WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS.
If you have not already seen The Princess Bride…seriously…what is wrong with you? Go find and watch it immediately, then come back and read this. It’s OK. We’ll wait.
Going to the cinema is not generally a truly sociable experience. You sit in a darkened room for a few hours, and even if you’re there with somebody you keep quiet and pay attention to what’s happening on the screen, unless you particularly want to incur the wrath of everyone sitting near you. The Happenings is not that kind of cinematic experience. There was a festive air in Merrion Square on Thursday night as we all unpacked our blankets and picnic baskets, and people were chatting with groups next to them about how much they were looking forward to the film, how much they loved The Princess Bride, their favourite characters, their favourite quotes. When the film was playing people were laughing out loud at the jokes in a way that you never really see at even the funniest movies when they’re showing in the cinema, there were spontaneous rounds of applause at especially awesome bits, and when Inigo finally kills the six-fingered man as he roars “I want my father back you son of a bitch” the place went mad altogether with joy.
As for the film itself…well I’ve seen it often enough that I know every word and exactly how it is delivered off by heart by now, so I tried to be a bit more critical on this viewing. And I realised that there are faults to be found. Buttercup, let’s face it, is one of the worst female characters ever written – she has literally nothing to recommend her except an admittedly pretty face, and this reflects pretty badly on Westley too if you think about it. And plot holes…how did Inigo and Fezzig know Buttercup was Westley’s True Love? And exactly why did Count Rugen make The Machine go up to level fifty if he didn’t think he’d ever be able to bring himself to go above level 5? Seems wasteful to me…
But there you go…maybe just like with people, and it’s only when you can recognise the faults and still get totally swept away that you know that it really is, and always will be Twue Wuv.