Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Worst. Potter. Film. EVER.

I suppose I should post *SPOILER ALERT* here. In case you've not read the Harry Potter series, or not yet seen any of the movies, or you've been living under a rock for the past 8 years and have only now just crawled out, blinking and squinting, trying to protect your eyes from that bright shiny orb in the sky, otherwise known as the sun.

If you'll excuse me, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the crapfest masquerading as a Potter flick that I finally saw yesterday. I do believe my immediate reaction to the end of the film was, "Are you fucking kidding me?"

Now, I understand that when books are turned into films, you can't keep every little nuance and detail, otherwise the movies would be a million years long. As is to be expected, most movies never live up to the book they're based on. One exception? Bridget Jones' Diary. That is the first time I ever walked out of a theater going, "Wow, that was so much better than the book."

What? Helen Fielding isn't much of a writer. Sorry, Helen. Is the truth. While the idea behind the book was amusing and different, the actual writing was, well...kind of dull. At least to me. The movie version was simply fantastic. The first movie, that is. The sequel was rubbish. As was the second novel.

Anyways, what I'm saying is that no one generally goes into the movies thinking, "Oh. I just know they're going to stick to the story exactly as it in the novel, and they won't add or delete anything. I can't wait!" Especially not when the books in question are over 600 pages long.

What I don't get is why screenwriter Steve Kloves apparently fancies himself a better writer than J.K. Rowling herself. You know, the creator of this series. By this I mean the fact that he decided to leave out crucial, significant scenes from Book 6...but then added some random scenes that were never in the book.



If you're going to cut things out (important things!!), then you do not get to make up new scenes. Sorry, in no way is this acceptable. And I can't believe J.K. Rowling signed off on this script. Especially with this particular book. I mean, christ almighty, Book 6 sets up the ending to this magnificent story. Do not cut out key plot details about Horcruxes. Don't just glaze over Dumbledore's death. He's Dumbledore. Does he not deserve a better ending then just a quick, "Aveda Kedavra" and then, plop, he's done? It was completely anti-climactic, in my opinion. I barely had time for a reaction, given how fast it was all rushed through.

While I was annoyed with all the silly love crap, it was actually in the book so I'm fine with it being in the film. However, I don't agree with keeping all of that and then just casually adding in the Horcrux storyline, like it was a side dish to teen romance.

Having read the book(s), obviously, I know why Harry crams a bezoar down Ron's throat to save him from the poisoned drink. Do the filmgoers know? Doubtful, as they never explain it in the movie. We're just supposed to accept that Harry knows everything about potions...when in reality, he only knows these things because of the Half-Blood Prince's potions book.

Do filmgoers really understand the whole Half-Blood Prince storyline? Ha, I don't think so. The way Snape throws out that line, "Yes, I'm the Half-Blood Prince," it was almost like an afterthought. Like Kloves forgot to mention it earlier and, "Oops. Oh yeah. Hey, Rickman, get on that would you?"

What really irks me is the film's ending. In the book, when Dumbledore petrifies Harry underneath his invisibility cloak so he cannot help Dumbledore fight Malfoy, and later, Snape. In the movie, Harry looks like a fool, standing beneath watching all the action - no invisibility cloak in sight (no pun intended), no petrification needed. And since when does Harry listen to anything Snape tells him to do? The whole thing was just out of character.

Plus, in the book, there is a huge battle between the students and teachers of Hogwarts versus the Death Eaters. It is a fantastic scene, culminating with Hagrid picking up the body of Dumbledore to bring him back into the castle. I was devastated while reading this passage. I couldn't believe Dumbledore was gone. It killed me - almost as much as when Sirius died.

In the film, none of this happens. For crissakes, they don't even have a funeral for him. In the book, it is at Dumbledore's funeral Harry decides he's not returning to Hogwarts the next year because he has to finished what Dumbledore started. He's heartbroken over the loss of his favorite headmaster, his father figure since starting at Hogwarts, and determined to see this to the end. In the film, he doesn't even seem all that upset about it. Hell, I wasn't even all that upset about Dumbledore's death. It was passed over so quickly that you don't even have time to get upset. There better damn well be a funeral flashback in the next movie or I'm going to call for Kloves' head.

I will give the film props for the wands raised bit at the end - when all the students and teachers raise their wands in salute to Dumbledore and vanish the Dark Mark overhead. However, that does not make up Kloves' utter disregard for the story.

Other things that irritated me? Where's Kreacher and Dobby? Where's Bill and Fleur - will there not be a wedding in the next movie? What about the Dursleys? The rest of the Order of the Phoenix? I wouldn't be surprised if the entire first scene of Deathly Hallows ends up on the cutting room floor. Suddenly, Lupin and Tonks are together, no explanation necessary? We're just supposed to accept that Ginny and Harry are in love? The Ron/Hermione tension was more believable - at least previous films have included some of their love/hate thing. For example, Hermione getting mad at Ron for not inviting her to the dance in Book 4. Ron getting jealous of Viktor Krum, etc., etc.

But Ginny and Harry...it's just not believable. The movie forces it on us without any detail. Bleh. Over it.

As a whole, I just feel like the whole movie was disjointed, leaving filmgoers to fend for themselves. And that's not the Harry Potter way.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with every single point you made about the film. It is like the screenwriter wrote the movie based on a conversation he had with someone recounting what he heard from someone who read the cliff notes version.
    The film missed all the subtle things as well as all the crucial important things. Tough to do.