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The Misleading and Damaging Effects of Montages in Movies

The Misleading Nature of Montages

When we think of movie montages, images of Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art or Daniel LaRusso mastering the crane kick in The Karate Kid pop into our heads. Montages are cinematic shorthand for the hard work and dedication that lead to success, and we have come to associate them with the concept of mastery.

But just how realistic are these portrayals, and do they accurately reflect the process of achievement?

The Fictionalization of Movies

It’s important to remember that movies are works of fiction, and as such, they are not bound by the same rules of reality as our everyday lives. In movies, we often see characters accomplish incredible feats in a short amount of time, overcoming obstacles and achieving their goals in spectacular fashion.

The use of montages plays a significant role in this process, as they allow the filmmakers to compress time and give the illusion of rapid progress. The problem with this fictionalization is that it creates unrealistic expectations for viewers.

We come away from movies believing that if we just work hard enough and dedicate ourselves to our goals, we too can accomplish anything in a matter of weeks or months. The truth is that real mastery and success take time and effort, and there are often setbacks, failures, and moments of self-doubt along the way.

The Illusion of Mastery and Success

Montages are often used to show characters overcoming obstacles and gaining mastery over a skill or task. We see them making progress with lightning speed, and before we know it, they have transformed from clumsy amateurs to highly skilled experts.

This portrayal of success can be misleading, as it gives us the impression that mastery is all about a sudden breakthrough or a single moment of inspiration. In reality, mastery is the result of a long and often grueling journey.

It involves repeated failure and learning from mistakes, as well as incremental improvement over days, weeks, and months. The use of montages can obscure this process, leading us to believe that success is all about a single defining moment rather than a sustained effort.

Glamorizing Hard Work and Incremental Improvement

One of the most positive aspects of movie montages is their ability to glamorize hard work and dedication. We see characters pushing themselves to the limit, training for hours on end, and giving their all to achieve their goals.

This portrayal can be inspiring, as it shows us the value of putting in hard work and effort. However, movies often fall short when it comes to depicting the incremental nature of improvement.

We see characters making rapid progress over a montage, but we miss the details of what they are doing to achieve that progress. We don’t see the incremental lessons they are learning or the small steps they are taking to get better each day.

Mulan’s Montage

The Disney film Mulan is often praised for its portrayal of a strong, determined female character who defies tradition and saves China from the Huns. However, even a beloved movie like Mulan is not immune to the pitfalls of movie montages.

In the film, we see Mulan go from being a clumsy, awkward recruit to a skilled warrior in a matter of minutes during a montage set to the song “I’ll Make a Man Out of You.” While it’s an enjoyable sequence that has become a fan favorite, it’s important to remember that it’s not a realistic portrayal of what it takes to become a warrior. The Drastic Turning Point in Mulan’s Training

The montage in Mulan is meant to show a dramatic turning point in her training, but it’s important to remember that turning points don’t happen overnight.

Becoming a skilled warrior takes time, patience, and practice. Mulan’s progress in the montage is significant, but it’s not a realistic reflection of what it takes to become a warrior.

The Obscuring of Incremental Lessons and Improvement

We know that Mulan is learning valuable lessons and improving her skills throughout her training, but the montage doesn’t show us the details of how that progress is made. We don’t see the incremental lessons she’s learning, the mistakes she’s making, or the small victories she’s achieving.

Instead, we see a series of big moments that are meant to represent her progress, but they happen too quickly to be believable.

The Unrealistic Portrayal of Success

The biggest problem with the montage in Mulan is that it creates an unrealistic portrayal of success. We see Mulan go from being a clumsy recruit to a skilled warrior in a matter of minutes, and the message we take away is that success is all about a single breakthrough moment or a sudden burst of inspiration.

This portrayal is not only unrealistic, but it’s also damaging, as it sets up unrealistic expectations for viewers and can lead to feelings of disappointment and frustration when real-life progress doesn’t happen as quickly or dramatically as it does in the movies.

In Conclusion

Movie montages can be effective storytelling devices when used properly, but they can also be misleading and damaging when they provide an unrealistic portrayal of success and achievement. It’s important to remember that real mastery and success take time and effort, and there are often setbacks, failures, and moments of self-doubt along the way.

By recognizing the limitations of movie montages, we can approach our own goals and aspirations with a more realistic and sustainable mindset. As humans, we often set high expectations for ourselves in all areas of life.

From our careers to our personal lives, we expect success to come swiftly, and with ease. This expectation is further perpetuated by what we see in the media – the quick progression captured in plot lines and the edited sequences made to represent months of work into a few minutes of montage.

However, living a life fueled by unrealistic expectations can lead to dissatisfaction and disappointment.

The Inevitable Letdown of Unrealistic Expectations

One of the chief reasons why we need to maintain realistic expectations is because of the inevitable letdown that comes when they aren’t met. It’s natural to feel frustrated and disappointed when we don’t achieve our goals, but an unrealistic expectation can magnify these feelings to an almost unbearable level.

It’s not uncommon for people to feel like they’ve failed when they haven’t met a goal that they realistically couldn’t achieve in the timeframe given to them.

Sustained and Sustainable Work

It’s also worth noting that unlike what we see in the movies, success is not just about quick bursts of effort. Any real lasting change requires consistent and meaningful work over an extended period of time.

This is especially relevant in fields such as health and fitness, where it’s not a one-week journey to get the toned muscles of a superhero. Instead, to foster long-lasting change, one should work at a sustainable pace that takes their physical limitations into account, prioritizes their health, and still achieves steady, slow improvement over time.

Patience in Achieving Goals

Patience is a key ingredient in achieving our personal and professional ambitions. Achieving anything worth having takes time, focus, and effort, and most importantly, persevering even when things don’t progress as quickly as we’d like.

Recognizing that change is a process and that setbacks are part of the journey is an essential aspect of maintaining realistic expectations. It’s important to remember that ambitious goals can take time to achieve, and this requires patience and a willingness to endure.

The Power of a Soundtrack

A carefully curated soundtrack can be a powerful motivator and provide assistance to maintain realistic expectations. Some songs have a way of speaking to our souls, inspiring us when we’re feeling down, and pushing us to keep moving forward.

A great song will get our blood pumping and our feet tapping. It can provide a much-needed boost of energy to our workouts or help us focus on our dreams and aspirations.

Using a Soundtrack as Motivation

When we use music as motivation, we need to be mindful of the messages, it conveys. The music we listen to has the power to influence our thoughts and emotions, not to mention our behavior.

By choosing songs that uplift, energize, inspire, or invoke an atmosphere of calm and tranquility, we can keep on track with our efforts. Music has incredible potential to inspire the listener to push through hard times and reach for the stars.

When we choose the right song to fit our mood and situation, we have an incredible tool that can help us achieve whatever we set our minds to.

Creating a Montage Playlist

Creating a playlist of songs that motivate us is one way to utilize music as motivation. Think of this playlist like a personal soundtrack for your life, with each song functioning as a dynamic and motivational piece meant to elevate your mood and increase your will to work towards your goal.

The playlist should not be static, but instead be continuously revised and refined with each new experience and step forward taken. Pull inspiration from various genres to create a well-rounded and energizing playlist that speaks to your soul and inspires you to move forward.

In conclusion, keeping realistic expectations is key to achieving our goals. We can create a beautiful life for ourselves so long as we recognize that it is a process and that nothing good comes overnight.

Music can be an incredibly useful tool in this process. By curating a playlist that works for us, that meets us where we are, and urges us to our highest heights, we will be successful in achieving our goals.

Maintaining realistic expectations is essential for achieving sustainable success in all areas of life. The media’s portrayal of rapid progress, as seen in movie montages, can create unrealistic expectations.

Unrealistic expectations lead to an inevitable letdown, indicating the importance of sustained and sustainable work. Patience is key, and using a personal soundtrack can be a powerful tool to maintain motivation.

Create a motivating playlist that invokes energetic and motivational feelings while inspiring and uplifting your mood. Carry forth in your efforts with patience, perseverance, and realistic expectations, and you will create the life you envision.

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