Huff And Puff home > backlash

I wish I had had a wand and spell book

Spellbound and enchanted was I by the Harry Potter film. However, all was not well in the cinema. For some reason, the sneak-preview of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was quite poorly attended. We had been expecting massive crowds and standing room only the cinema; we found ourselves in a room that was largely empty. Perhaps the Odeon could only sell a certain number of tickets for the preview... or perhaps people were too stupid to find out that the preview was on.

Unfortunately, even with low population density, we still managed to have much of the film disturbed by the behaviour of other patrons. Sometimes I wish that the management could screen everyone to ensure that the annoying people don't get in to piss me off. The irritation today came from the people behind. There appeared to be a mother, daughter and her grandmother there. Isn't that nice? Three generations of a family off to see Harry Potter together? Well, it would have been, but these three generations conspired to cause a disturbance for much of the three hours we shared their company.

The daughter, she of lumpy complexion, had to bring the grandmother up the stairs. So, Granny's infirm...  bless her. The plucky dame eventually made it up the steps in the end and sat down behind me. Despite having a teenager and a coffin-dodger on the team, it was Mother who truly stole the show. She seemed to be having some sort of breathing difficulty. I got the impression that she was either:

  1. Asleep for much of it and snoring.
  2. Suffering from some serious hyperventilation problem and needed to be in a hospital, not in a cinema and disturbing me.
  3. Suffering from a cold, in which case she needed to blow the nose, not sniff at it
  4. Suffering from a nervous condition, since the snorting and puffing tended to coincide with the more exciting bits of the film. In this situation, she should stick to more gentle films and stay at home!
  5. A stupid fat pig.

The noise she was making was truly phenomenal - it made you look round to see if there was a small pig grunting twice a second for minutes on end. We wondered how her two companions might manage sat next to her. They seemed to solve the problem by talking over it. Yes, they talked occasionally during the film, despite my subtle, and unsubtle attempts to blow shushes their way. Then, to top it off, the daughter had an annoying laugh, which made some of the comical bits seem less so... at least she understood the jokes.

I'm a big fan of keeping noise pollution down. I know that you can't have everything your own way when you're sharing the cinema with other patrons, but there's a line - the three witches, sat behind us, crossed that line tonight. If I had bought popcorn I may have tried to use it as make-shift earplugs.

Perhaps I'll just have to go and see the film again!

11 November 2001
Ashley Frieze