Open Air Cinema, Under the Banyan Tree

On a hot Saturday afternoon I was informed that we must catch “You Only Live Twice” tonight under the open sky. The idea appealed me much mostly because it brought back the childhood memories of the open air theater, to which I accompanied my then-movie-buff mother. Despite my little interest in films during those days, I had a lot of fun evening running around the open air theater. I have very vivid memories of the scenes from the film Dracula, and that of women shirking and giggling in turns. Another memory is that of the song “Shayad meri shadi ka khayal,” which was hugely popular then and I remember missing the song because I had gone off to get some popcorn. Not much love lost, I think.

The roles have reversed now and my mother has no interest in films anymore. But I digress.

By the time, the hot afternoon gave way to a breezy evening, rain came. But we thought of the Singaporeans, who are never deterred by rain, and made our way to the National Museum, in the grounds of which the movie was to be screened.

Happily, we found Stamford garden abuzz with Bondness. People had brought their folding chairs, mats, umbrellas, and were spell bound by Sean Connery. Although, I would rate the movie three out of five, but the experience was six out of five.

The initiative is called Open Air Cinema, Under the Banyan Tree. And it is free of charge. I saw passerbys  stop and watch for a bit. Some got interested and sat down to for the remaining film. The relaxed and cheerful atmosphere made watching the film a whole different experience than a darkened cinema hall. Not to forget that we ended up enjoying an old film that we may never rented or bought a DVD of.

Coming to the movie in particular, Connery exudes charm from his every single pore but the film itself is ridiculous in parts. On the other hand, it is exactly everything that a bond film is supposed to be. I was most amused by the supposedly sexy girls who padded around in their unearthings, which they seemed to have stolen from their grandmoms’ closet. However, it was an entertaining film with toy helicopter that could put Bat-mobile to shame and expansive mansions under dormant volcanoes.

However, based on the turnout and my conversation with friends and colleagues, I can safely call this another one of Singapore’s Best Kept Secrets.

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2 Responses to “Open Air Cinema, Under the Banyan Tree”

  1. Hi Anupma,

    Thanks for stopping by ! I think I read your blog by accident long back [ I came to know of it from Flickr or Live Journal – I don’t remember ]!

    Anyway, The experience of an open air theater is a unique one….in India, such theaters still exist in villages, movies are shown through projectors !!!

    It is like going back in time !

    Take care and Keep Blogging !!!

    Sanghamitra

  2. sunshin3girl Says:

    Sushmita gave me the link to your blog. She is the common thread, I think. 🙂

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