Saturday, November 19, 2005
Watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
So on Friday last week, my friend V and I decided on the spur of the moment to watch Harry Potter on the day of its release itself (yesterday, November 18). Emails were sent out and finally 4 of us booked tickets online to go to the 10.30p show on the day of release. After that, the week went by slowly but yesterday went by fast in anticipation of watching the movie. I really like the books and though the movies always disappointment me, I always watch them (at least to complain about them ;-))!
On movie night (yesterday), V and me decided to go in one car to save car-parking space and at 8.15p set out for having dinner first and then going to the theatre. The plan was to be at the theatre at 9.30p itself in order to stand in line for a good seat (WHY on earth do American theatres not issue seat numbers in tickets like in India is totally beyond me).
We reached the theatre complex at 8.30p itself and were gloating about finding super seats due to our early arrival when we noticed that there were about a dozen cars ahead of us all trying to find parking. V confidently said that there were always parking spaces at the back of the theatre and drove there. And guess what, there were no spaces there either and in fact some cars were parked in spaces which looked suspiciously illegal. At 8.45p we were still in the car trying to find a space. At 8.50p I was fast losing hope of finding a parking space before the movie started. Finally at 9.00p we found a spot - eeeeehaaaaw :-)! Quicky we parked the car, grabbed burgers and gobbled them and then ran to stand in the line.
And what a serpentine line it turned out to be. It was only 9.20p and there were already a million people (I am not kidding) ahead of us in the line for the 10.30p show. The other friends watching the movie had also arrived and we stood in the line commenting about the pointlessness of having arrived early for finding a good seat.
However, thankfully, the queue behind us grew and grew too. The whole area had a carnival-like atmosphere. Some people were wearing black robes similar to the Hogwarts uniform and a couple of them were wearing witch hats. All of them seemed to be discussing Harry Potter and time flew by. Around 10.00p we were somewhere just beyond the half way point in the line and I jokingly predicted that we would find 4 seats together but we would be sitting either in the 2nd or the 3rd row from the screen. Around 10.10p they started letting us in and the whole crowd moved into the theatre. From the way the people thronged, I had the feeling that I was going for darshan in Tirupathi or entering the 'Swarga vaasal'!!
And we entered the theatre. Lo and behold, for all our efforts at having stood in line an hour and 10 minutes early, we found places which were four rows away from the screen. Hmph! But at least they were together and in the middle (and as a bonus I could feel smug at having made an almost correct prediction) and the location actually wasnt too bad. Anyways people still kept pouring in and eventually there were people who couldn't find seats. The theatre management came in and asked people to squeeze in and not leave free seats in between. After they did this some four times, everyone found seats!
Everyone was chattering excitedly and even the trailers received enthusiastic applause. I enjoyed the atmosphere tremendously and felt that regardless of how the movie turned out to be, being a part of this crowd would still make up for the long search for parking and the long wait in the queue!
When the movie started, there were whistles and hoots all around. The only thing missing were the paper- rockets! It was almost equivalent to watching a major-star movie in Chennai! The movie, as expected, was nowhere as good as the book. However, it was fast-paced. Non HP-fans would not have been able to follow the plot too well though. And a lot of liberties were taken with the flow of the story to allow for screen adaptation. But it did make decent entertainment and I liked it better than HP-1 and HP-2 (which were sooooo slow that I thought I would fall asleep half-way).
Final verdict? Trying watching it before the excitement dies down - I think most of the charm of the movie came from watching it with fellow HP fans!
Some other "interesting" events that happened yesterday:
We witnessed a fight between two car owners about a parking spot and it almost resulted in one guy hitting the other guy. After our not so nice experience with finding parking I totally sympathised with the would-be hitter!
To confirm that we were going to stand in the correct line, I asked a person standing in the line if it was the line for the 10.30p show. The person replied that he had no clue and he was standing there just waiting for us. My puzzlement at this strange statement turned to embarassment when I realized that the person was actually one of the friends we were meeting up and whom I hadnt recognized due to his new hair style!!!
There were a lot of cops around - presumably to control the crowd if it got unruly. But as far as I know, all they had to do was walk around looking serious...
And this isnt an event. But what was up with those ugly Yule-ball costumes that the Patil twins wore in the movie?