Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Double Your Potter


I've spent much of my time (the little free time I've had that is) over the last few months with my nose in random fiction, particularly in that of Potterland in preparation for the day that finally arrived over a week ago . . . the highly anticipated Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 (otherwise known as HPDH1) finally made it's to a theater near you, and near me too.

Despite my desire to see long awaited seventh Potter flick at midnight with all my fellow HP devoted fans, the hubby and I settled for a 7:15pm showing on the day it opened, and I managed to impatiently pass the time by declaring my favorite quotes from the book on my facebook and twitter pages.

When we arrived 45 minutes before the movie began, tickets purchased several days in advance, we unfortunately were part of the last handful of people to arrive for our show time (due only to time constraints with babysitting arrangements), and subsequently were stuck with not so great seats in a dinner movie theatre with waiters that made a better door than window . . . . Nonetheless, the time had come, and I was super excited to see the film I have been waiting to watch since introduced to the books and movies in summer of 2009.

Upon leaving the theatre though, much of my excitement had abated and I felt quite confused and bewildered and decided that if I could sum up HPDH1 in one word it would be…rushed.

It's amazing to me the amount of detail that JK Rowling was able to convey with her writing if they could split the books into two movies, leave out the content they did, and still have to rush through the scenes the writer and director chose to include. I often found myself saying, "What just happened?" and feeling sorry for the ones who never read the books, because this movie would have been very hard to follow w/o having knowledge of the novel(s) to support the story at hand . . . for if you chose to skip the written word of HP you may be asking yourself the following questions: Where did Harry get that mirror and what the hell does it do? Who on earth is that Bill guy and how did he hook up with Fleur? When the hell did Ron start having the hots for Hermione? When the hell did Harry start having the hots for Hermione (which is not in the book, just so you know)? But I digress . . . .

After the first viewing of the flick I was prepared to pick apart all the things I found wrong with it, particularly the sins involving Ron and Hermione (otherwise known at R/Hr), since they and their relationship are my favorite part of this epic tale. I planned to go on about how Ron has been given the shaft and misrepresented, and as such the R/Hr story was not properly developed, making Ron's sudden love and devotion toward Hermione quite surprising and even out of place. I was going to rant and rave about Harry and Hermione (H/Hr) getting to dance and give longing looks at one another, allowing many to misunderstand the true nature of their completely platonic relationship in the book, while R/Hr's book written dance never made it to the big screen . . . Alas, I got the see the movie again before I had the chance to type it up, and have since improved my opinion of this now on-screen story.

Putting R/Hr aside, next to Sorcerer's Stone (SS) and Chamber of Secrets (CoS), HPDH1 is the closest book to screen adaption of this seven story series, and splitting it into two movies was the right thing to do, in my humble opinion (imho) anyway. Despite many of my favorite moments from this popular fiction not making it to the movie, it overall stayed true to Rowling's tale, and more importantly, finally gave Ron his storyline back and the veneration he deserved, but hasn't been getting since PoA, and maybe even before that.

If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know that Rupert Grint (Ron) is my favorite actor, so I am probably a bit biased in saying that he really brought it to this film . . . . happy, frustrated, angry, and in love . . . . his face, his voice, his body language conveyed it all. Mr. RG, you are amazing. Emma Watson (Hermione), whose acting hasn't impressed me since CoS, stunned me with her range of emotion in this film, only disappointing me in her reaction to Ron's return – she could have been far more ballistic and banshee like – imho. Dan Radcliffe, the hard working soul he is, has never awed me with his acting ability. As in all the other HP movies, he lacks feeling and remains nearly expressionless throughout the film. However, his best HP acting achievement to date is the scene of the seven Potters in HPDH1. He did a great job convincingly playing the Potter polyjuiced friends. If you are a Harry/Dan fan, that scene alone may be enough reason to buy your $10 ticket to see this motion picture now showing near you, and near me too.

All this being said, I'm not a film critic, and never proclaimed to be one, so if you are looking for a professional review, you're in the wrong place . . . and if you are inclined to argue about cinematic this, and adaption that, I want to remind you that I'm simply a citizen of society that happens to be a book purist, who is just sharing her opinions of the movie that was made out of her favorite book, EVER, and whose only hope since reading HPDH was that this notable narrative was given the proper respect . . . and for the most part it has been, if you consider them having to work with the sins of the past Potter screen plays.

In sum, I recommend you "Double Your Potter," because if you leave scratching your head and focusing on the negative after seeing it once, you will leave loving it after seeing it twice, imho anyway. :)