Dearly Beloved and I went to a movie this week–my post-Mother’s Day reward for not pushing to go anywhere during the golf tournament on Sunday.
I had read the book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but DB has not. He knew nothing about what to expect and although the film would have not been his first choice, he was a good sport about going.
Even with subtitles, this Swedish-made film has enough intrigue and mystery to grab one early on. Actually, the subtitles helped–I’d have probably missed some of the conversation if it had been dubbed in English. Subtitles simplify things. Someone on the screen reels off about 60 words and the translation on the screen will say something like “He left an hour ago.”
The plot was heavy, with many of the characters greedy and ruthless, their secrets dark and evil. The action was sometimes difficult to watch, but since I’d read the book, I knew what was coming and could watch through slitted eyelids. DB was on his own.
Although the movie is faithful to the book, there were few city scenes, and most of the film takes place on a small island where the heirs of a wealthy Swedish family reside. The cold countryside was dark, stark, and lonely, yet there was a strange beauty to the snowy bleakness. Nevertheless, even if Sarah Palin were elected our President, I don’t think I could move to that island.
We saw the film at a neighborhood theatre which shows smaller, independent movies. It is at least 50 years old, built in the days when the seats weren’t plush and the restrooms were small. The bathrooms are up a winding staircase, although the owners have brought it up to code by turning a downstairs closet into a small “for handicapped patrons only” restroom. The theatre is a favorite of senior citizens and most make the mad dash upstairs when nature calls. We’ve learned to order small drinks; it’s a long trek up there.
The 2 PM matinee audience, as usual, was comprised of a few dozen old farts. And us. We know we’re different, even if our senior rate tickets don’t designate us as such.
Just after the lights dimmed, two men (perhaps in their 30’s) came quietly down the aisle. One sat in one of those fold-up portable wheelchairs as other man pushed him.
Instead of stopping midway at the shortened row which has a couple of seats removed for wheelchair patrons so they won’t stick out in the aisle, the man pushed the chair farther on, past us, and toward the front third of the theatre. They finally stopped about three rows beyond us and he reached down and set the brake on the chair. It seemed an odd spot, but there was no one in front of them, so it wouldn’t have been in anyone’s way.
However, the man hitched up his pants, braced his legs, then bent over and put his arms under his friend, lifting him from the chair. He did it as one would cradle a sleeping child, legs and feet over one arm, the other arm bracing the the man’s head and neck. The friend appeared unable to move his arms or legs to assist in any way.
The man managed to carry his invalid friend to the middle of the row without faltering and gently sat his friend in the middle seat, where no one would need to get past them. He took a couple of minutes to straighten the other man in the chair and carefully arrange the frail legs, feet, and arms. When he finished, he went back into the aisle and moved the wheelchair. Although there was no one else on their row, he still pushed the chair down to the front of the theatre, folded it, and put it out of sight. He went back up the aisle to the concession stand and came back shortly with a candy bar, then sat down next to his friend.
For 2 1/2 hours, they were just two guys watching a movie.
I love finding movies that both DB and I enjoy, and this one passed the test. Afterwards, he asked me how I thought he liked the movie and I was pleased and relieved when he announced that he loved it.
Still, we’re apt to remember it as the one where the most memorable scene in the theatre wasn’t even in the film.