So, there is definitely something to be said about how the crowd at a movie affects the way you feel about the film you are watching.
Opening night of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 was an incredible experience. We Potter Nerds, in our Hogwarts garb, lightning scars, and homemade t-shirts queued up in lines that wrapped all around the theatre awaiting the final part to a brilliant and timeless story, an end for me that was coming after twelve years of adoration.
While all of that was wonderful to behold, what I loved the most was that the excitement was infectious, electric. We laughed throughout the movie (especially at jokes you only get if you’re a true Potter fan. We’re snobby like that.). We started getting emotional when Lucious went to fetch Snape, knowing what was coming next. We appreciated the amazing subtlety of Alan Rickman’s acting, moments such as his hesitation and sadness at having to duel with McGonagall. We cried like hell when we watched Harry march to his seemingly untimely end. We cheered at Bellatrix’s demise; we rejoiced at The Kiss.
I was in a small theatre during opening night, and MC pointed out that it was like being in a cozy living room. That was also another part of the experience. These strangers sharing this bond, watching this film that so enraptured us we were silent, forgetting our troubles for a couple of hours and escaping into the wizarding world.
But tonight, I didn’t really feel the magic. This crowd literally (LI-trally) didn’t crack a smile… at anything. They didn’t even laugh at McGonagall’s mention of Seamus and his “proclivity” to fireworks, a callback to the many explosive mishaps he experienced throughout the films. Not even a giggle when Harry exclaims, “When have any of our plans actually ever worked? We plan, we get there, all hell breaks loose!” It was an incredibly dull group, and it affected my enjoyment of the film. I was distracted by the crying babies and the man behind me who was translating the whole movie in Spanish to his non-English speaking movie buddy.
I am pretty sure that this sort of thing only depresses me because I am a big movie nerd who loves movies too much. (My love for movies has only worsened since I started going to movies with MC whose admiration for film is ten times stronger than mine.) But imagine seeing The Hangover with an audience that does crack a smile during the “not at the table Carlos” scene. That’s just wrong, right? Anyhow, that’s how it felt.
Perhaps a go at the film in IMAX and 3D will make me happy.