Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Orphanage

Last night I travelled via about 400 sets of traffic lights along the A4 to the Oracle Centre, in Reading, to see The Orphanage.

Almost every set of traffic lights was at red when I reached it, and there was almost no transverse traffic at any of those traffic-lighted junctions. The clear purpose of the traffic lights and their Saturday-evening timing is to break up the traffic-flow along the A4 into bunches. Before many of the traffic lights, I'd be travelling along serenely, with nothing close in front, or behind, but after waiting for an interminable length of time at a number of the junctions, there would then be an impatient little pack of cars, which would jostle and jockey for position as two-lanes funelled into one on the other side of the lights.

Upon reaching the Reading Vue Cinema, we tried to take our seats, only to find that a smartly dressed man, in late middle-age, and with a mysterious foreign accent, was sitting in one of the seats, and refusing to budge.

"'Scuse me, what's your seat number?"


"I think this is our seat!"

"I don't care."

Eventually he shifted, but to an adjacent seat which also wasn't his. Presently, the occupant of that seat arrived, but this time the mysterious aristocrat totally refused to move, even when the usher came to assist.

"I'm not moving when the film's started!"

"The film hasn't started Sir."

Eventually he moved, and this time to the seat specified on his ticket.

Half-way through the film, a group of lads at the front appeared to throw a drink over two girls in front of them. The girls got up and left, the guys laughing raucously. A security man arrived, and asked them to leave. They refused. The security man said he'd call the police. The lads stayed where they were. Eventually, two luminescently-bibbed policemen arrived, and rather than immeditaely removing the lads from the cinema, appeared to argue with them for 5 to 10 minutes. Eventually, the lads were compelled to get up and leave, one of them with a hood cloaking his features in a manner which, according to David Cameron, is supposed to evoke our sympathy more than anything else.

And the film? Brilliant, without question. It's everything you've heard about it, both scary and moving. By the end, your nerves are absolutely on edge. In more ways than one...

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