This will be a 2 part reaction. This week, some build-up, just to make you wait like I did. I think I should set the scene before I discuss my thoughts on the actual film...
The Dark Knight Rises Response: Part One
|Official IMAX poster (from www.imax.com)|
Fast forward to the night of July 19th. Imagine a small kid on Christmas Eve. Or, better still, remember that Disneyworld advert where the parents give the kids into trouble for staying up all night talking about Disney? The boy replies "But I'm too excited!" and when the parent heads back to bed, spouse is still awake and says "Aren't you asleep?" and the reply was "I'm too excited." You remember that, right?
Well, that was me on Thursday night.
I had less than 4 hours of sleep because my head felt like there was a fire raging inside. Excitement had its hold on me like a desperate whore and sleep was simply keeping me from thinking about this film and anticipating how one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time would end. I even kept Boyfriend up until 2, quizzing him on what part any new actors would play and if any fan-favourites would appear. Once he had eventually drifted off, I spent the rest of the night staring at my "New 52" poster, dreaming up possibilities for the coming day.
The good thing about not sleeping is that you're up early enough to beat Boyfriend into the shower and text Wee Bro to harass him about getting into town on time. By the time I sent Boyfriend downstairs into the shower, I had eaten, dressed and was sitting with my feet up, watching the guilty pleasure that is Jeremy Kyle. Let me tell you something, being completely ready at 9:25am when your showing is at noon is a loooong wait.
Chapter skip to arriving at the IMAX. This was my first IMAX feature and what a film to lose your IMAX virginity to. Being there at 11, we still somehow ended up at the end of a pretty damn long, queue. At the head of the queue, my chum Cinephile text us from his lofty vantage point. He had been at the Grosvenor's Batman allnighter and had beaten us to the punch. The only way of communicating with him was through text message, on threat of losing a place in the queue. On being asked if it had been worth the weight, his reply was enigmatic. "I'm saying nothing."
The 45 minute wait brought a few visual novelties. An absolutely stunning young lady passed us, dressed as the Joker's beau, Harley Quinn. I made eye contact and smiled at her, wondering if there was any chance she could have noticed my red and purple Harley converses. I doubt it. Boyfriend and Wee Bro then had a discussion on how a girl like that could wind up with the most boring looking boyfriend imaginable. I stopped listening and checked the time again...and again...and again. 5 minutes before entering, a rather menacing looking Bane costumed hulked past us. He made me nervous and Boyfriend gripped my hand tighter.
Finally, the queue started moving and a cheer rippled through the crowd. Weaving past red velvet ropes tied my stomach in knots. I'm sure they arrange cinema queues like this on purpose - to increase excitement and make you wait just that little bit longer for the film you've already waited 4 years for. When I saw The Dark Knight, it was at a preview event similar. As I entered the IMAX screen the film was showing in, that day back in 2008 suddenly paled in comparison. Finding a seat and staring up at the imposing screen, a feeling of sickness came over me. Don't let me down now, Mr Nolan. The Harley double sat a couple of seats down from me and the Bane-a-like took centre in the front row, elbowing his friends with what I can only assume was a grin under his mask. The room filled up fast and Wee Bro gave me a smile. Boyfriend squeezed my hand.
Exhilaration took me when the lights finally dimmed and refused to let go for the next 2 hours and 44 minutes. The roller coaster ride of emotions this film took me on compared to none. I trembled and cheered, felt loss and despair, laughed and gasped, experienced joy and sorrow, and by the time it was over, I was shaking.
As the credits rolled, so too did the tears. I realised that this reign of my hero and seeing Batman up on screen with a sense of dignity was over. The posters had not lied. The legend that was Nolan's Batman was over and it was all finished. I've already said that I would not lie to you, readers, and I plan to keep to that deal. As the black screen displayed the names of the people who had created this for me, I wept. Big, heaving, sobs. Boyfriend turned to me and asked what was wrong. My answer was to simple grin and point to the screen.
Expectations met. Expectations exceeded.
Congratulations, Mr Nolan.
Get that man his freaking Best Picture award already!
Part Two Coming Soon...