Phone Wars pits good against evil

Jamie Goodwin wonders why so many of the UAE’s cinemagoers have been lured to the Dark Side Discuss this article

© ITP Images

In every cinematic narrative, there’s a hero and a villain. You know the hero because he’s the one of sound moral fibre, respectful of his fellow man and of society’s rules. You know the villain because he exists only to frustrate the hero’s attempts to abide by these rules. Often called the antagonist, his entrance is usually announced through the use of theme music, lighting changes or shock techniques. These rigid laws of film happen to exist on both sides of the silver screen.

The last time I visited the cinema, the villain of the piece was a nasty creature indeed. His theme music was a shrill beeping; his weapon of choice a cruel beam of blinding energy, not unlike Darth Vader’s lightsaber. This villain was less than a metre away from me. He was the foil in a particularly scary, hide-your-eyes tale called Put Your Phone Away, The Film Has Started!

It was the story of a regular guy (me) who just wanted to introduce some excitement to his life. Think Luke Skywalker on Tatooine, but swap the craving for a Jedi apprenticeship with a desire for nothing more than a bucket of popcorn and the suspension of his disbelief. Yet this simple pleasure was seemingly too much to bear for the evil Vader in the seat in front of him. Not a scene of the movie would pass without the gruesome Sith lord withdrawing his torturous smartphone device to send an evil text message to an equally wicked friend (the Emperor, presumably).

The Dark Side of the Force then compelled our foe to lean across to his minions to make a booming observation about the film we were all trying to watch, before launching into a shrill cackle that sent a shiver down the spines of everyone in the theatre. And finally, in his most dastardly trick, the powerful cyborg waited until our hero’s eyes had again adjusted to the darkness before cruelly burning his retinas with the Goofs page on his phone’s IMDB app.

Our protagonist had to summon every last ounce of virtue not to tip his righteous bucket of popcorn over the ghastly head of this sinister cinemagoer. Lucky for him, our champion never gave in to the hate of the Dark Side. Although he really wanted to.

Oi, Darth! If you’re reading this: put your phone away – the film has started!

By Jamie Goodwin
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Add your review/feedback

Subscribe to weekender newsletter

Prove you're not a robot:


The Knowledge

Nico Rosberg ends F1 season on a hat-trick high at Abu Dhabi
Nov 30

Time Out reviews the final race of the F1 season, at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit. Find out who won and what happened in the race

Lewis Hamilton sports National Day racing gear
Nov 29

Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton has debuted a new kit for the UAE's 44th National Day

Tom Jones to perform in Abu Dhabi in 2016
Nov 23

Time Out announces Tom Jones to perform in Abu Dhabi in 2016. Get ticket information for the du Arena concert, which will see him perform his greatest hits.


Sign up now
latest issue Available now!