Dear Cineworld Head Office,
Yesterday evening I, and two companions, paid for three tickets for the 21.20 showing of Jane Campion’s new film ‘Bright Star’ at Cineworld Hammersmith. If I am honest, when I first read about the film I was not immediately impelled to go, however, after a few good write ups, the tickets were purchased and there we were.
‘Bright Star’ – a film set in the early 19th Century. A subtle and quiet film, with a soft and peaceful rhythm set in a bucolic Hampstead Heath around 1820. ‘Bright Star’ – a film documenting the brief yet powerful love affair of a poet (John Keats) and a student of high fashion (Fanny Brawne) that commenced nearly 200 years ago. ‘Bright Star’ – a period piece that slowly unfolds a graceful and delicate narrative of, what is on the whole, quite a sweet and gentle English love affair. So you can imagine my amazement when, during leading actress Abbie Cornish’s first important monologue, where she reads a letter from Mr. Keats ( Ben Whishaw), she is accompanied by the bass line of the late King of Pop Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’. Interesting, I thought.
Moments later, as Keats’ brother dies a painful death after suffering badly at the hands of Tuberculosis, an extreme bout of cheering and whooping and “Go Michael, Go Michael” ing permeated the room. Strange, I thought.
As Keats’ own health began to deteriorate and he and Fanny realised that their love affair was coming to a heartbreaking end, an end that spelt out the poet’s early death and the start of his love’s agonising bereavement, a pivotal climax in the film, a moment where the two hold each other close and whisper odes of love, the slow and creeping intro of Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ rises and as Whishaw moves his mouth it seems as if he is grunting and shrieking and hollering and hooting and then there is the preposterous moment when Whishaw moves his lips to say his final goodbye and says:
‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
There ain’t no second chance against the thing with forty
What is Campion up to? I think. This can’t be right.
As I walk out of the cinema I notice the sign on the next screen along:
‘Michael Jackson; This is it! ‘
Last night was like watching two different universes collide and the result was messy. I dont feel like I actually watched ‘Bright Star’ and if I ever attempted to again the absence of The King of Pop’s cameo appearances would probably now leave a gaping hole.
So, Cineworld, this brings me round to the point of my letter. I think that it is only fair that
we are compensated with three free tickets to a film of our choice. We would like to see Michael Haneke’s ‘The White Ribbon’ but I am not sure that film would be shown at a Cineworld (would it?). So perhaps, just an open ticket would suffice.
Please do reply to this letter as issues like these most definitely need to be addressed.
I now have 4 tickets to cineworld. If only they had an interested programmer…