Silence in the Cinema

January 26, 2010 at 12:41 pm (Uncategorized)

” — she didn’t hear the door of her bedroom creak open slowly. A masked figure entered the room and without a moment’s hesitation, headed towards the bathroom. He slowly opened the door, unsheathing the dagger from his jacket pocket as he did so. The girl completely oblivious to what was happening barely two feet away from her, continued to hum her favorite song as she washed away the last traces of shampoo from her hair. The masked figure could easily see the outline of her body through the shower curtains; he then poised himself for the strike. Creeping forward, he slowly lifted the dagger high above his head, aimed it at the girl and then………”


I was brought crashing back to reality when the guy sitting behind me, wearing a baseball cap sideways, munched loudly on a bag of chips while simultaneously reaching over to his friend sitting two seats to his right, loudly exclaimed: Did you check out the girl?? Man, she was sooo HOT!!”

I rolled my eyes at this obvious display of reckless male hormones at play and tried, albeit a little miffed, to concentrate on what was happening on screen. To my right, a group of 5-6 girls apparently found something really amusing about the point where the victim was being slaughtered to death as they were continuously giggling and snickering without even a pause. Each action triggered another round of uninhibited giggling and small squeals of laughter to the point where i turned in my seat and said firmly:”hey listen, could you please keep it down? i’m trying to watch a movie here.” I figured they didn’t take too kindly to that comment because as soon as i turned back, i heard one of them whisper: “Sheesh! what’s HER problem??”

I don’t know if anybody else has encountered this kind of experience in the cinema or if anybody is even remotely bothered by it but i surely am. I don’t want to appear as a party pooper but honestly, is a simple, uninterrupted and completely uneventful night out at the movies too much to ask? Gone are the days when families and groups of friends would actually plan an evening out at the cinema, not just for the sake of a good time but to enjoy a really good movie which normally had a good storyline, incredible acting and great cinematography. My parents would echo this sentiment time and time again, rounding it off with the typical statement “aaj kal ke generation tou yeh samajhti hi nai hai!”. Many a times I would find myself shaking my head with them, the same expression of distress etched across my face..( now now, don’t get any ideas.. i’m only 24.) Nowadays movie outings are rarely remembered for the movies screened, but rather for the experiences encountered with other cinema goers. A child’s incessant ramblings during the most interesting part of a movie, a man’s phone continuously ringing, teenage girls and boys whispering and snickering are but a few examples. I remember watching the movie ‘Singh is King’  in the cinema; the movie could’ve proven to be one of my most memorable and enjoyable outings had it not been marred by two particular attendees who got into a bit of a row with each other; apparently one guy had the audacity of putting his feet up on the front row seat, treating it like a floor cushion. The other guy understandably didn’t exactly appreciate the intense proximity of a smelly shoe beside him and hence proceeded to raise a hue and cry. Later on, my parents asked whether I enjoyed the movie. I replied: “oh well, it was a bit hard to judge amidst the swinging of fists and loud cussing, but I heard little snippets of the song and it sounded pretty nice.

Heck, I can almost empathize with this guy…..

….. although I wouldn’t want a risk like that to be breathing down my neck.. haha! get it? risk, breathing down…aah, never mind.

However, to be fair, this is, thankfully, not prevalent in every cinema house in Karachi. I went to see the latest movie, Avatar, in one of Karachi’s oldest cinemas; Nishat Cinema. Except for a few hoots and whistles emitting from the crowd during an intimate scene between the leading hero and heroine, (its at times like these when I feel proud to be Pakistani), the rest of the movie was watched without any unpleasant interruptions. In fact, I was witness to several cheers and claps of support during the most riveting parts of the movie, when the Na’avi race has to safeguard its homeland against the human invaders. I can safely say after this experience that I can re-think my vow never to enter a cinema house in Karachi again.

until next time, ciao. =)


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