Fans scream and sing along at the special screening of One Direction: This Is Us at Fame South City on Saturday evening. Picture by Bhubaneswarananda Halder
Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy…. One Direction could well have been singing about Saturday evening in Calcutta! The very first Calcutta screening — exclusively presented by t2 and TTIS — of One Direction: This Is Us, a musical documentary on the rise, rise and rise of the British boy band, was NOTHING like ANYTHING a movie theatre had experienced in this city. Ever.
Two hundred Directioners — that’s what die-hard devotees of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson call themselves all over the world — screamed, shrieked, oohed, aahed and awwed through 92 minutes of the Sony Pictures movie at Fame (South City).
With over 90 per cent of the audience comprising teenaged girls, the loudest screams were, of course, reserved for the (many) moments when the boys went shirtless!
But the girls had the most fun singing along and dancing in their seats every time the 1D boys broke into song. By the time the end credits rolled to the tune of Best Song Ever, the fangirls couldn’t stay away anymore, they rushed down the aisles and turned the empty space in front of the screen into an impromptu dance floor, jiving, jumping, hugging and crying tears of joy.
It was a joy they had fought hard for and earned for themselves. Had it not been for the passion of Calcutta’s Directioners and the platform provided by t2, there would have been no show of This Is Us in Calcutta.
“One Direction has become my life. My exam starts next week and I am totally unprepared. But I know watching this movie is going to motivate me so much that I am going to pass with flying colours,” laughed Srishti Pramanick, a Class IX student of Loreto Day School, Dharamtala. Srishti was instrumental in gathering 450 signatures of 1D fans and sending them to The Telegraph office. That, plus innumerable phone calls, mails and Facebook posts from Directioners and a sustained campaign by t2 led Sony Pictures, the film’s producers and distributors, to sit up and take note. The message was clear: Calcutta’s Directioners deserved a date with their favourite band of boys. As a result, Sony Pictures first okayed a special screening of the film on Saturday, courtesy t2 and TTIS, and then decided to release This Is Us in Calcutta from September 12, six days after Delhi, Mumbai, Pune got to watch it.
For the special screening, if Thursday and Friday were spent in a mad scramble for passes and hectic planning on Facebook, Saturday was all about screaming their lungs out, reaching decibel levels that would make any live concert very, very jealous.
The party, in fact, started well before the 5pm show as Directioners started gathering outside the theatre, dressed in 1D T-shirts, the band’s name written on cheeks, noses and arms. Before the movie started and during the interval, it was “WE WANT 1D” on every lip.
And after much dancing, when they finally left the theatre, the Directioners chanted in unison, “1D-1D-1D, t2-t2-t2”, drawing alarmed stares from unsuspecting visitors at the South City Mall food court.
The movie was over but the magic had just begun.
“One Direction is my life and you just can’t imagine how happy I am to be here for the first show of This Is Us in Calcutta. Thanks t2, for making it happen. I am going to watch it 100 times more if they keep screening,” gushed Akshita Vora of Modern High School. Shreeyanshi of Class VIII, Mahadevi Birla World Academy, echoed her. “I will watch the film again as it is necessary to watch it again!”
As the Directioners made plans of “once more, many times more”, parents waited patiently outside the theatre. That’s because the Directioners had pledged on Facebook and Twitter: “No parents, no brothers, no boyfriends, whoever gets tickets from t2 will bring along only and only a die-hard Directioner.”
Indira Bishui, a student of Gokhale Memorial Girls’ College, wrote to t2 within minutes of the movie ending on Saturday evening
OMG JUST WATCHED THE PRIVATE SCREENING OF THIS IS US!
It was AmaZayn! I can’t believe this! I’m still faint from the show!! We had a FabuLouis and awesome time!! Massive thanks to t2 for the ExtraordinHarry opportunity you gave us, Directioners! We looove you!! The way we shouted at every shirtless scene and
‘aww’-ed at their proud parents and the never-ending goosebumps they gave us throughout the movie were just... PhenomeNiall!! Gonna watch it again next week!! #DirectionerForever