Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Treasure of Four Crowns and me

              I can't exactly remember when I watched it.It was either in late 1980 s or early 1990 s. Anyhow what matters to me is not the year but the experience.

           My husband and I went to see a film but the film we intended to watch was gone before the due date as the film could not attract enough audience for a good income for the theatre owner. At that time we rarely watched films as it was very difficult to find time to be alone as I had to devote my entire time after coming home from work for my little kid, my grasshopper.                     

             So whenever I wanted to have a little pleasure away from my hectic life I planned it carefully  and this time it was to watch a very famous,classical Sinhala film. I was highly frustrated to see that it was gone and  thought of returning  home.but my hubby was against it."We have already come to the theatre. Let's watch the new movie in the theatre and see how it is." He said.                                           

                                      When we entered, the ticket counter and the surrounding area was jam packed with people.I was still angry for not being able to watch my long awaited film and waited without any interest while my husband went to buy tickets.                

               He returned with tickets but there was something else in his hands. When I threw a questioning look into his eyes, he shrugged his shoulders and meekly muttered"These were given together with the tickets ."                 

               They were two pairs of celluloid  glasses the kids wear when they play house.I was furious.                    

                       "Couldn't you tell them that our eye sight was normal as to watch the film without these ridiculous glasses?"              

                   "Don't shout. When the tickets are bought, each was given a pair of this. I think it is needed in the theatre."      

 "What nonsense." Throw that away!I am not going to wear it in the film hall."    

                    "O.K. O.K.  Let's not argue here. All are looking at us.Let's go inside and and see what is happening."        

                         Finally I went with him and sat under a fan. I closely observed others.Some were looking at the glasses  while some others had already worn them and waiting  for the film to start.Then the third bell rang and the lights went out.       

                        In the dark I watched others' behaviour. They were intently looking at the screen.I stole a glance at my hubby. He also had worn the glasses and watching  the screen.I was angry for being made to wear this silly childish glasses and strongly decided not to wear them.                      

                                The story began but alas! Everything was a blur.  I heard the music and misty shadows moving on the screen but that's all.I squinted my eyes and tried my best to see what was on the screen but apart from the background music, I could not see anything else. I felt desperate and  looked around. My hubby too was watching the film.                

  I nudged him.How could he enjoy the film when his better half was feeling so uncomfortable?              

      He  looked at me and indicated me to wear the silly glasses and turned his attention back to the screen completely ignoring my plight in the dark.  I was outraged and pinched him tightly in the left arm.The arrogance of the man!   

                         It seemed that I was defeated. There was nothing else to do but to bow down and wear those wretched glasses and I cursed myself for being so foolish to agree to watch any kind of film with that ugly thing on my eyes.       

      What if my students saw me in the theatre now. I would be the laughing stock of the school the next day.              

             " You know machan! Yesterday I went to  a film and guess who I saw there!Miss  M...wearing  a pair of plastic glasses and watching a film!!!!"   

                He.. with them!Behave like a Roman when you are in Rome.  

                         I mustered enough courage to wear the glasses.  At once I was swept of my feet Few people were running towards me and I waited cautiously until they disappeared. A helicopter started to fly and it came  directly towards me.Without thinking twice I ducked and from the corner of my eye I saw that the man sitting on my right was  doing the same. What the heck!   

                                            I was highly confused and didn't know when I removed the glasses. but when the images again became a blur only I realized I was without them and automatically my hands wore the glasses for me.  

                                       The story was about a treasure. Some people wanted to steal it and they had to face a self-defensive, auto activated mechanism which consisted of  fire balls, turning wheels, shooting arrows and daggers and sliding and disappearing doors and many more.When those mechanisms started to activate at unexpected moments there were many in the audience who ducked, wriggled or turned their heads aside to prevent a blow or an arrow in a futile attempt. I too did the same but when it became clear to me that my heart was going to explode with fright I shut my eyes tight and pretended watching the film but  just listening to the sounds.         

       After a few minutes I felt a whisper in my ear and heard " open your eyes fool!That scene is over."              

           I slowly opened my eyes to see the amused but kind look of my husband. He gave me  an orange and for a moment I had to focus my attention to the orange and my fear was forgotten.     

                     I enjoyed the film to the fullest  but once in a while was careful enough to remove the glasses for a few seconds until the highly intense moments were over.                      

                    During the whole time I was in the theatre I saw many frenzied and peculiar behaviour in the audience as they bent forward or backward  sometimes lifting an arm to avoid a blow aimed at them by the main character in the film.Though you knew that this was just a mere film those sudden reflexes were inevitable and we all succumbed to them in the hall.We, as a family laughed at each other in the hall and were highly amused at our own foolish and childish but unavoidable behaviour because the film was so intense and packed with action.               

                                Anyhow we both enjoyed it and we talked about nothing else for a long time. But once at home I became the victim and when my husband described the incidents in the film  hall my family members doubled with laughter making me red with shame.                     

                    But I have to say it. It was an experience of a life time. I will never forget it. I have never thought of seeing something like that even in my wildest dreams. Though the young generation was fortunate enough to  have  modern technology at their finger tips even the word 'computer' was never heard of at that time.Computers might have existed here but it was zillion miles far from the common man.     

                       The word '3D' became popular in recent years and then one day I suddenly remembered the film we watched many years ago.I  understood the reason why it was necessary to wear glasses to watch the film and how the audience was made to experience the film.I typed the title of the film  in Google and found out more about it.             

         My findings and my intense and  haunting  memories of the film  made this post possible. I hope that I was able to convey the joy and excitement I felt by  watching the film"The Treasure of Four  Crowns"  to you.