Saturday, November 19, 2005

From A Muggle To A Pothead

I was listening to the news on the drive to work, and the news reader announced, "Potterheads all over the country are gearing up with the release of the new movie." Except that he said "Potheads" not "Potterheads". He corrected himself immediately, but I heard snickering in the back.

My kid brother planned an evening with his friends on the night of the release of the movie, with me dropping them off at the cinema and picking them up later. Unfortunately his school decided to release report cards the day before. This meant none of his friends got parental permission for the movie. You have to understand for Bengali parents if you get 98% they will ask you where the other 2% went. Therefore movie night after report card night is a strict a no-no.

Taking mercy on my brother, I told him he could accompany my friends as we went for the movie. Of course there were strict ground rules.

  • Don't talk to any of my friends unless spoken to.
  • If possible don't talk at all.
  • Be invisible.

I'm such a good brother. I remember the last time I went with him for the Chamber of Secrets. The movie was so boring I kept falling asleep. Once I woke up and Harry had just gotten his hand pierced by the teeth of the giant snake.

"Oh my God," I uttered, "It's poison. He's going to die."

"No," my brother turned to me and kindly explained, "Phoenix tears are magic tears. That bird will save him."

Two girls seating in front of us turned and muttered, with a lot of attitude, "thank you VERY much. Hmmph!"

Like me, they hadn't read the books either. Muggles.

So this time, I made preparations. I borrowed all the three previous movies and watched them one by one. I was now a PotheadPotterhead. The Philosopher's Stone was OK, it laid down the story. The Chamber of Secrets was booooring. The Prisoner of Azkaban, on the other hand, was really good. It was fast and thrilling. And mercifully short. I therefore approached the Goblet of Fire with high expectations.

What a disappointment. There was no mystery, unlike the others. The whole movie was a series of connected adventures, like a kind of amusement park ride which is not really thrilling as you have ridden it thousands of times before. You never get involved with the characters (who seem to have sprouted into adulthood). The only good part was the school prom and the scenes before that. Yawn.

The only reason I didn't fall asleep near the end was because some girl seated beside us had an anxiety attack just as Harry Potter got into trouble. As she walked away from the seat towards the exit, with her boyfriend in tow, I distinctly heard him swearing under his breath. This was during the climax too. I guess they were both PotheadsPotterheads.

That's the only way to enjoy the movie. Watch the others, for then you can follow this one. In other words, this is not for Muggles.


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