Thursday, February 4, 2010

The 4th Idiot

Did you watch the movie - The 3 Idiots ?  You probably did . And were you  the 4th idiot ?  Don't be offended - but you could have been one - if you were the 'movie hogger' ,  and be assured not the only one - if you had bought yourself the nachos, the rich cheesy dip, the heavily buttered popcorn, the fizzy drink, the brownie etc etc. As the article in The Mint states – there is nothing regular about the servings at the multiplex. They are all huge tubs or huge glasses of cola, much more than what one can consume.

The scenario - You probably left home two hours before the movie. Did a bit of window shopping or walked into stores, that you have to essentially pass, to reach your destination. And then made to wait outside the movie hall for atleast twenty minutes, where the waft from the food court is hard to resist. A little snack before making your way in seems only right! Half way through the movie, you try and resist the urge to snack, more because the thought of queuing up and ordering food is not quite appealing… but then you succumb when the attendant walks up to your seat to take your order. And probably a wise thing too, after all your neighbour has just come in with his huge tub of popcorn, and is munching loudly in your ear.

All that food - so satisfying - and when you walk out three hours later, your wallet would be the only thing lighter. The extra butter, the fried foods, the empty calories would stay with you a lot longer than you think. A large tub of butter popcorn gives you as many as 1,000 calories, 78g of fat, of which 45g is saturated, cholesterol- generating type of fat, and a medium cola tumbler (450ml approx.) has about 180 calories, i.e., 12 teaspoons of sugar - when all you need is 3 teaspoons for the whole day!

It is hard to avoid the snacking when all around you is FOOD.  Huge giant sized posters of food, the wonderful aroma of delicacies, and the sight of people looking visibly content munching away to glory.  But there are ways out, says the article in Mint. 
Easier said than done - but worth giving it a try - do not stay hungry the three hours of movie watching. This can lead to a binge attack. The trick is to eat a healthy, hearty meal before you leave. Avoid eating at the venue ( if you are a regular movie goer) – so that the emotional trigger for food does not set in the minute you walk in. If you must, then eat only during the interval. Cut down the cheese and butter toppings.  Share the tub. If you find that very difficult, have a salad before you leave home, so that you can indulge on the popcorn ( without the butter of course).

Food courts probably are healthy for the multiplex finances, but definitely not for you. So eat wisely and avoid the mindless munching at the movie.

A little bit of restraint and a whole lot of will power for sure!

Avoid being the 4th idiot !

picture source - Garfield -


  1. Well said Radha. We usually eat from home before we go to watch a movie. I sneak in a big bottle of water and some healthy snacks for my kid. But I usually avoid the popcorn and am not too fond of soda pop anyways.
    I wasn't aware servers come indoors to take orders in the theatre in India. I thought Americans were getting lazy!
    BTW, what happened to chaat and samosas in the theatre? Not very healthy but still better than popcorn and soda pop.

  2. Very nice. I was a 4th idiot yesterday when I went to watch 3 idiots. Had a Frankie before walking into the theatre and then munched on nachos and drank coke after the interval. Was so full by the time I got back home that I couldn't have any dinner, Thank God!!!

    I think it is easier to confess online than telling my mother face-to-face only to hear that my morning exercise went completely down the drain... Well, see you tomorrow morning ma :)

  3. I feel guilty, here, Radha! Recently I went to see '3 idiots' (actually 4 idiots went to see '3 idiots!) and I booked the ticket online, for the first time. The window asked if we want to order food! I said 'no, thanks'! But we bought popcorn (like you said, a huge tub!) and veg. puffs for a foolishly hefty amount. But we thought we see max 2 movies a year, so 'paravaayillai'!

    I too never knew that they come inside to take orders. I didn't see that in Sathyam multiplex (Chennai).

    Very good article, Radha.

  4. I saw the movie, and could identify with much of what you said. And I did consume a truly large serving of pop corn :-)

  5. Jaya, Sandhya - at PVR Hyderabad, they do come and take your oders. And chaat and samosa - no, no - nothing quite so passé.
    Sa - I knew it. The timing of this post quite apt. What do you think?
    Sandhya - Paravaayilai of course - for two movies a year, butter popcorn can be a treat!
    Anil - I cannot say I have never indulged either!

  6. Ha ha! Great post, Radha! Yes, we movie-goers who eat such 'snacks' are surely the 4th idiots!

    Nowadays, we don't go out too often to see movies, but when the children were young, we would go regularly. And of course would eat there, too.

  7. It has been years since I saw any movie in hall...I dont like these new foods much, our lod samosa and cold drink was better:)

    When my children were young, I used to take along with me a bag full of goodies for them..choclates, toffes,chips and all that.

  8. This has a tub of insight indeed ! Eat before movie time is something that hasnt struck me !

    Wonder why !

    Perhaps its to do with tastes that the tongue dabbles with !


  9. I'm a fourth idiot! :)

    Even my daughter can only be lured to movies with the promise of popcorn and pepsi!

    Thanks for the recommendations. Even after having a sumptuous meal, the waft at the multiplex is irresistible!

  10. Manju - I do not see many movies either - and the popcorn that was served earlier was sans butter!
    Antarman - I agree. I did love those little samosas( what we call Irani samosas). And they were not too healthy either.
    Kavi, Nona - There are times even on a full stomach, you can end up wandering towards the food kiosk. Those were recommendations only.

  11. I am one of those sorry souls who has not seen the movie "The 3 Idiots" and do not even have an idea what it is about, so I guess that does make me the 4th idiot, grins. I haven't been to a movie theater in decades, but it would be very hard for me to pass up chocolate covered raisins and juju fruits, grins.

  12. I wouldnt say I'm the 4th idiot. But occassionally, I do put on the idiot hat. I'm not much fond of popcorn or cola - both I avoid. But I do like my samosa! :))

    @ Sandhya - they do come and take the order in Sathyam cinema. Its rather annoying coz those chaps will bring in the food after the interval is over and the movie has begun thereby getting in your line of vision quite frequently. What we do is drink a nice 'kaapi' at Saravana Bhavan-maybe a dosa / vadai and then head for the movie.

  13. Oh Radha....I am going to have to google 'three idiots'. Grin...I would be sorely tempted to be the fourth idiot though. Gee whiz....its just so hard whilst engrossed in a movie isn't it! I know, I have brought carrots out for such occasions but they don't pass the test.

    BTW....the post today was to just express as best as I could the extreme grief as I witnessed a mother run from her house in our neighbourhood this week; her son had just hung himself. Oh my...I can hardly even type it...oh no words can express the grief I am sure. Same age as my son and I just praise and praise the good Lord and fates that there is no issue with my son.....but then, how can we know everything their minds become overwhelmed with. I am grappling with it as best as I can,....baking. I don't know how many cakes and curries I have already left at their doorstep....and the young people that come by to light a candle...oh my heart breaks. Sigh.

  14. Beautiful post. This is what really happens to each of us when we watch movies in the cinema hall. We truly end up being the ultimate IDIOT.

  15. Oh love this post. US consumerism has spread so wildly into India.

    This is actually an old trick to sell. You numb one of the senses while engaging the others to consume. For eg: Pubs play loud music, while they could play it at lower volumes. The reason being its proven to increase alcohol sales by 40%. People need to get a few drinks down before they can zone into any form of audible conversation. By then the sale is done. Another example is the superstores and malls where they bake fresh bread (tesco's, asda's in the UK). They bake fresh food on the premises 'all through the day'. The smells are known to increase the sales of food products by 15%-20%. You need to dominate one of the senses to sell. In the movies too, you are visually and audibly engaged, forgetting your normal limits of consumption with greater ease than usual. The reason why portion sizes have grown by 75% over the last 50yrs in US and I don't get a small coke in the cinemas anymore. In the UK there are websites which talk of how to escape this net. Eating before you go to a mall/movie is a great trick you got there as a watchful consumer.

  16. Wonderful article Radha ..I am glad we visit theaters only once in a blue-moon :)

  17. Trish - Carrots? That is too healthy for me. Maybe a sandwich - yes. And will comment on your post back on your site.
    Rajesh - All of us end up sometime or the other eating what we can well avoid.
    Deepak - your comments really add to the post! Great analysis.

  18. Such a thoughtful post.
    It is difficult to get the children control their urges.
    I liked Deepak's explanation.

  19. Bang on , Radha.And you hooked us with the right movie too which everyone 'must see'. I did go with my nephew and spent more on his popcorn than our tickets. I was amazed at the huge quantites they sell , in buckets, and how much he could eat. Next movie, I made sure we carried stuff from home, but still he got the popcorn!But for me, once a year like Sandhya. paravaillai.


Would love to know what you have to say:

Related Posts with Thumbnails