Monday, July 16, 2007

A bit of culture and child-like glee

This weekend was quite eventful. After spending three days at Newcastle for a conference, I went back home to Melbourne on the Friday only to get ready for a night of theatre - Miss Saigon.

Needless to say, it is a fantastic piece of musical excellence. The cast was full of Filipino talents. The Engineer was played by no other than Leo Valdez. He made a very good impression with the Australian audience. It's quite amusing that I still remember the songs from when it was made popular back in 1989 by the original "Kim", Lea Salonga. My girlfriend and I couldn't refrain from singing along, albeit softly, to Kim on-stage.

The boys had a wonderful time. I couldn't help myself from getting a bit teary eyed in the end. It is a tragic story but was a very common occurrence during the war. I guess people who watch Miss Saigon do get side-tracked by the music and fail to remember that women like Kim suffered in the hands of the GIs and fellow Vietnamese alike. I hope that Miss Saigon stands as a reminder of the atrocities and sacrifices people have suffered during the war.


Yesterday, Arnie and I - along with my mum - watched Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It was a full house and everyone seemed to enjoy the film. It wasn't a bad effort - a 772 page book crammed into a 2 1/2 hour film. Of course, it was to be expected that there are some changes made to make the story flow better in the movie. In my personal opinion, it was fun. It was nice. Harry and Cho's first kiss was sweet - and there were people in the theatre who gushed of course. Luna was endearing. There was not enough Kreacher though. Bellatrix's appearance was short but very effective. The Thestrals were cool. Tonks was cool. Ginny kicked arse - very powerful Reducto curse.

I enjoyed Order of the Phoenix as much as the last Harry Potter movies. But if I was going to be honest with myself, it was anti-climactic. Sirius's demise was expected, of course, but very understated. Harry and Dumbledore's interaction was short and a bit emotionless. I was expecting Harry to have blown up spectacularly like he did in the book. Oh well, it was to be expected anyway - the movie will never be completely faithful to the book.

I am now looking forward to the book. I'm picking it up on Saturday morning at Borders and am expecting my free Hedwig plush doll. Can't wait!!!


kat said...

I remember back in OB. Miss Saigon was such a big deal for us. :) And rightly so!

For me, it was faced paced to the point of being bitin. It was just so-so. Made me want to re-read HPOotP all over again.

Five days to go! :D

R*Y A N said...

totally agree with you, jennie. harry 5 was/is very anticlimatic and underwhelming. as well, i felt that they didn't play up neville's role in this chapter as much as they did in the book.

did you hang around to meet the cast of miss saigon? rj usually comes out not long after by the stage door.

Jennie said...

Hi R*yan!

Didn't hang around to meet the cast, unfortunately. I think by the end of it my mates and I were just hanging for a coffee...

GJ said...

Re Miss Saigon: I watched it when it was shown in the Philippines just before I left for Australia in 2000. So, I declined to watch it again when a friend of mine asked us to watch it with them recently. I did enjoy it the first time around though but it's quite expensive after all.

Re HP7 book: Darn! I pre-ordered mine at Dymocks instead. :( That means I won't get a Hedwig toy. Instead, I'll get a bookmark and a bag. Ah well.