When you work in the movie industry, either as a technical or creative person, it's always hard to watch a movie and get completely lost in it - because you're always thinking, "wow, I wonder how they did that?" Or, "look at that shot!" Or, "that's some really interesting character action going on there."
Usually, you can never really divest yourself of the real world and enter into the reality of the film. But every now and then a film comes along that sweeps you up into the grandeur of its reality, and for a while, you are wonderfully lost in the story.
Such a movie was King Kong.
Perhaps a little slow off the mark, but once the first real action sequence involving Kong comes along, the action kicks up and never slows till the end! I had shivers up and down my spine, and I swear I must have looked like the people in front on a roller coaster!
Naomi Watts and Kong were an amazing pair - obviously there's not much in the way of dialogue that can happen between them, so it was all done with expression and atmosphere, and of course, action. We know Kong cares for her because a) he doesn't mash her up, pick her bones and use her tibia as a toothpick, and b) because he keeps saving her and protecting her from horrible prehistoric beasties. I thought it was so very romantic and sad.
I say it was a movie in which you could lose yourself, but surprise surprise, the Malaysian audience was out in full force and of course, on their best behaviour.
Next to me, a young girl whined to her boyfriend to tell her what was happening, and to my disgust, obliged her laziness by giving a running commentary that was only broken when they rudely pushed past us and stepped on our toes to exit for a breather. They must have gone to the toilet together, because they came back empty handed. Girls, if you ever find yourself acting like a total bimbo, ask someone to kick you in the butt. Girls like that give us chicks a bad name!
Then there was the child behind me who kept sneezing on my head and giving me unwanted back massages with his feet. Then two rows ahead, the teenager messaging to his friends and phone screen light piercing my retina and depriving me of a darkened theatre.
Last but not least, ah! the smart young teens sniggering at shy-shy moments and asking each other if one of the characters was really dead or not. "Dia mati ke? Tak mati lah! Eh, tengok tu! Mati dah!" And the last bright spark: "Mati? Siapa?"
Come the three hour mark, shuffling, chatting and general indifference began a tiresome period of trying to hear and be involved in the movie without popping a blood vessel.
Sad to say but I think most Malaysians have no stamina, can never really get into the spirit of things, and want their thoughts served up to them on a plate. And the other Malaysians who are willing to go the distance, are always positive and see the best in situations and each other, and want the challenge of the unknown, usually get bogged down by others' ignorance, obstinacy and total lack of imagination.
But I must quell my irritation, after all, it's yet another festive season and I shall be enjoying a quiet night with family and loving being insular for a while.
If you are looking for a great adventure, stunning visual effects, gorgeous stars and beautiful characters, I recommend King Kong. But be prepared, and if you can't stand the crowds, choose an early monday morning show! Oh, and watch out for the spectacular death scene of the ship's chef character played by Andy Serkis (Gollum AND Kong). It's soooo gross!Eeew..
Merry Christmas again for those celebrating.
My wish for Christmas: if it doesn't snow in KL, please let it rain!