Will it be your responsibility to believe anything that you see in this movie in order to enjoy it? Or will you
rage against the director because "stuff doesn't work that way."
Many people think that once upon a time, it was the creator of the story who was supposed to suspend your disbelief. And these same people now think that audiences are expected to overlook massive plot holes for the purpose of spectacle. Just to be clear, this goes beyond fantasy and/or science fiction elements and into the territory of people performing actions that have credibility, or in the least, making decisions that have a reason behind them. And I suppose that the answer to this question is going to vary infinitely from person to person because no one is ever on the same page with anyone. This is a truth that I've learned to accept in life (maybe with a little hyperbole), but I'll explain further in the next paragraph.
We live in a functioning society, and it amazes me everyday of my life that I can say this given how many people have different views and opinions of what is true and what is acceptable. It ranges from me believing wholeheartedly in the evidence that expounds evolution through natural selection as a fact to the man sitting next to me that wants to show me images of hieroglyphics found within the Great Pyramid of Giza that depict submarines and helicopters (somehow made 4000 years ago) and who thinks "evolution is bullsh*t." For every gift of a bottle of plain water given at a work Christmas party (and the giver thought this was a fine gift when they received handmade soap or something else that clearly cost $10) to the person who is outraged that someone has used an incorrect pronoun in addressing them, I am convinced that by even having a functioning society with all of these disparate minds is a kind of miracle into and of itself. There are people who insist that the world is flat standing next to people who know it to be round, there are men who are wearing gold jewelry standing next to men who insist that they cannot wear gold because the metal poisons men but is harmless to women.
Anyway, a list of all of the things that people accept as facts (or the things that people believe in) is not what I'm getting at here in this post. Rather, it is an answer to the question of whose responsibility it is to suspend disbelief in a story. For me, it is clearly the responsibility of the audience, and here's why: how could we possibly expect a storyteller (given all the different minds and ways of seeing the world in just the above paragraph and that only scratches the surface) to suspend disbelief when what everyone believes in is different from one person to the next and so on and so forth? You can't "suspend disbelief" when you have no idea what a person even believes in. You can assume, but if you did this, you'd be completely wrong. If you made a space movie and showed the earth as round to a man that believed the earth was flat, well you've failed. Congratulations.
I guess I'd like to see what other people think of this question. Please answer in the comments below.