On Friday afternoon I went to watch Atonement, which I have been burning to watch since the movie's release. I read the book last year and I was just hankering to see how they transformed the novel into a movie.
The first thing I noticed when I took a seat in the theater was that there were a lot of older people in the audience. Had I intruded upon a special screening for those 65 and older? If so, was my grandma here? Grandma? Grandma? Oh yeah, she doesn't speak English...
Anyway, the previews start playing and the white-haired couple sitting behind me start making comments to one another. After each preview, the wife announces her opinion of that movie:
"Oh, we should see that one."
"That one looks bad."
"What did he just say?"
That sort of thing. I rolled my eyes but I figured I'd give these old-timers the benefit of the doubt. Lots of people talk through the previews but they pipe down when the movie starts.
BOY, I was wrong. Queue up the movie and the old people keep talking. Frequently, the wife turns to her husband and asks what has just happened in the film. And here's the clincher: every time someone dies in the movie, the husband has to make a proclamation to the entire audience.
"Well, he died."
"Oh, he died too."
"See there? He just died."
ARGH! I couldn't take it anymore. But I couldn't turn around and chide these annoying people because they were old and probably hard of hearing and the old man would probably point to his amputated leg and say, "Well, see here missy! I lost this leg in the war. You know, the Civil War. I think I earned the right to say whatever I want to in these moving picture things. Now, why don't you turn your little Chinamen head around and leave me and Agnes in peace." Then he would shake his fists at me.
Or something along those lines.
So I couldn't say anything to this old couple and thus I did the only thing I could do: I moved. I left my comfy chair in a comfy part of the theater and I moved to the fourth row of the room. I sighed. Now for some peace and quiet. Now I could enjoy the movie without being jarred away from it from Mr. Confederacy and his wife.
But then I heard the voices. Noooo! They were talking again! And I could hear them as clear as day! The volume of their voices along with the acoustics of the theater had conspired against me.
"Well, he's dead," the old man announced.
I sighed again. Oh, James McAvoy and Keira Knightly! Come save me!
(By the way, the movie was great albeit a little slow in the middle. I think I may be one of a handful of people who preferred the film to the book. Not that the book isn't good. I just had a hard time reading it because I was SO MAD at Briony.)