There’s a interesting thing I’ve noticed when sitting in a packed cinema. The audience are happy to laugh and they’re happy to be scared. But any kind of emotional scene and there’ll be many whispers1 between couples or groups of friends. Sad or romantic scenes are the favourites for this – a large number of people want to make it clear to their companions that they’re separating themselves from the events on screen. Why’s that, do you think? Do they think that they’ll appear weak if they appear to empathise with the emotions on screen?
I’m just back from King Kong, where the above was very noticeable. Until the ending, that is. Chances are you know what happens, but if not I won’t spoil it. In the final scene, there were a few seconds where the main characters faced each other in which the entire cinema was silent. As soon as the camera angle changed, people realised that what they were doing and made comments to each other, but for those moments the entire screen was enraptured.
Just want to say a couple of things. It won’t actually spoil anything, but don’t read any further if you don’t know the story already.
I thought the film was excellent, and it certainly didn’t feel like three hours. It was a highly entertaining adventure with a good number of laughs, until there came a point when it suddenly wasn’t funny any more. In fact, it was unpleasant. And I’m pretty sure that’s the idea. The final line raised some sniggers from all around the audience, yet it summed up the theme so perfectly that I wonder whether it was the inspiration for the story.
Also, I don’t know what Naomi Watts has, but it’s there in spades.I don’t mean in terms of being attractive, although she certainly is, but that she has a screen presence so powerful it’s hard to tear your eyes away from her.
- and not-so-whispers, but don’t get me started on that [↩]