Chaucer says when spring comes it is time for folk to go on Pilgrimauge, so off I went, to the Stella in Rathmines, the last picture show for TTT in Dublin. Well, they are showing it in Tallaght but I don't want to get hit by a runaway horse.
A typical spring day in Ireland, pouring rain, blowing a gale and cold so there was a small queue of people more wanting to get in out of the weather than to see the film. Behind me were three tall Dublin lads;
'Have you seen the first film?' said one.
'What, not even the video?'
'Well, don't, it's terrible.'
Not fanclub members, then. Undeterred, I went in and took a seat close to the front. Same seat as last year, still sagging to the ground, still with those rock-hard wooden armrests. There were about ten people there, and a popcorn fight already in progress. They had, however, put up nice curtains but still no carpet.
Very old ads ran for a while then the film began. Funny, I did not remember Rowan Atkinson in it before. Drat! Wrong screen..this is Johnny English!
Gathering up my belongings I made as dignified an exit as possible... there are only two screens. I dashed into the right one and settled down to watch the right film, having missed Gandalf's plunge at the start.
I have always said LOTR is dark, but this was darker, and slightly blurred. There was a split in the screen as well. I tried to ignore it and concentrate on things I had not noticed before. Then I realised I had left my umbrella in the other cinema. Never mind, I'll get it later. But no, I kept thinking about the umbrella. It is only a €5 umbrella. But you bought it in Galway that weekend you went to the open-air rock concert and it rained. Then the security guard took it off you and you thought you'd never see it again. Then you saw it on the ground as you were leaving and got it back. It will still be there...
Suddenly, an intermission. The crowd began to laugh and I shot out and into the other cinema to retrieve the brolly. People hung about in the foyer puffing desperately on cigarettes, not the usual Tolkien crowd.
On the other screen Rowan Atkinson was causing havoc at the British Royal Coronation, snatching the crown. I hurried back to watch Aragorn try to snatch his crown.
Every pilgimage is fuelled by the desire to achieve something. In this, my last viewing, I wanted to have a good look at the Elves at Helm's Deep. Yes it is by now an obsession but are we not all here a little obsessed? This was by far the worst viewing to see Elves at all as the film was viewed through a layer of algae, but yes, I think, there at the end, on the keep, an Elf, just a glimpse of gold hair and gold armour. That'll do.
Following the three lads out into the cold afternoon;
'Well what did you think of this one?'
'Yeah, it's ok, it's all right. It's not bad, actually.....'
Come to think of it, wouldn't Rowan Atkinson make a great Wormtongue?