Opening credits came in. The group on my right didn’t stop talking. Girl 2 was so proud to share that the film was now progressing to Chapter 2 or something. I kept my cool at first and just let the girl talk. Maybe she’ll stop at some point.
I was wrong. For almost an hour, Girl 2 maintained an up-to-date comparison/analysis of the book and the film. I sssshed her from time to time but it seemed like she’s not getting what’s the ssssh all about. She didn’t mind that within our circle, she was the only one talking aloud. I even wanted to ask her when will Gandalf appear or maybe just an FYI, I read the book myself. I wanted to tell her that I read it in one week in time for a trip to Rome. And that I saw some of the “altars” and that I contested that Robert Langdon cannot survive the Tiber River in case Ron Howard prefers to include that preposterous paperback scene in the film. But of course, I did not do that. I just gave her an ultimatum ssssh and it worked.
Two lessons/reminders here:
1. Talking inside the cinema while the film is being screened is unethical. No matter how you put it, it remains unethical. Some even advise me to counter-attack a noisy seatmate with “Uy, may audio na ‘yung movie, hindi ko kailangan ng audio mo!” or harsher, "Hindi ito SM Megamall."On second thought, the experience that I just shared is perhaps beyond ethics. It’s about a pop culture that most of us Filipinos do not usually notice. My take is this: Girl 2 was just plain proud that she read the book. And not most of us love to read a relatively expensive non-Filipino book. Plus, being hyped with Dan Brown books alone is an elite sideline. Girl 2 is unlike those who settle for free entertainment. And she found her audience in her cinema seatmates.
2. Keep spoilers to yourself. This is self-explanatory.
When the lights were up after the film, another group at my back were also commenting that some of the book’s scenes were removed. A guy was saying that there should be a scene in the hospital. Then another girl mentioned that she could even list down all the changes. Personally, I find the updates minor and those didn’t affect the material’s vision. The film in fact enhances the book’s flaws and I can say that Ron Howard did justice to it. I would love it if they can discuss things like the recreation of the Vatican Archives and how it looks too blue in the film while some postcards actually show that it’s shelves are a little yellowish. Or how Ewan Mc Gregor is fascinating to see as Camerlengo Ventresca or how the dead pope’s artificial insemination wasn’t discussed further. Again, everything boils down to bragging about the verity that they read the book and that they memorize every detail on it and that it’s a concession to have done such.
Oh, well, Manuel. If only I was watching “BFF”, it would have been a totally new argument.