Rudy Rodriguez is what one may call a “movie fanatic.” Rodriguez started a podcast called Rowdy Reviews last April after deciding he wanted to be able to express his views on movies that other people may not see.
“I felt like my views on movies are a little bit different,” Rodriguez said. “The people I have on my podcast, we just talk about our opinions.”
Rodriguez’s obsession with movies began at a young age when his father would ask him on Sunday mornings if he wanted to go see a film. Once Rodriguez began attending high school and theater classes, his appreciation for movies and his perception of acting and the handling of social issues in film grew.
“I was able to break it down and see the human emotion,” Rodriguez said. “I remember seeing movies like The Shining and Fight Club and being old enough to understand what those movies were talking about and the depths of those issues.”
Rodriguez and his cohost offer a spoiler-free summary of each podcast’s movie subject and then go into a full review, breaking the movie up piece by piece. They often go into the real-world issues discussed in the film and how it affected them viscerally. Rodriguez will talk about any movie, even if he thinks it’s awful, and will always sit through the entire film.
“I think you cannot give an educated opinion on something unless you fully experience it, and I think that [it’s the same] with movies,” Rodriguez said.
The idea that life imitates art is at the forefront of Rodriguez’s discussions as he dissects the issues and themes presented in movies and the effect those themes have on society and the people who watch them. For example, the movie “Joker” was recently released across the nation to a chorus of fearful backlash. The film’s exploration of mental illness, Rodriguez thought, didn’t affect people so deeply because it was too violent, but because it was eerily realistic.
On the other hand, lighthearted films like romance and comedy movies “are there to stimulate someone’s serotonin to make them laugh” and help even out the flow of emotion surrounding the film industry.
Rodriguez believes movies are a great way to build understanding between people and cultures. He says movies can make you feel a certain way and change a person’s perception on issues that they may not have acknowledged before seeing a movie where the issue was presented.
“There are real world issues and people issues, just like the ones that affect you personally,” Rodriguez said. “I think movies make [everyone] feel a certain way, they have a great way of inspiring people’s philosophy and views on the world. Movies are something that can bring people together.”
Story by Gracyn Shulista