one of my favourite authors, Nicholas Sparks and it was more of a romance book / show more than anything.

Since the romance bit is quite crappy in the film, I found myself focusing on other points instead.

For the record, I’m not talking specifically about Dear John only in this post, but every other movie that is related to it.

Very rarely, watching these shows is indeed interesting / enlightening (but NEVER as casual entertainment), because it opens my eyes to the rest of the world – things I haven’t seen before, and probably never will see. It lets me know what’s going on outside of my sheltered life in Sunny Singapore.

In other places, the sun don’t shine all that bright.

But not in Sunny Singapore.

Nope. Life is all fine and dandy for us Singaporeans, but how can I ignore something that is right in front of my face? Even if it is just on a fucking cinema screen.

I guess a girl like me can’t do much to change this big world. I can hope for wars to stop, but the violence continues. I can change myself, but not the rest of the world.

I can make myself sit through a movie that thrives on ruthlessness, blood shed and sheer senseless violence but the movie doesn’t end when the 2 hours are up. I go home, I sit in front of my computer as I do everyday and I reflect upon what kind of world we live in.

Is it really okay to have such movies being made so frequently? War movies are usually big hits with the audience, that’s why there are so many of them but what is the meaning behind it all?

What do young kids think and feel when they watch such movies?

What do the grown-ups feel? Does it affect them at all, or are they too used to seeing the ugly side of life?

I hate it when they try to make it seem like there is a moral behind the story. It’s their feeble attempt in convincing us that there is some good in the show. Like when they have a happy ending to a war movie and all is fine and dandy. This country has defeated another, yay, victory…

Victory to one, defeat for another. Devastating for both. Killing a person out of selfish intentions is considered murder.

Killing many people dressed in a different uniform on a battlefield out of selfish intentions caused by politicians and people with power in a bid to serve your country is considered a heroic act.

How does this world work?

It is hardly considered a victory, much less as glorious as it appears to be.

Like I said, I lead a sheltered life and I don’t know very much of what it’s like to be caught in such a situation at all, but I do know that when there is war, there will never be a happy ending. Whatever message they are trying to bring out in certain movies is stupid because no one is buying it.

Not you, not me and certainly not the rest of the world because war is still going out there, for reasons nobody can truly explain.

The only reason left to encourage the production of such films is the fact that senseless violence sells. And after all this ranting, it is the main point I am concerned about.

What kind of pleasure do you derive from watching violent films? Do you really enjoy watching people suffer?

Just because I happen to be leading a perfectly normal and happy life, fortunate enough to not experience such things, does it give me the right to ignore these issues and not take them seriously?

What if it was happening to me? I’d be outraged that instead of all that money used to make the stupid movie about my situation, it could have gone into helping me.

Every time I watch a soldier die on screen, my heart goes out to the widows and mothers of fallen solders who gave their lives on the battlefields, because they have to put up with film after film making use of such a tragedy to generate more money.

Do we really need to see one more war movie? Haven’t we seen enough?

We barely understand it, we can’t seem to stop it… But we make blockbuster movies out of it?

I use the words “violent films / war movies / unfortunate situations” loosely. Of course there’s more than war, violence etc that’s screwing the world up. I just can’t find the words to describe them.

I am, by no means, a “World Peace & Anti-Animal-Cruelty” kind of person. For now, I am too selfish to become an activist, because I’m pre-occupied with leading my sheltered life. But at least I don’t want to be part of the majority who is completely ignorant anymore.

Perhaps I’m just a young girl, maybe I don’t understand… But I think the first step to moving forward is to actually not recognize such events as everyday, insignificant affairs.

Sometimes I feel silly for getting so emotional and worked up about these things, because really, what can a girl like me do about war and violence except revealing emotions that normal people wouldn’t care about on her blog?

But then I suppose caring but not being able to do anything is better than being able to do something but not caring.

I’m not trying to stand on my moral high horse here by making people feel bad about watching such shows. I just think we should all be a little less ignorant.

If you like that sort of “entertainment”, good for you. But the next time you watch that sort of movie, think about what you are really watching.

Compassionate feelings, even in the faintest form, is the only thing that keeps this world sane.

  • Lucia

    Ur not the only one to feel this way dearie. I can 100% relate to every single word you wrote. No worries, nobody thinks you’re just saying words that you don’t mean. At least I don’t <3 You and I might not know how to make this world be a better place now, but one day we might ^^ Maybe even sooner than we think. Take care always <3

  • Jessica

    Thanks Lucy :)
    You’re such a sweet girl! ♥

  • Joey

    well said :) people who read this will definitely agree (to different extents). i know i agreed with you. (:

  • Jessica

    Thank you :)

  • Rose

    hi
    this is my first time commenting though i’ve been a follower of your blog for a while now. .  .. I love how you’re able to express yourself so fluently – something I find really difficult to do.

    I’ve been wanting to comment but have found it difficult to express how your writing makes me feel .. . . take for example the orca post - I searched youtube upon reading your post and found a video of a pack of orcas teaching their young how to hunt. I believe you’ve seen the said video; it’s the one where the seal was stuck on a piece of floating ice and the orcas,  lending the power of the waves, flushed it off by “charging” towards it.

    It changed the way I felt about orcas(they are mad intelligent!!) and for a moment, I felt the magic that you feel (:

    as for the whole war movies thing, you’re not the only one who feels the way you do . .. .I do too. I feel kinda helpless myelf but I feel a little better knowing i’m not the only one who feels that way.

    love your blog, love you. keep writing pleasezxsxxz!

  • Jessica

    Hi Rose!

    I’m really glad that you can share the beauty of killer whales with me, many people don’t know what they’re missing out on.. They are so underrated amazing creatures :)

    It’s nice to know that there are always readers out there, like you, who can relate with my posts! Sometimes I feel like nobody does, because well.. my readers don’t seem to comment all that often!

    But receiving comments like these every now and then always reassures me that I love what I’m doing and that I should keep doing it. Thanks for your support hun!!! ♥ ♥

  • r

    I like your newest blog skin. It’s simple and nice.

  • Jessica

    Thanks! :-D