Despite the ever-changing weather in the UK, there are things that make people rise up to the climate challenge
often presented on this isle and gather together to celebrate it in a heart-felt, common interest union of spirit and soul...
Yes, the outdoor cinem
a experience. Any other country can do them, but only a true fan would risk the possible downpours that threaten any well-meaning screening. It has to be a great film and one that has fans: The Princess Bride is one such movie.
Chosen as the closing film for Film Four's Summer Screen at Somerset House, in London this year, as the host commented it was "the best happy ever after fairy tale" anyone could wish for.
Originally released back in 1987, Rob Reiner's affection nod towards the action/adventure genre has become, and rightly so, an insurmountable, quote-fest, cult classic that others have tried but never come close to a
chieving - Your Highness, I'm referring to you specifically now! It's attraction to it's huge, hard-core fan base can be "inconceivable!" to those who have never seen it.
Arriving at The Strand around 7:45pm, the first point of call was to find a cheap pub near the venue as the beer in the actual location can prove quite costly. Two quickly downed pints and the quickest supermarket dash through a Tesco Express for snacks, saw us ready for the spectacle that is outdoor cinema.
The rain had finally slowed and stopped to a level where hope fo
r a dry night didn't seem as pointless as an ugly geek searching for love, or at least lust, in a nightclub when the lights come up. Upon entering the always breath-taking, open square of Somerset House, we were presented with an already 99.9% full-to-capacity surface area of a highly-charged, happy and buzzing, food-and-drink consuming crowd. Blankets, mini hampers, folded up coats and sleeping bags littered the floor space with smiling and eager faces chatting away until the time that the phrase "dusk" came into affect and the film would begin. After finding a space that could house only half the size of a SMART CAR and achieving the equivalent of squeezing between punters at a crowded bar, we settled down with 3 beers each, suitable snacks, and waited for the magic to begin...
21:15 - natural light has given way to a dark tinted blue slab of sky where planes can be spotted by their lights rather than their bodies, and the silver screen erupts into life accompanied by a chorus of cheers and claps. The evening now, for all those present within the square, has truly begun.
As the dread pirate Roberts - a so cool and calm Cary Ewles that you could put your can of cola next to him to keep it chilled - makes his way through the many obstacles to catch up with Princess Buttercup and her captors, the crowd laugh along, sometimes even moments before the punchline arrives in anticipation of it; these people gathered here tonight will be just like me - able to quote continuously the classic dialogue to those poor unfortunate souls who have never had their life enriched from the movie.
The one thing that is slightly surprising though is the distinct lack of "quoting/shouting out loud" the well-loved and often repeated lines along with the characters when they're uttered... Maybe the crowd has come over all British and thinks that wouldn't be a polite thing to do perhaps? Instead cheers, whoops and claps are given to the delights that are "inconceivable!" "I don't think that word means what you think it means," "never get involved in a land war in Asia." Even surely the most quotable line doesn't get a loud, echoy duplication from the crowd but it does definitely get the loudest cheer - "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."
23:00. Then, as soon as it had begun, the wonder ceases. The Princess Bride is saved and along with her true love Wesley/dread pirate Roberts, delivers the most passionate kiss, putting the 5 best kisses ever recorded in history to shame.
A classic evening for a truly classic film. My thanks must go to my "bro-date" who arranged the tickets but couldn't make it in the end,Tom, and to his stand-in, Jamie. Both are huge fans and long may we continue having fun storming the castle!
Available on Bluray and DVD now.