There are some ideas that sound great on at the time they are suggested; a fourth Indiana Jones movie, a third Oasis album, a new contract for Trapattoni only to be much regretted further down the line. Based on this showing of The Two Towers at the O2, you can now add watching films with a live orchestra to that list.
Which, admittedly, is not the consensus among the ticket buying public of late. After all, this event came hot on the heels of a successful live performance of The Fellowship of the Ring last year. And based on the decent crowd on Sunday night (not full but only missing bums on seats in the upper section) the Return of the King will probably get the live treatment next year from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. But it is a bad idea.
The first ten minutes are great. You admire the skills of the musicians and the singers. You think about the technical considerations that must go into an event like this, to make sure the music comes in at the right time and merges with the action. You think about the entire film-making process and how integral music is to making us feel the way we feel when watching a well made blockbuster like the Lord of the Rings triolgy.
And then after those ten minutes of lofty thoughts you find that you are fidgeting. You try to concentrate on the film and you can’t. Maybe it’s the size of the auditorium or – you know – the feckin’ big orchestra up the front, but the film is lost on you. You look at your watch, you wonder did the dialogue always come across as cheesy, or as overblown. You end up not really enjoying what on previous viewings (yes I’m a LOTR geek) was a really enjoyable film.
So you go back to the orchestra – an admittedly impressive orchestra – but Gimli is moaning about something on the screen above so your attention is wrestled in another direction again. Somewhere in the separation of the sound from the images something was lost. It’s been broken. If nothing else I’ll appreciate movies for providing the whole package in the future.